How to Maximize Your Value Using Testimonials

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Have you ever looked at customer reviews before making a purchase? Did you want to see what other people said before hitting that buy button? It’s common nowadays to take a look at what reviews think or say about a business.

You don’t have to be selling on Amazon or have your business on Yelp to get testimonials. In fact, it’s better for you to reach out to your customers and get the testimonials yourself. The social proof you provide generates information that’ll lead a prospect toward taking action.     Photo Credit: micadew

But only if done right.

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to getting testimonials. In this post you’ll get a list of questions to ask that will maximize the value of your testimonial.

Before sharing the questions, let’s talk about a testimonial’s main purpose.

The Sole Purpose of a Testimonial

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We’ve established the importance of testimonials. It’s human nature to want to hear what people have said about the person or a business. We like knowing that we’re not going to get suckered.

Those are good reasons to have testimonials. But from your point of view – the testimonial provider, do you know the sole purpose of a testimonial?

Your testimonials sole purpose is to generate an emotional lift so powerful in a person that he or she feel it’s okay to proceed with the desired action you’d like him or her to take.

The perfect testimonial let you know it’s okay to get excited. You gives you a confirmation you’re making the right decision. It lowers your anxiety about purchasing.                                                  Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack

Now, in order for testimonials to work well, the following three things need to happen.

3 Requirements for a Perfect Testimonial

  1. You provide an excellent product or service. This article assumes you’re amazing at what you do. If you’re making people happy, then using testimonials will help your business.
  1. The testimonial giver understands what you’re asking. It should be clear that you’re the person giving the testimonial knows what the testimonial is for. Be honest about the fact you will use his or her praises to grow your business.
  1. You ask for the testimonial at the right time. The right time to ask for a testimonial is when the person is ecstatic with the results you provided. This usually occurs when the project is done and when there’s positive, measureable change.

5 Questions That Lead to Powerful Testimonials

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Boring testimonials are general and dry. “They provided great service,” or “It’s a great book,” are not good testimonials. They don’t generate the required emotional response.

To get a powerful testimonial, you have to ask the right questions. You need to ask your questions that allows someone to describe your product in their own words. You want a person to explain how they were able to overcome an obstacle, thanks to you.

Photo Credit: Яick Harris

Use the questions below as guidelines. You may copy them verbatim, but chances are they will need slight modifications so they apply to your business.

  1. Before I helped you, what was the state of your business / life / situation, etc., before buying my product or service? Asking this question paints the “before” picture, so you can create a scenario where the testimonial giver is in the state of the person reading the testimonial.
  1. Before buying my service, was there any obstacles preventing you from purchasing? Here’s where your testimonial describes any doubts that occurred that might’ve prevented the transaction.
  1. What kind of results did I give you? Measurable results work best. If you can use numbers, use them. The better results you can give, the more likely you’ll attract new clients. Document all milestones of importance, so you can use them to display what you can do.
  1. What three benefits did I give you that made it all worth it? This question gives your testimonial giver the freedom to describe how you in their own words. It’s important not to edit the response. Let them tell it like it is.
  1. Before ending your testimonial, is there anything else you’d like to add? Let the giver end it how they want to. This is why open-ended questions are good. You are guiding them, not writing the testimonial yourself (which is illegal).

By the way, Fake testimonials are illegal. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, your testimonials must be truthful and not misleading. The results from testimonials must also reflect typical customer experiences.

If you’re using a lot of testimonials and you’re unsure if you’re breaking any laws, it’s recommended that you seek professional legal advice.

These questions are universal

No matter where you’re showcasing your testimonial, the question above will help. It doesn’t matter that you’re asking for a testimonial for your app, book, or business. As long as you are providing something of value, people will report their results accordingly.

Considering the minimal amount of effort involved in getting a testimonial, they are worth getting. Even more so when you factor in how effective testimonials are.

Make it easy for customers to spread the word about you. Use these questions to build your business using testimonials.


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