How to Solicit Effective Client Testimonials
Testimonials are the most powerful form of selling in the world, according to blogger and industry professional Jonathan Farrington. In his recent post, he highlights the benefits of using testimonials to win new business, writing, “The power of using testimonials during different stages of the sales process increases sales when ‘real’ customers are seen or heard testifying as to how beneficial a product/service has been for them.”
But, you can improve your chances of wowing prospects even more by soliciting quality testimonials that will boost your credibility. According to Farrington, there are certain elements that will boost a testimonial’s effectiveness, a few of which are below:
- Have the client be as specific as possible in his or her testimonial. A generic, vague statement won’t stand out or seem authentic; instead, encourage the client to cite a specific issue that you resolved or explain one way your product or service has had a significant impact on his or her business.
- Testimonials should include the client’s name, title and name of his or her company/organization. A headshot or other type of image can also personalize the testimonial and give a face to the glowing words.
- Divide and conquer! Farrington recommends sprinkling testimonials throughout different phases of the sales process because, when used in context, they have even greater impact. He includes a helpful example: “… if a sales person is struggling to get an appointment with a prospect, a relevant testimonial could help persuade that prospect to agree to a meeting: ‘It took me two years before I agreed to meet this company. Having worked with them almost a year, I wish I’d seen them earlier.’
Additionally, Farrington gives advice on obtaining quality referrals. One suggestion involves sending the prospect a set of questions, which will help structure his or her testimonial (and make it an easier, quicker process):
- Why did you agree to meet us?
- What persuaded you to buy our product?
- What benefits have you gained from using this product?
- How would you describe our level of service?
Testimonials are a powerful tool for salespeople, and thanks to Farrington’s article, you can boost the effectiveness of your clients’ testimonials with just a few easy tweaks. As Farrington points out, “the only thing better than saying the right thing at the right time is when your customers do it for you–and better.”