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How to ask for a testimonial

I'm wanting to put a few pages of written testiomials in my presentation book. What's the best way to go about asking for a testimonial? What do you say to the client? - by Calvin
I'm wanting to put a few pages of written testiomials in my presentation book. What's the best way to go about asking for a testimonial? What do you say to the client?
Calvin, I see they are not all rushing in to answer this one. I was curious what others would say because I've often wondered if there is an easy way to do this.

I have a form I use and I send it to my customers with their renewal notice (they pay for 6 a six month subscription). Logically, if a customer is renewing, I figure they are happy with their results and would be willing to do this. Sadly, they mostly get ignored--I think primarily because people are busy and don't want to take the time. If I am ever having a nice chat with a happy customer (which is infrequently because we usually communicate through other means), I might specifically ask them if they would mind saying a few words that I can use as a testimonial. This has paid off because the ones I got, are glowing! But truthfully, asking for testimonials is not my favorite thing. - by RainMaker
Thanks for the input RainMaker! :) - by Calvin
We just hired a company to paint our house and when it was done I sat with the owner of the company and he asked me if I was satisfied, etc. By the end of the conversation I told him that he could use me any time as a reference and he asked me if I'd put something in writing sometime. I told hi I would.

I don't know if this fits what you're looking for but I offered a referral because I liked the guy and liked his work - he didn't have to ask - AND then he asked if I might put in writing.

It was very mutual and natural. - by MitchM
Calvin,

I've always found that asking for a referral personally is the best way to go. However, then you have the problem of either getting your customer to write something down, or the sometimes embarassing option of trying to take notes while they tell you how wonderful you are.

So, here's my solution: First, after I've completed a project, I just say something like: I'm in the process of updating my [presentation book, brochure, website, etc.]. I'd really like to include some of your comments about your experience with [me, our company, etc]. Would you be comfortable answering a few questions if I sent them to you in an e-mail?

Then, explain that if they just REPLY to your e-mail, they can jot down a few notes in response to your questions. Tell them not to worry about making the language perfect -- you'll be glad to do the editing for them.

I have several questions that help the customer think of what to say. Things like how would you describe the customer service you received from XYZ company. You'll have to think of your questions based on the business you are in. Open-ended questions, of course!

This helps because: First, if you give them the questions, you avoid the situation of having a bunch of testimonials that all say "Kathleen was great". Second, they are reminded they agreed to do this for you when they get your email. Third, its much quicker for them since they are just answering questions, not trying to write War and Peace. Fourth, you don't have any embarassment of talking about how great you are.
Most of the time, I've found that everyone knows the value of positive customer comments, so they're not really surprised when you ask them. This doesn't give you something on the client's letterhead, but you can always create good-looking pages that list the person's comments, their name and contact info.

Hope this helps - and good luck!

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Hope this helps - and good luck!n
That's a great idea. Thanks! :) - by Calvin
Good response. I'm amazed at how many of my customers don't use email! (Do you think they still have rotary phones, at home, too??):p - by RainMaker
I'm wanting to put a few pages of written testiomials in my presentation book. What's the best way to go about asking for a testimonial? What do you say to the client?
If you get email from people who bought your book, just ask them to see if you can use their email as testimonial? - by ohcnetwork
I don't get many emails but if I ever do that's a good idea. Thanks. - by Calvin
I was just asking about this in some other forum, and I think this is one of more practical and honest approaches. Real testimonials from real customers/clients. Testimonials should be like that. - by ohcnetwork
I'm wanting to put a few pages of written testiomials in my presentation book. What's the best way to go about asking for a testimonial? What do you say to the client?
Calvin, I have just started a testimonial drive myself. The way that I have approached it is to choose those clients that I have achieved some recent success with and send them a letter. I say in the letter that I would appreciate some feedback on the work I have been doing with them. I enclose a form with some questions relating to my services and ask them to answer one or all of the questions. The questions are posed in a way that the answers will address specific benefits that I have provided to them. At the end of the form I provide a box for them to tick to indicate whether they are happy for me to quote them in my own marketing material. I also enclose a reply paid envelope for them to use for sending back the completed form.

My aim is to make the whole process as quick and simple as possible for my client.

When I receive the testimonials (fingers crossed) I will be sending a thankyou letter.

You could try a similar approach by email, however, if you have your customer's postal address, the personal touch might just do the trick.

Hope this helps.

All the Best

Stephen - by Stephen
Stephen, I used a similar technique only the questions were on a self-addressed stamped postcard. :)

I also used this concept for referrals.

They were called, "Quick-Referral Card" and "Quick-Testimonial Card." - by Jolly Roger
Stephen, I used a similar technique only the questions were on a self-addressed stamped postcard. :)

I also used this concept for referrals.

They were called, "Quick-Referral Card" and "Quick-Tetimonial Card."
Excellent idea. The easier you make it for your client to respond, the greater the chance they will. - by Stephen
Jolly Roger -

That is a great idea, and it's a good answer for Rainmaker's non-email using customers.

Hopefully, even though they have rotary phones, they do have mail service!

