If you read my last post about what makes a great testimonial – you now know the sorts of testimonials you’re after.
So how do you get these nuggets of gold from people?
Well – it’s like most things in life.We can do this the hard way, we can do it the easy way, or we can do the most effective way (which in this case is still pretty easy too!).
Let’s take a look at all three.
The hard way to get a testimonial
…is to ask if they’d mind dropping you a testimonial when they have a minute!
Often people will say they’ll do this. Six months later you’re still waiting for it. Bottom line is that some are just saying that, and some will mean it. The common denominator with both is that it often doesn’t arrive.
If someone promises to give you a testimonial, hopefully they’re sincere. If they sound it and they don’t send it within a week or so, follow up. It may have slipped their mind, or they’ve just not had the time. If they still don’t send it, drop it.
Trying to get testimonials like this (almost) never happens without you having to remind people.
This is a quick way to ask for a testimonial. However, you won’t always get what you want, and you won’t always get it. Period!
The easy way to get a testimonial
First – keep your ears open for praise!
Then – when someone’s raving to you about the way your product’s helped them, ask them:
1. “Would you mind being quoted on that?”
2. “Would you be willing to put that in writing?”
Make sure you get their comments down while they’re still happy with the way everything is going. Better still – ask if you can record it! Most of the time, people are happy to help.
If you can’t record this – just transcribe what they’ve said, and send it back to them for their approval. Quick and easy!
Doing this means they personally don’t have to sit down and think about what to write – it’s all done for them. They just OK it. The great thing about this is that natural spontaneity often has a genuine sincerity that’s hard to miss. And that translates to credibility!
The Most Effective Way To Get A Powerful Testimonial
There’s something else to consider the next time you’re tempted to simply ask someone directly for a testimonial. No arguments that this is certainly the quickest way to get one.
However, if you ask for a testimonial, you’re generally not giving the person the opportunity to answer the way you want them to.
What do I mean by this? Rest assured I’m not suggesting you try pre-empting anything here! You just need to guide this process.
If you’ve ever been asked to give someone a general testimonial, cast your mind back. You’ll probably remember that it wasn’t that easy. In fact, it can be a real challenge for someone who’s put on the spot to “say something nice” about someone.
However, let’s say I get specific on how I get the information I want as a website owner. Why would I want to do this? Well, first up – a testimonial is designed to:
1) minimize risk
2) increase the likeability of a product or service
Your testimonials are there to cover off objections. This means that you need to have a number of these that knock each objection on the head.
And if doesn’t cover off a single focus (for example, ease of use, or price), you’ve got a testimonial problem.
In fact, the testimonials that you’ll get will be a haphazard bunch of comments. Even though these might be great, they won’t actually do the job you need them to.
The thing is – if you don’t have any point of focus – you don’t have any objections sorted out either. So – we go down the track of teasing these out. In fact, we’re not going to get the customer to focus on giving us a testimonial at all. We might ask: “Was the cost a big consideration when you thought about using our product?” You can see that we’re focusing specifically on one thing here – in this example, price.
If that wasn’t a stumbling block for this particular customer – that leads you into the next question. What you’re after is, “What would have made you think twice about using our service?” When you discover this – you also discover their objection – and how they overcame it.
What you ask here will determine the quality and the subject of your answers. These answers are what you need to dig for to gather effective testimonials.
It’s important to do things this way because a testimonial is not an excuse for a bit of sales hype. It’s designed to minimize risk and overcome objections. So minimize away!
Objections are common for most products or services.
Let’s take a look at some of the ones that are most often an issue for buyers:
3) Ease of use
You need to write a list of the common sales objections that you get. Then make sure your testimonials need to cover off each and every one.
By doing this, you’ll find you can create a “stable” of powerful testimonials that head off pretty much any concern your potential buyers are likely to have.
You now know the easy (and the not-so-easy!) ways to get the sorts of testimonials you want, and why you need them to reassure your prospects.
So start making that list of the main objections people have about your product or service. Then find your happy customers who have overcome these.
The rest should now be a walk in the park. Go forth and conquer!