Many new small business owners hesitate to request testimonials from their clients or customers. You should not be shy about doing this as testimonials can be a very powerful business booster. This is even more important when you are just starting out.
Word of mouth is one of the most cost effective ways of generating new business and is regarded as by far and away the most important marketing tool.
People prefer to be referred and trust their family, friends and colleagues. People giving testimonials have nothing to gain by promoting businesses, services or products that they like. In fact they often have more to lose by putting their reputations on the line when they make such recommendations. That is why you need to ask for testimonials at every opportunity. If you have a happy customer they are the best ones to ask. There is no risk. You are only asking them to share their positive experiences.
Client testimonials build trust and credibility and provide customers with confidence in your company. The more information you have the more credible it becomes. Get your customers to agree to let you use as much information as possible. You should be aiming to gather as many of the following as possible:
- First name and last name
- Company Name
- Company URL
Tell your customer that you would like to share their success story and give them a guideline of what you would like them to include in the testimonial:
- Share where they were before
- What results they have had and the progress they have made
- Share where they are now
Ask your customers to refer you to their friends. When looking at social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter it is easy to see that what your friends thinks is more important than what the critics and advertisers tell you. The strength of positive feelings that your customers have for you is vital to your success and growth.
When customers do take the time to write you a testimonial or refer their friends, family and colleagues, be sure to acknowledge this and say thank you. You should consider a small token of appreciation.
About the Author
Sandra Hinshelwood is a small-business coach and mentor working with new business owners. Through her coaching and online programmes she has helped her clients to increase their confidence, manage the transition from employee to business owner and live a more authentic life.