It’s time to pass the torch. Your potential clients will listen to — and believe — unbiased client testimonials above and beyond any self-promotion you do, despite your ample charm and eloquence. But a question remains: How do you land these glowing referrals from satisfied customers?
The first step is implementing a little strategy before picking up the phone or pressing send on that email. Here are five key points to keep in mind if you want your inbox to fill up with recommendations for your services or products.
1. Know Who to Ask for a Testimonial
Although tempting, don’t create a group email or head to your subscriber list to ask for testimonials. You should make these inquiries personal.
Target individuals you’ve recently completed projects with successfully. Reach out to customers who’ve already thanked you or expressed gratitude in some way. They’re more likely to have something positive to say and take action on your request.
2. Timing Your Inquiry Is Critical
Once you’ve brainstormed a list of clients to reach out to, do so soon after your completed transaction. You’re fresh in their mind, and they’re still riding the wave of satisfaction.
Make contact when you know they’ll have time to listen. You probably picked up a bit about their daily schedule when collaborating — use that to your advantage. Are Mondays hectic for them? Avoid them. Do they stay at their desk to catch up on calls and email in the afternoons? Make your move then!
3. Refresh Your Client’s Memory
The sandwich method of feedback is universally hated when it comes to reviews, but crafting your message to your client is where this method can really shine. Start by thanking them for their patronage, tuck an ask for the testimonial in the middle and finish by reminding them of a memorable part of your business interaction.
- Did you complete the job early?
- Did the client receive accolades from outsiders or supervisors about your work?
- Did your assistance solve a problem or streamline a process?
- Did you help someone grow their business or improve their life?
Mention these things as you wrap up your message. Ending on a positive note entices the person to give you valuable feedback that easily converts into a testimonial.
4. Make the Reply Process Simple
Plan to initially reach out via your client’s preferred method of communication. Do they check their email inbox minute by minute? Did they usually call you? Did they prefer lunch dates or meeting for coffee? Once you’ve made the initial ask, keep the follow-up process quick and easy. Generally, a web form is best; you can send a simple survey to their email or direct them to a questionnaire you created on Google Docs.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What was the best part about working with (company name)?
- How did (company name) help you?
- Would you recommend (company name) to your friends, colleagues or family?
- What stood out about (company name)?
Keep the form short. Ask just one or two questions and give them a way to contact you if questions arise.
5. Explain Benefits to Your Client
Finally, if you haven’t received the testimonial after a week, send a follow-up message. Remind them you’ll use their feedback on your company website and social media feeds. In turn, this will create more visibility for them, especially if they’re a business or public figure.
If they’re a private individual, thank them once more for agreeing to send over a testimonial. In a quick sentence, let them know how you value their opinion and that it will help you grow your business and assist others similarly.
The most difficult part of securing a client testimonial is getting over your own hesitation and simply asking for it. For some reason, we often find it difficult to ask for kind words about ourselves, but when you’re an independent contractor, word-of-mouth recommendations are some of your most effective advertisements. Track down as much feedback as possible, and share it with the world!