:D - by KSA-Mktg
Hello,
Right from the beginning of the engagement I ask clients to keep a journal called the "Client Impact Report". This is part of my terms and conditions of doing business. This is basically the deliverable clients are expected to produce by the end of the project.

The problem with the traditional way of getting testimonials is that after the project is completed and clients are happy, they move on to dealing with the next challenges in their lives, leaving you high and dry.

Therefore it is vitally important that producing this Client Impact Report is an important part of the engagement.

This is the breakdown in the Client Impact Report

What I Learnt

What I Achieved
  • Quantitative Achievements
  • Qualitative Achievements
  • Personal Achievements
What I Appreciated

What I Suggest for Improvement

This way clients better feel that what we do is true collaboration and not a "do it for me" gig.

Cheers

Tom - by Bald Dog
Stephen, I used a similar technique only the questions were on a self-addressed stamped postcard. :)

I also used this concept for referrals.

They were called, "Quick-Referral Card" and "Quick-Testimonial Card."
Excellent idea! I've relied solely on email since most of my real estate clients are internet savvy and actually prefer communicating this way. However, there is a great, personal quality that goes along with a hand written note of "Thanks" after the sale that I find is an appropriate time for requesting a testimonial. The self-addressed post card is a great way to make sure that request actually gets back to you. I plan on integrating it into my Lead Generation system. Thanks for the idea! - by Irene Morales Ward
To answer the question and thinking completely in simple terms:


Just ask for one!

That never hurts. You have nothing to lose and a great tool to build your credibility. Just obviously be sure to ask from satisfied and better yet if they have been long time loyal customers for you. - by msanti85
In every sale there is a bottom line that you know as the salesperson. You know how far you can go. The problem that some sales people make is not justifying a price drop. The price is XXX.......Customer says I'll give you*** (If it falls within the parameters of a profit then say) "Well look, my boss said okay on one condition..........We're going to call you in a month and want your HONEST testimonial. Hey if they write you a good one, great. If they don't, well whatever. Over time you will get some nice ones that you can include as examples of other "Savvy" people who took advantage of your price drop. - by vacmag
I know many copywriters who call the person, take notes and develop a testimonial. They email it to the person to get their approval. If the person is 'ok' with it, then they're set with something that's powerfully worded.
I know there will be a chapter addressing this topic in Million Dollar Marketing Secrets being published this fall.

Susan - by susana
I know many copywriters who call the person, take notes and develop a testimonial. They email it to the person to get their approval. If the person is 'ok' with it, then they're set with something that's powerfully worded.
I know there will be a chapter addressing this topic in Million Dollar Marketing Secrets being published this fall.

Susan
That seems like an unusual process. It surprises me. As a business owner I would want to call my clients personally to ask for a testimonial, rather than have my copywriter do it for me. It would be much more personal, and I think my clients would be more appreciative. - by Gary Boye
That seems like an unusual process. It surprises me. As a business owner I would want to call my clients personally to ask for a testimonial, rather than have my copywriter do it for me. It would be much more personal, and I think my clients would be more appreciative.
Gary,

I should clarify. The copywriters are calling for testimonials to use in sales copy. maybe that's why the task is left to them? Most of the people I know have found that many business owners don't want to do this.
I write copy for myself, and don't actively recruit copywriting clients, so I don't have any personal experiences to share.

Susan - by susana
Great convo. My concern is that somethimes I feel that the clients that don't respond (due to being too busy or company policy) feel bad or too embaressed to call you back for the next job. I know this sounds stupid, but i think it happens a lot. - by bigpoppasan
In the past, I've asked customers for testimonials after we've done something a bit out of the ordinary for them. For example, one of my customers had been audited, and a bit of information from eight months prior was changed.... As a result, we had to re-do 8 months worth of reports for that client. We were able to do this within 48 hours, and he was amazed. About two weeks later, I told him we were proud of how we were able to help him out, and we feel our other clients and more importantly prospective clients, would be comforted knowing how we handled it. My client responded with a written thank you/testimonial. Because it was so specific, it was very effective.

Since then, I realize that there is at least one thing we do for each client that is unique, or extraordinary. I've asked each one to write a testimonial regarding that specific piece of it, as well as with our overall service of course, and have used them as part of a sales package. - by Coda1108
One method that has worked for me very well is to do the following (which utilises some of the comments above in a slightly different way) - my industry is B2B sales so I'm not sure how this would work in B2C environment.
-when following up on a sale i ask a series of questions to ensure that the customer has achieved what i set out to achieve. Normally a customer (who is also a decision maker at the company) will respond very favorably - i make notes on what they say.

- I then prepare an honest appraisal based on the customers comments - thereby giving the testimonial that i require.

-depending on the client i then either call in or email the client and let them know i took the liberty of jotting down their responses and would they mind cutting and pasting/getting their secretary to put it onto their headed paper.

I've found that with this method i can generate a lot of testimonials very quickly. I previously found that people were too busy to take the time to write a testimonial although they would happily provide one - I just take the work out of it for them and get the testimonials I want. - by riad135
Excellent point, Riad. I too have a B2B business and did this once for the owner of a particular customer, and it worked great.

The only thing I'd add is that when I get the text of the testimonial to them, I'd invite them to make changes as they see fit. - by Coda1108
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