How do you make a decision to purchase a service or product?
Think back to the last time you made a decision to make a significant investment, be that something for your home or business life and the chances are that you not only tried out the product or service before you bought it, but you also asked the opinion of others.
Let’s take for example purchasing a camera. Perhaps you asked a friend about their experience of a certain model of camera. You might have also researched the camera on the Internet or in magazines. You might even have gone into your local camera shop so you could ask the opinion of the camera expert in the store.
In all these cases, you were seeking endorsements and opinions – in other words testimonials about the camera.
When it comes to your potential clients making a decision to invest in your services, which are no doubt far more expensive than purchasing a camera, what reference sites and testimonials can you offer up?
Putting in place a process to systematise accessing testimonials is an often an overlooked strategy in many professional services practice as a way of attracting more clients. Added to that, many testimonials are far from impactful.
For example have you ever noticed the testimonials on a web site that say something like:
“Working with Jo was great. CD, London.”
This just leaves you wondering – who was CD? Why did they find working with Jo great? What difference did it make to them? Was CD in the same situation as I find myself in?
Frankly this form of testimonial is not going to be seen as credible as it is vague and non specific.
What would be more influential would be a testimonial that outlined:
- The situation the client had found themselves in prior to working with the professional services firm
- The actions that they took together to overcome these problems
- The tangible results that were achieved – wherever possible with specific metrics
- The name, position and organisation of the person providing the testimonial – that is car more credible than just providing the initials of someone.
If you have delivered excellent service to your clients, it is highly likely they will be happy to provide you with a testimonial. So why is it that we so often fail to access testimonials?
Here are three simple steps to ensure that you access powerful endorsements and testimonials:
- Ask – Make sure that you ask your clients for a testimonial. The worst case scenario is that they will decline, so you have nothing to lose from asking.
- Guide – Provide a framework of a few questions that you would like your client to respond to. I have created a set of standard questions that I give to my clients so that I can ensure that the testimonial is as outcome and results focused as possible.
- Simplify – Make it easy for your clients to provide you with the testimonial. It is likely that they are busy, so while they may wish to provide you with a testimonial, they just may not find the time to write it. I offer my clients a number of ways to provide the testimonial including making available a phone line available 24/7 where they can leave a message. I also offer to draft something based on the results I know they have realised which they can then review and adapt.
BIZ GROWTH ACTION STEPS:
- Review the testimonials you have on your web site or in your files. Make sure they reflect the outcomes and results you have delivered for your clients in a highly tangible way.
- Create your own set of questions that you would like your clients to respond to when providing you with a testimonial.
- Connect with any clients you have worked with over the last 6 months where you have not yet requested a testimonial. Set yourself a goal so that your testimonials are up to date in the next 30 days.
A little time and attention to your testimonials will definately assist you in securing your next great client.
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©Krishna De, Oneocean Ltd 2007. All rights reserved. Reprinted from ‘Biz Growth News’ (http://www.bizgrowthnews.com/), a Oneocean Ltd publication for leaders in professional services practices, featuring inspiration, strategies and tips to build your brand, attract your ideal clients and enjoy greater success with less stress. Subscribe today at http://www.bizgrowthlive.com/ .