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I’m sure you already know that testimonials are a great way to back your business up to new prospects. What others say about your business is worth 1000 times what you say and do to try and prove it.
So how do you get testimonials? The easiest way is to literally ask for them. Come up with a process for this and life will be easier. You can either always ask for them immediately after a completed project or contact your clients once a quarter for them. The key is to ask though.
Also, you should already have something prepared that you would like them to say that is specific to a service you have or anything relevant to advertising you are putting together. I like to ask for the testimonial and also say that for their convenience I have put something together for them to modify or just sign off on.
You don’t need a page long testimonial that really serves no marketing and proof purposes to you. “George is a very nice guy” does nothing but “we made our money back from the entire program in 2 weeks and are on target to profit 10 times that amount in 2 months” is a great testimonial. Two or three sentences with you actually suggesting to them on what information to give you to fit your marketing is what you want. Something longer is fine since you can cut it up, but you still want specifics such as goals set and made, savings or increases, and other positive success stories.
By the way, testimonials can also be in the form of audio or video and not just written. This is great stuff to put on a website. Some also use audio and video to send in the mail to potential clients in the form of a DVD or Audio CD. A picture with a testimonial is also excellent.
Can you put testimonials on company letterhead or a website that you conjured up from fictional people? Of course you can. But be prepared spend time in a small room with a large roommate for a few years (that means I’m being sarcastic and it’s illegal :-) .
What if you have something so new that you don’t have a testimonial for it? Well, you can give it away for free or a small portion in return for a testimonial. Let’s say you have a consulting business. I’m sure you can give away an hour of a specific service to a potential client and they would be happy to hand you back a testimonial in exchange. This will also set them up to know the value of your business and want to be a paying customer.
Where are the best places to use testimonials? Any place you can is my answer. As an example, any advertising is a must. You can put a testimonial directly on a magazine ad, slick sheet, brochure, or website. Even better, whenever you leave materials with a potential client of in any sort of mailing add in a sheet with 3 to 12 testimonials on it. Front and back testimonial sheets work great.
I also like to add in a testimonial sheet when doing presentations in my participant package. Another great spot is right in the presentation itself.
Do what you have to do and grab those testimonials. Other people’s opinions will do a lot of selling for you.