You have a web presence but you don’t have testimonials from satisfied clients. Without testimonials, which are a great part of your credibility, people will be reluctant to interact with you and will certainly be reluctant to buy from you.
On the other hand, if you are able to show testimonials from loyal clients who believe in what you do and how you do it, other people will want to try you and your offerings out as well. It is an excellent idea to gather as many testimonials as possible. One easy way to get people to write testimonials for your business is if you offer to write one for them in return. You might ask what you do with the testimonials once you receive them. The answer to that is simple: you leverage them to the hilt and use them to attract new clients. Remember, testimonials from others have a very powerful impact on your business, however, you should also bear in mind that you are the only person who cannot give a testimonial for your own business.
- Be consistent: It is not always easy to ask for a testimonial. However, if you never ask, you will never receive. There is nothing wrong with offering some sort of incentive if a former or current client is willing to write a testimonial for your business (besides your offer to write one for them). You might offer a discount for something that they enjoy, or a free Ebook, etc. If you get in the habit of asking each and every customer for a testimonial, you will have plenty of testimonials from which to draw when you need them. You can never have enough testimonials.
- Facilitate the path: It is not enough to merely ask for a testimonial. You still need to do some work to receive it. You should make it as painless for the person from whom you are requesting the testimonial as possible. You can have a form available on your website, for example. There are also all kinds of places where you can request a testimonial, such as on your business card, letterhead, on on any number of social media channels where you have a presence.
- Be specific: When you request a testimonial, it helps them and you if you tell them specifically what you would like included in the testimonial. The more specific details that are included in the testimonial, the more powerful it will be for you and your business.
- Honesty: Whenever possible, you should have real names in your testimonial. If real names are not used, the testimonial will not have the same credibility and will thus not carry the same weight. If it is impossible to have the full name stated in the testimonial, you should at least have the first name and last initial. If at all possible, having the name of the company that they are from and their title stated is also important for your testimonial.
- Timing: The best time to request a testimonial is right after you have completed a project with the person of whom you are making the testimonial request. The reason for this is that the experience of working with you (in whichever capacity) will still be very top of mind for them. If you request the testimonial at that time, you will also most likely have the best chance of getting them to agree to writing it.
- Obtaining permission: It is very important to be clear about the fact that once you receive the testimonial, it will be published for everyone to see. That is the proper thing to do and if you don’t get permission first, it may come back to bite you.
- Testimonials can take on many forms: Not all testimonials are in writing. Testimonials can also be still images or videos. You can be as creative as you like when it comes to testimonials.
- Posting the testimonial: As you are deciding where to post the testimonials that you have received, remember how powerful they can be for your business. You should put them in a place of prominence where everyone can see them and be impressed by them. If you don’t put them in an obvious place, they won’t do what they are supposed to do for your business.
You should never underestimate the importance and the power of testimonials. They give credibility and value to your business and all of your hard work. You have excellent, high-quality products and/or services, which you offer to deserving customers. You deserve the reward of having your loyal, satisfied customers tell everyone about the excellent work that you do so that new people will want to become clients and so that you will become more and more successful in your business.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).