7 Steps to Getting a Great Client Testimonial

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:: You’re doing great work. Adding huge value to your clients. Now is the time to get feedback and ask for that testimonial. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to ask for and craft a winning testimonial.

Step 1: Invite for Coffee/Lunch

Go for coffee or lunch. Do it in person (or video call) so you can ask follow up questions and read body language. Make it painless for them: don’t send your clients a survey to fill out or ask them to answer questions via email. Include in your invitation that you’d like to record your conversation so you can type up the transcript.

Step 2: Ask Good Questions

Good questions focus on the value you brought to their lives. Dig for the emotional benefits. Go beyond “what did you like about our services”. After they say yes to your coffee/lunch invite, send your questions to them. This ensures you make the most of your time together.

In 30 minutes these five questions produced 1400 words from my clients:

  1. What was your situation before we met?
  2. When did you feel confident that our engagement was a good idea? What was the signal for you?
  3. What outcomes did we achieve?
  4. What is life like now that we achieved those outcomes?
  5. If a colleague asks what I did for you, what would you say?

Step 3: Pick Highlights

Type up your transcript. Pick 3-4 short juicy paragraphs filled with bold language and concrete examples. Pick keywords that will attract potential clients. Use language to address their pains and shows them you have solutions to their problems.

Out of the 1400-word transcript, I selected 300 words to focus on.

Example: “Before working with Judy, we didn’t have goals or plans, just lots of great ideas and lots of talking, but no action. Judy helped us visualize where we wanted the firm to go, funnel those ideas that truly made sense for us, put it on paper, and execute our plans.”

Step 4: Fill in the Blanks

If you need to massage the text a bit for clarity, do so. Fill in some details so a prospect can relate to the situation.

Example: “Judy helped us organize the direction of the business by organizing our thought processes. We got clear on the big picture decisions. But what’s so great is that Judy also knows how to excel with the details when she became part of our team on a marketing campaign and a staff recruitment.” (I added this last part and client approved it.)

Step 5: Add Data

Add statistics. How much time or money did you save for your clients? How much did you contribute to their bottom line?

Example: “Judy led our $1,000 marketing campaign that landed us $40,000 worth of new work.”Whoa, 4000% return on investment!

Step 6: Ask for Approval

Send your client the draft of your 3-4 paragraphs (not the entire transcript!) and ask them to review the text for accuracy. Tell them how you plan on using their testimonial (newsletter, social media, website, print?). Ask for their logo to include with the testimonial.

Step 7: Send a Thank-you Card

Paper and pen. Not email. What you’ve received in the form of the testimonial is a goldmine to use forever. That’s a huge gift from a client. Acknowledge it properly with a hand-written card.

At the end of a project you may be tempted to quickly move on to a new exciting one. Don’t leave a goldmine untapped! Take a bit of time to ask for and craft a winning testimonial and you will reap huge benefits to enjoy forever. Do as much of the legwork as you can for your clients to make the storytelling session painless. Make it a celebration!

About Judy Dang

Principal of Avid At Work, Judy works with busy and ambitious professionals so they can achieve their goals faster. Find out why clients hire her and how she can add value to you and your clients. Then check out why Mondays are her favorite days.

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