Testimonials and reviews are a must for your business. Did you know that 7 in 10 people who read reviews will share them with friends, family, and colleagues which amplifies their impact (via Deloitte & Touche)? In addition, using and displaying testimonials can increase sales by 250%. Ummm .. yes, please! Don't underestimate the impact of testimonials and your bottom line.
Today I challenge you to collect praise.
When was the last time you reached out to your clients for some feedback? Sometimes clients will take the initiative to let us know how we're doing but for the most part, we need to seek our own opportunities to collect this praise (and the occasional critiques).
- Make a point to send a personalized email to some of your favorite clients asking if they would be willing to provide a short testimonial to be used on your marketing materials. If a client follows through, send them a $5 - $10 gift card to Starbucks as a thank you.
- You can create free surveys on SurveyMonkey or by using form plugins on your wordpress site. My favorite is Visual Form Builder Pro. Incorporate this survey in your client wrap-up process and after receiving results, be sure to follow up and ask permission to use the results on your materials.
- Always ask the client if they feel comfortable sharing their name and/or company. And if not, what would they be willing to share. A testimonial with a name is more impactful than one that is anonymous.
- The best testimonials come in video format although they are not as easy to collect. Set a long-term goal to start collecting feedback and praise via video from your clients who have had the most impact from you services.
- LinkedIn and Facebook make it incredibly easy to collect praise and recommendations but you have to take the initiative in sending out requests. Set a goal to send out a certain number of recommendation requests a month.
- More often than not, the testimonials are showing through in informal ways; it's your job to collect them. If a client praises you during your consultation with them, say thank you and then ask if you can use that verbiage as a testimonial. Write it down then and there so you won't forget exactly what they said.
It's somewhat difficult to sing our own praises but you have to get the ball rolling if you expect others to start publicly sharing their experiences. Remember that a crowd always draws a crowd and the more testimonials and feedback you can display, the more others are encouraged to leave some of their own. However, taking the initiative to collect praise should never end. Build it right into your client process and you'll see the bottom line effects in no time.