It likely won’t surprise you to learn that I am very meticulous about my client testimonials. They have taken years to curate, and I cherish them as both mementos of past projects and the occasional lifter-of-spirits when I’m having a bad day.
However, testimonials are GOLD in a marketing sense.
So, what do I do with my collection of verbal gold? Why, put them in a spreadsheet, of course.
The spreadsheet has columns for the client name, company, job title, industry, permissions, and date received. It allows me to easily produce a relevant testimonial in a variety of contexts…
Without the spreadsheet, I’d have to sift through all 120+ testimonials I’ve received each time I needed one. While that might be a fun exercise, it wouldn’t be productive.
If you are in a job where business development, prospecting, or marketing are critical to your success, here are some tips on how to get more testimonials and what to do with them once you’ve got them.
How to Get More Testimonials
- Ask your LinkedIn connections who know you well to write a recommendation. Here’s how. I have 64 recommendations on LinkedIn because I am not scared to ask for one.
- Create an email signature that you can use to request a testimonial from someone. It is easier to overcome a fear of asking when all you must do is insert the signature rather than type out the request each time. Here’s how.
- Integrate the process of asking for testimonials into your normal client follow up (or wrap-up) procedures. For example, at a law firm, while you are closing the file, send an email to the client asking for a testimonial. In my experience, you’ll get at least a 25% response rate.
How to Maximize the Testimonials You Have Received
- Keep them organized. Store them in the same place and in a similar format. You may not like the spreadsheet idea, but designate one, easily-accessible location in which to gather your testimonials. OneNote or Evernote are good options as well.
- Make sure you have permission to use the person’s name and company along with their testimonial. Don’t assume. When in doubt, attribute the statement to “Anonymous.” The testimonial is not as powerful without the person’s name, but it’s the right thing to do.
- Use them well. Testimonials do you no good just sitting on a spreadsheet. Post them on your website. Include them in brochures. Copy and paste them into emails when you inevitably get the question, “Have you ever worked with southeast Croatian candy manufacturers before?” You can say, “Yes! And, here are some testimonials from your colleagues.”
The tips above apply primarily to professional service industries, rather than products. I know that there are a host of other considerations when you are working to collect positive reviews from online purchasers. Please reply in the comments if you have suggestions for product reviews.
So, it’s time to follow my own advice. Below are three of my most recent testimonials. Thanks to the wonderful clients who took time to give them:
“How do you feel your 13 scheduling systems and to-do lists are working for you?” This was one of the first observations/questions asked when Melissa Gratias, productivity psychologist, spent 4 hours in my office evaluating the current way I managed my daily tasks and activities. Enlisting her services was easily the smartest thing I did in 2016, and it continues to pay significant dividends. She simplified/streamlined my daily task management, which has resulted in better client service and more closed business. I cannot recommend her consulting service enough. ~ Bob McWilliams
Commissioning Melissa to perform a full review of our firm was the best investment we have made for our staff! Melissa crafted well-organized plan after meeting with the partners to determine our goals. Once she met with each of our staff, she identified our strengths and weaknesses and allowed us to see a true objective picture of our operations. I do not hesitate to recommend Melissa to any organization! ~T.J. Hollis
I just finished tax season, and wanted to let you know how much you helped me. I just received about three to four emails for post-tax season work. It was so easy to add them to my task list with a due date and reminder. No need to worry that I’ve forgotten something. It’s all there. I did that throughout tax season. Thank you. ~John Vandaveer
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Dr. Melissa Gratias (pronounced "Gracious") is a work psychologist who helps overwhelmed and underappreciated businesspeople be more focused and effective. Since 2007, thousands of people have graduated with honors from her onsite sessions, distance coaching, productivity seminars, and corporate consulting projects. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Melissa is available for nationwide consulting and speaking engagements. Contact her via email at email@example.com or call 912-417-2505. Sign up for her free monthly e-newsletter or visit her website, melissagratias.com.