The Power of Your Testimonial to say Thanks.
“Get testimonials! You’ll need them for your LinkedIn profile and website. You can use them in your proposals.”
I’m sure you have heard comments about the importance of testimonials when building awareness and relationship campaigns, your marketing. Maybe, you are also like me. I really don’t like to ask for them. When I ask, most people are open, but I’ve also watched some people cringe.
We’re taught that testimonials tell stories, assist with building trust, and help convert people to clients. All positive actions when building a business. And because I do understand the importance of testimonials, I do ask.
However, recently I’ve started to talk about how testimonials can be used to thank a person for their kindness and help. I’ve used the analogy of a server at a restaurant. If you received excellent service, did you leave the server a great tip thanking them for taking such wonderful care of you? I know I do.
Thinking of testimonials as a thank you requires a change in your thought process. Testimonials can be a powerful way to thank people and show gratitude. The gratitude is the act of the testimonial. Taking the initiative and offering to provide a testimonial is a great way to say thank you to a professional service offering.
What is the best format for a good thank you note, a well written testimonial?
It should be short, 3 to 5 short sentences, and compelling by appealing to an emotion or highlighting the results of service. Your first sentence needs to grab a person’s attention. It needs to be direct but authentic and simple because people read quickly.
Okay, I said it is great if people volunteer to provide a thank you note, but that does not always happen. Let’s be realistic, my way of thinking about testimonials is not the norm. What that means is you do need to follow the norm which means you need to ask..
Here are two softer approaches that you might want to consider. By the way, you might be surprised by who I believe should take the initiative for writing the note. You! By writing the testimonial, you are making life easier for your client and you are thanking them for their kind words.
The first approach is to listen for the testimonial. During a conversation, your client mentioned how following your recommended approach enabled them to connect and gain a new client. Someone commented on your LinkedIn post about your services. Maybe someone else sent you a personal email thanking you for your help.
When something nice is stated, immediately reach out and thank the person. If appropriate, ask if they would be opposed to providing a testimonial. Here is the most important point–don’t ask them to write the testimonial–you write it. Ask them to review it, modify it, or add a sentence, but don’t make additional work for them. You are grateful and thankful for their feedback. Thank them for what they said about you by taking the initiative and writing the testimonial for them using their words.
The second approach is to ask outright for the testimonial.
We’re coming to the end of the engagement and you have commented on how pleased you are with the results.
Would you mind providing a SHORT testimonial?
I want to make this easy for you so I’m open to writing the testimonial. You can modify what I write. I can highlight _________. (problem solved, extra benefit received, a wow factor, etc.) If you rather, you can provide me with a sentence or two.
I’ll also note your name and your company at the end of testimonial.
I appreciate your help. If you don’t feel comfortable providing a testimonial, it is okay. I respect your opinion.
Note, you are volunteering to write the testimonial and open to accepting a refusal.
Regardless of listening or asking for a testimonial, make it easy for your client to provide a testimonial. Offer a benefit-a thank you-such as highlighting them on your website. Make it clear that if they are not comfortable providing a testimonial, it is acceptable and there is no ill will.
There is much more that I can say regarding testimonials, but my final words tie back to an earlier paragraph about the importance of giving testimonials. One very easy way to give to others is to provide timely testimonials to people that help you. Providing a timely testimonial is a great way of say Thank You for their professional service help.
Taking the initiative and saying thank you with a well written and well formatted testimonial is a great complement to any person. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate the gratitude within the action, the written testimonial.
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” — Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher
PS. I’ll admit, I try to provide timely testimonials as a thank you for acts of kindness, even if I do not always succeed.
Hi, I’m Laura (Dallas) Burford. I help independent business professionals (consultants, contractors, freelancers, service-based professionals) and boutique consulting businesses get clients and make money.
What I do: I partner with professionals and businesses on clarifying their focus and then work with them to get clients that they want to work with so that they make money and grow their businesses.
How I do: I leverage a simple and flexible framework known as The Consultancy Model©. For those new, stalled, or reentering the consulting world I have a signature program known as Consulting JUMPSTART Blueprint©.
Why I do what I do: I want to see people to succeed and not fail. Sometimes all that is needed is an extra hand.
Check out the Free Resources page on Laura’s Consulting Guide for free consulting resources.