Testimonials are crucial to your business.
Your website and social media pages might be full of all the reasons YOU think customers should buy your products and/or services.
YOU might record videos telling people how fantastic your business is, and write posts or sales pages explaining why they should buy from your business.
But, when this is backed up with social proof – when you have testimonials from real people, using the words that your potential buyers understand, answering the questions they have before they’ve even asked them, or even realised they have questions, that means so much more!
Why You Need to Use Testimonials
I’m guessing you are probably one of the 90% of people who always do so, and you are most likely one of the 99% who read reviews at least some of the time before buying a product or service.
Having social proof for your business is a powerful draw to potential customers and testimonials are arguably the best form of social proof out there.
What Do Testimonials Do?
Testimonials increase trust. Buyers are getting more and more savvy about traditional advertising and marketing techniques and don’t trust these forms of marketing as much. However, people trust recommendations and 80% of people trust testimonials from strangers as much as they trust recommendations from people they know.
How to Get Great Testimonials
Get comfortable asking for testimonials, and ask for them at the right time. But when is that?
The right time is when you and your business are still top of mind. When people are still excited about what you supplied or helped them with. Don’t leave it until a month or so after they have bought or used your services; if you can ask during the service or before they have paid your invoice.
This means it is still ‘open’ in their mind – as soon as they’ve paid and moved on they won’t be so keen to do a testimonial, or will just keep putting it off.
Make it easy for them, we are all more likely to do something if it is easy. You could write it for them and ask them to simply sign it off. But, for a more authentic testimonial that doesn’t run the risk of sounding like the rest of your website or socials, you can give them prompts, such as the following questions.
- What was your state before working with us, or buying that product: what did you need help with and why?
- Why did they choose you? didn’t they choose your competitor?
- What was the best thing about working with your business?
- Did anything surprise you?
Dos and Don’ts For the Best Testimonials
Remember to ask if you can use the testimonial. Also, confirm where you can use it, and that you can use their full name, maybe their job title and crucially their picture. This helps people to be able to relate and to trust the testimonial.
Even better, ask them to do a video testimonial, a good way to ask for a video testimonial is to normalise the use of video by asking for your testimonial via a video message.
Please don’t, whatever you do, be tempted to make them up or use a stock photo if they don’t want you to use theirs – I recall seeing a website with testimonials one of which was alongside a photo of a famous movie star together with a different name. You won’t be surprised to know I did not buy from that business!