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Asking for Testimonials is AWKWARD! Not with These 6 Tricks…

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Asking for Testimonials is AWKWARD! Not with These 6 Tricks…

{5:00 minutes to read} How often are you asking clients to give testimonials? When they thank you for the great service you’ve given them, how can you leverage that for more word-of-mouth referrals?


Asking for Testimonials is AWKWARD! Not with These 6 Tricks… by Vikram RajanConsidering the ubiquity of social media sites like Yelp, Avvo, G+, Fb and LinkedIn Endorsements, it’s natural to question “the Truthiness” of online reviews. The good news is that there are alternative ways to obtain, grow and share testimonials.


And they need not only be from clients. For example, testimonials can be garnered from:

  • Colleagues who refer business to you.

  • Members of the community who believe in your character and believe in who you are as a person.

  • Friends who happen to be business colleagues as well, even if they originally started out vice versa.

  • Members of the audience at the end of your presentations or seminars, or panels you are on.

Awkwardness Avoidance #1

It may be awkward to ask for a testimonial directly about you. However, it may be easier if you have assistants, staff or partners. Ask your clients how your staff employees are doing. Likewise, you can ask how it is to work with your partner (or vendors). It’s great insight, and sharing such a testimonial is a great way to publicly praise, uplift & empower those who make you look good!


Awkwardness Avoidance #2

A great way to end a presentation is by asking people to give you a testimonial on some type of feedback form. If you’d like a copy of the seminar feedback form that I give at the end of my seminars, email me and I’ll send you a copy.


Awkwardness Avoidance #3

Finally, make it a habit to bring up testimonials the first time you meet with a client. I always tell new clients, “I’m looking forward to doing a great job for you, and I hope we earn a testimonial & referrals from you.” Setting the stage buys you permission to ask for the testimonial at the appropriate time, and explore referral opportunities.


Quite frankly, when it comes to giving references, we all choose the ones which showcase us in the best light. Thus, it’s always better to hear the testimonial in the person’s own voice; it sounds more authentic this way (rather than if a client says, “Write something up for me, and I’ll sign it”). By setting up a dedicated voicemail line, you can ask clients/colleagues to record voice testimonials to use on your website.


Right after someone thanks you, can you immediately respond, “Thank you. Can I use what you just said on my website? Would you mind recording a voicemail testimonial for me to use? You don’t even have to mention your name.” Though businesses may want to mention their name to cross-promote themselves! This novel approach may qualify as Awkward Avoidance #4; what do you think?


In fact, citing your website’s need for testimonials is similar to “blaming the consultant” (i.e., “They’re making me ask you!”) This could possibly be Avoidance #5: You can say, “I just read a great blog article (!!) about Testimonial Marketing, and it’s something I really need to work on. Can you do me a favor, and… (record a voicemail / email me what you said).”


And here’s Avoidance #6: When appropriate & earned, give a thank-you testimonial for their website (and other marketing). As Dr. Ivan Misner (founder of BNI) says, “Givers’ Gain!” Karma & the Golden Rule have been saying that for millennia! Lead by example, but only when deserved & without expectation of reciprocity. Testimonials, especially those voice-recorded, must speak from the heart.


Whenever someone gives you a testimonial, they are going through a dress rehearsal of recommending you in other contexts. These are the seeds of word-of-mouth marketing. Hope these 6 tricks help you to overcome the initial awkwardness there may be. And with practice, testimonial marketing will become a second-nature habit.


How do you make it a habit to ask for testimonials? How do you share testimonials through your marketing materials, like your brochures, website, and social media profiles? Do you find it cumbersome to collect testimonials? What can we do about that?

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