Case studies and testimonials help get your prospects to really empathize with what your business is doing and understand your services in a real world context.
Think of Apple’s commercials for the iPad. You don’t see them going into detail about gigabytes, chips and pixels. They strive to show you what the experience is like. And that’s what matters to your prospects—the experience they will get from your service.
Prospective customers don’t need to hear about the nuts and bolts, but rather how your product or service is going to benefit them. There’s no better way to do that than telling a story—and there’s no better way to tell your business’ story than having a customer talking about how your service benefited them.
If you had a 20 second video testimonial from a customer that you could play on your iPad when you walk into a sales meeting, do you think you’d close that deal? Absolutely.
You probably have tons of customers out there who speak very highly of you to others, so why not try and get that feedback in a written or video testimonial?
Well, the problem is no one likes to ask for testimonials. However, you’d be amazed to see how willing people are to help when you ask for it—and when you ask for it in the right way.
Here are some tips that will help you avoid some of the anxiety that comes along with asking for testimonials:
Ask for Feedback
Instead of asking for a “testimonial”, position it as asking for feedback on your business’ services.
Say, “Would you mind providing me with some feedback on your experience using our services? I’d love to hear what you have to say.”
Then, once they give you their feedback, you can ask them for permission to use their quote in a testimonial. For example you can say, “That’s great! Do you mind if I quote you on our website?” or “Do you mind if I forward your feedback to our prospects?”
It’s less invasive and aggressive than asking someone for a testimonial. Plus, leveraging the positive feedback from customers should give you a huge confidence boost when you walk into a business and try to close a deal.
It’s Not THAT You Ask, It’s HOW You Ask
When you ask for a testimonial, ask the right questions in order to elicit the response you want.
Ask questions like, “How have our services changed the way you engage with your customers?” or “What would you tell a friend who was thinking in investing in our services?”
Prompt the customer to say exactly what a prospect would want to hear.
Ask for Permission
Permission is key. Just because someone gives you positive feedback does not mean you have permission to use it in any way you want. You never want to get into a situation where your customers find out you’ve been quoting them on your website or in published documents without their consent.
You probably know the quote, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” Well, that isn’t necessarily true in this circumstance. If for some reason the person doesn’t like the way you phrased something or thinks you took something they said out of context, that will directly affect your credibility to that person.
You don’t want to have to ask for forgiveness of a customer. By the time you do, it may already be too late.
Don’t Be Afraid to Rewrite
Sometimes customers may submit written testimonials that need a little bit of tweaking. There may be grammar issues, awkward wording or bad punctuation. You certainly don’t want to publish a less-than-perfect testimonial because it will make both you and the customer look bad.
Feel free to rewrite testimonials appropriately using similar language and wording, but make sure not to take anything the customer said out of context.
Also, make sure to get the go-ahead from the customer on the rewrite. Just let them know you cleaned up the quote they sent you and have them approve it before you publish or send it anywhere.
Give Back When You Receive
When someone gives you something like a great testimonial, find a way to give back to them.
If your customer is a business—go on their Yelp Page and write a review about them.
Whatever you do, make it personal and make it from you.