Add Credibility to Your Business with Testimonials Stephanie WardYou may not realize it, but you already have a gold mine of endorsements waiting to be created.

Everyone who is serious about building a business and creating credibility uses this idea.

What is it? Testimonials from your satisfied clients.

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years, testimonials are a proven way to communicate the value your business delivers.

Think about it, don’t you want to know what other people think about a product or service before you buy? I sure do.

The reason testimonials are so powerful is because they come from someone, other than you, who has used your products and services and knows how fabulous they are.

This is great news if you don’t feel comfortable ‘blowing your own horn’ because the words come from your clients. You are simply sharing what others have said about you.  Even better, testimonials don’t have to cost you a cent.

How to Get Testimonials

All you have to do is ask.  You can write your request in an e-mail or ask verbally. Just ask, “Would you be willing to help me?” In my experience satisfied clients are more than willing to write testimonials.

You can also incorporate asking for testimonials into your business process. One way to do this is to ask for them in an evaluation or survey. Another way is to let clients know up front that once they become a client that you plan to ask what they thought about your products/services.

In addition to asking for testimonials you can ‘listen’ and ‘watch’ for them by paying attention to what clients tell you verbally and write to you in e-mails or letters. If you hear or see a compliment ask the person if you can quote them on what they said and include it in your marketing materials.

Think about it, you may even have a powerful testimonial sitting in one of your e-mail folders right now just waiting to get permission for use.

Another approach is to ask someone else to interview your clients (a reporter or writer). This is a more involved process and can be worth it if your product or service is complicated or if you want to create a case study.

No matter what, always ask for permission to use the person’s name and company with their testimonial. You can give the options of using initials or first names only if people do not want their full name used. Keep in mind, a full name is the most credible. You can also use pictures (again, ask for permission) to make an even stronger impact. Video testimonials are also extremely effective.

Format for Testimonials

Written testimonials are the most common and easiest to create. There are other options that engage additional senses, the ears and eyes. Audio testimonials are becoming more popular (often accompanied by a photograph) as are video testimonials, which allow you to see and hear someone. For more on this see my post, Shortcuts to Getting Video Testimonials.

What to Ask for in a Testimonial

If you’re like me, you want some guidance when asked to provide information. Help your clients out by being clear about what you are looking for in a testimonial, specific information.

Ask them to describe the situation before they used your products or services and then ask them to describe the situation now, the benefits that they experienced and how they feel as a result of this.

Where to Use Testimonials

Once you have your raving testimonials, and permission to use them, you can put them to use in multitude of ways. Include them on your website mixed in throughout your text. Add testimonials to your brochures and flyers. You can even put them in your newsletters. For even more on this topic watch this video, How to Easily Get Powerful Testimonials and Where to Use Them.

Are you beginning to see how powerful testimonials are and what they can mean for your business? Choose the approach that feels right for you and get into action today.

© Stephanie Ward

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE OR BLOG? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ‘7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com.

How do you ask for testimonials? Where do you use them? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.