customer testimonialsA time-honored method for offering proof that you can deliver on your marketing claims is the Customer Testimonial.  It’s often overlooked.  Yet it’s a great way to make it easy for your prospects to believe you are a trustworthy brand.  And it is critical if your marketing objective is to acquire new customers.

Here’s how to get started on asking for customer testimonials.

Find out how they prefer to do it – You’ll find that some customers like to write the testimonial themselves while others prefer to be given a draft to review and edit as they see fit.

I’ve found that presenting these two choices to the customer is the best approach.  More often than not they will take me up on my offer to write a draft for them to review, edit and approve.  This method makes it convenient for them as they may find starting from scratch more difficult than editing a previously written paragraph.

Get their permission – I use email to exchange drafts and edits back and forth with the customer.  In my experience, there are usually only one or two volleys back and forth before the final version of the testimonial is complete.  This process generates a record of the testimonial and the “sign off” you’ll need to use customer testimonials.

Tie it to your value proposition – The best testimonials that I’ve seen are the ones that support the brand’s value proposition or key competitive advantages.

Give a testimonial or recommendation – Sometimes the easiest way to get customer testimonials is to give one.  Why not offer to give a testimonial to a supplier or a colleague?  It helps strengthen relationships.   And it often triggers a reciprocal response.

Put it to work for your brand – Now that you have earned a testimonial from your customer, you have to “distribute” it to where your prospects are.  To get it in front of prospects, you have to know where they tend to look for or do research on your type of product or service.  There are a number of good distribution outlets: a page on your web site, in  your newsletter, on your social media platforms.

Linked In still has a Recommendations feature which you should seriously consider for increasing visibility of a testimonial.  According to Linked In, “Users with recommendations are three times as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches. Ask your colleagues to speak up for you…”.

Conclusion

New customers are the lifeblood of any healthy company.  However, new customers don’t know you so it’s on your shoulders to help them overcome that.  The Testimonial is a proven strategy.

You might be surprised how willing some of your customers are to stand up for your brand.  Most brands have their strong advocates, try reaching out to a select few and ask them for a testimonial, you’ll be glad you did.  Good luck!