How to Get Great Testimonials

featured-post-August6Way back when we were planning for our wedding, we checked out an endless amount of photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, and every other possible type of vendor associated with “The Big Day”.

What really helped me (Sharla) make decisions and often took some vendors out of the running, was testimonials. If a vendor didn’t have them, I almost always eliminated them in my mind.

This was such an important event and I didn’t want to take the risk of using a photographer who couldn’t even show me samples of her work or testimonials from happy clients.

The same is probably true for many of your potential clients. Yet, most coaches and holistic practitioners don’t know how to get great testimonials that make selling your products and programs and enrolling clients a breeze. 

Testimonials are an essential part of your promotional materials.  Without them, your potential clients are just ‘taking your word for it’ and taking a risk with their time and money.

Testimonials provide “Social Proof” to your potential clients by letting them know that other people have benefited from working with you; so they might benefit too. 

The great thing about testimonials is: they can do the selling for you.

Maybe due to the legal constraints of your industry (check with your state board to be sure about legal limitations) you can’t make a bold claim like “I can cure your allergies” or “I’ll eliminate your back pain in just 10 visits.”   For example, as an acupuncturist, you can’t claim that you can cure pain.  But one of your clients can say “After my first visit, my pain was reduced by 50% and after 10 sessions I am completely pain-free.” 

And, if you feel shy at all about tooting your own horn, you can share stories (aka testimonials) of what your clients have received and make a great impression.

Most coaches and holistic practitioners don’t know how to get great testimonials that make selling easy.  I decided to share 5 of my favorite tips with you here:

1. Ask

My first tip is: “Ask.”  It’s that simple.

When your clients sing your praises after a great appointment, do you ask them for their permission to use their comments as a testimonial?  How about after they worked with you for a period of time?

It can be this simple: “I’m working on some new marketing materials about this work we’ve been doing together.  Would you be willing to share about the benefits you’ve received from our work together to help other people who are thinking about it discover what they can get from it?”

2. Make it Easy For Them

Recently, I was revamping our program brochure so I used Tip #1 and started asking our clients for updated testimonials.  Instead of just asking, I made it easy for each of them by creating a sample for them to edit.  

Here is an example of a testimonial I wrote for one of our star clients, PJ Van Hulle, for our Six Figure Speaker Program. Because I know PJ well, I created it using language I thought would fit her and then invited her to edit so it fit her voice.    

“I had dreamed of being a trainer for 5 years, but I had no idea how to do it as a business successfully. Then I met Jesse and Sharla and a huge door opened for me. In just 6 months I have created a successful training company AND repaid my investment in the Six Figure Speaker program...earning $52,000 in one weekend seminar. And more importantly, I am showing up for my students and creating miracles in their lives.!"    -PJ Van Hulle

She sent it back to me within hours and I added it to the new brochure.  Had I asked PJ to write it for me, it might have taken weeks for her to get to it. 

3. Use 2 Levels

If your potential clients hear only from your superstar clients, they might feel a little skeptical. But if they also hear from someone who got good or decent results, it makes it much more believable.

For example, we’ve gotten several testimonials from attendees of our Client Attraction Summit whose income quickly surged to 6-figures AND we have testimonials of clients who were thrilled to have made more than $1,000 in one hour.  

Do you see how the smaller number makes the results more believable?  If all of your testimonials say “In one session, I got X, Y and Z and my life has changed forever,” your potential clients might feel skeptical.  Ask yourself, “What seems realistic?” And then ask those clients for testimonials too.

4. Use “Before and After”

Diet products have been using “Before and After” testimonials forever.  It gives us a clear picture that “This Stuff Works!”

Here’s a template for you to use:

Before I worked with (YOUR NAME) I had ____ and ____ for ___ years.  After ___ sessions/treatments/weeks I no longer have ______ and I feel _________(great/fabulous/better than ever.)

Read before and after examples here.

5. Tell a Great Story

Everyone loves a great story.  It’s why we go to the movies, read books and participate in the drama of our own lives.  We learn by storytelling in a subtle, yet very effective way.  So let your clients’ testimonials tell a story.  It creates connection and makes it easy for potential clients to relate.

What can your potential client do now that they couldn’t do before working with you?  Pick up their grandchildren?  Spend time gardening?  Enjoy the sunshine? This emotional connection in your testimonials sells for you PLUS it’s fun to share stories.

Lastly, make sure to get explicit permission from your clients who provide testimonials and I recommend acknowledging them with a thank you card for taking the time to share their story so others may benefit from your work, just like they have.

Now it’s your turn to ask your clients for great testimonials!

Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.