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Courtesy: Christian Ferrari on sxc.hu
Today, I want you to adopt 
a new habit that will boost your confidence, raise your credibility, and increase sales. 

If you're not asking for testimonials from satisfied customers, you're throwing money in the trash. 

If you're asking, I want you to ask in a different way.

Why? 

Because your testimonials may be costing you money.

What a Testimonial Needs to Do

Nobody wants to be first. People want to know your product or service has some sort of track record before they'll trust you enough to spend their money. The reassuring words of people just like you soothe your worries. 

Or do they?

Many testimonials lack that "friend telling a friend" feeling. Instead, they come across as the salesman yelling, "See? They say it's great! Ready to buy?"

Generic testimonials cost you business because they sound like this:


People considering your product want to hear someone say, "I've been in your shoes. I've experienced what you're going through. Let me show you what worked for me. I no longer have this problem, and you can experience the same thing." Let's make that happen, starting today.

Here's how.

1. Ask

I'm surprised how many companies don't ask their satisfied customers about their experiences. If you're not, start today. Contact previous customers and say: 

"Could you please do me a favor? People want to hear about the experiences previous customers have had with us. Would you mind answering a few short questions about your experience with our product? It'll take less than 5 minutes."

Some won't take the time. But if you ask everyone, some will.
 
2. Before, During, After

This is where testimonials go off track and cost you money. 

"This product was great. I'll use it again."

"Best ever!"

Does that make you salivate over an offer?

Instead, ask specific questions that elicit the response you need.

Before: "What was your situation like before you came to us? How did you find us?

During: "How easy was it to work with us? How user-friendly was the product? What was your favorite thing about doing business with us?"

After: "What were the results you experienced? How is your life better? What was the outcome? Why would you recommend us to a friend?"

Adapt these questions to fit your product or service. But get more before, during, and after testimonials. Your readers will see themselves in your customers. 

They'll see that you do have the solution to their problem. Let your satisfied customers paint the picture that soothes the doubts of your prospects. 

3. Don't Forget the Ugly Stuff

If you want to take it to the next level, dig deep to find out what they didn't like about your product or service. 

Ask, "What could we have done better? How could the product be improved? If you could make one change to your experience with us, what would it be?"

You'll get more than a cheerleader. You'll get honest feedback that helps you improve your product. You'll show that you care and respond to what matters most to your customers. 

More importantly, you'll get more testimonials with happy endings. 

What's your opinion? How do you ask for testimonials? What strategies have I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

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You can follow me on Twitter: @CajunCopy

 


Comments

01/08/2013 4:28pm

I was SO excited about my first testimonial it is still on my front page. :) I can't wait to add more. I basically used the testimonial from LinkedIn. I simply said "Hey, I need a recommendation!" Having a link to their page was a great incentive.

Reply
01/08/2013 4:49pm

Hey Willi,
Try the "before, during, after" approach and let me know what happens. Your testimonials will pack a punch.

Whenever your client tells you they're satisfied, just say, "Could you do me a favor? I'd like to ask a few quick questions, so others can see what it's like to do business with me. Would you mind helping me out?"

Ask the questions in this post. Come back and tell me what happened. Deal?

Reply
01/08/2013 5:56pm

Deal - now to find a client :D

Reply

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