Back Office Secrets: Creating a Testimonial Page That Sells Your Business for You

No matter how great your work is or how much your clients rave about you, there’s one “gotta do” for your business that might still make you squirm: requesting testimonials.

Pulling together rave reviews for your website can be a challenge. Even if your clients are eager to help, writing just isn’t everyone’s strength. So when you get past the initial “ask,” there’s still a chance you may not get the well-crafted, colorful endorsement you were hoping for.

To save myself from the stress of getting the perfect testimonials, I implemented a painless system that helps me gather amazing testimonials from my clients without any squirminess on my part or theirs. Best of all, once they’re on my website, the testimonials practically sell my services for me.

The simple system for collecting rave reviews

Next time you want your client’s praise for your wall of fame, use this handy system to help you get glowing recommendations for your website.

Step 1: Ask!

During your final session together, ask your client if they’re open to giving you some feedback on your work together. You are not asking for a testimonial–that word can freak people out. You’re asking for feedback.

Let your client know that you’ll send them an email with a few questions for them to answer. Most people will agree without hesitation.

Step 2: Ask “The 8 Essential Questions.”

Keep the feedback-collection simple and painless for your client. Avoid fancy forms and simply email them. (Forms are great for large classes and programs, but for private clients, email is best.)


image courtesy of tj scenes on flickr

In the email, include “The 8 Essential Questions.” These questions are the keys to getting true feedback from your clients. They are not just about getting positive, testimonial words from them; they are about getting to the truth of what went well and what could have gone better during your engagement.

After querying hundreds of individuals, I’ve fine-tuned my questions to capture exactly the input I need from my clients and customers. Feel free to use these exact questions. You may also want to change some, delete some, or add your own.

1. What hesitations did you have about working with me?
2. What results have you achieved since we started working together?
3. What did you like best about working with me?
4. How else have you benefited from our work together?
5. Would you recommend me and my services? If so, why and to whom?
6. Is there anything you would have liked to see done differently? If so, what?
7. What’s the most important thing people should know about working with me?
8. If there anything else you’d like to add?

Once your client replies, read and consider all of it. Pay attention to both the positive and negative responses they offer you. You can learn a lot about what you do really well and also how to better serve future clients.

One time a client mentioned how much she loved one small thing I did during our coaching relationship. I hadn’t realized what a positive impact it had on her, and I wouldn’t have known it had I not asked the above questions. Because of her feedback, I now incorporate that detail into all of my client relationships, and it makes a bigger difference than I would have ever guessed.

You never know what gems your clients will easily hand you that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you just asked for a testimonial.

Step 3: Craft a testimonial based on your client’s input.

Piece together a testimonial from your client’s feedback. Paint an accurate picture of that client’s experience with you while being sure to keep the words true to what your client wrote.

Step 4: Send the testimonial to your client for approval.

Once you’ve compiled the testimonial, send it to your client for approval. Let them know that they are welcome to edit what you wrote.

Ask permission to use the testimonial on your website, along with their full name, title, location, and website. Also, ask for their picture; adding your client’s photo next to their words on your website makes the testimonial even more impactful.

Step 5: Post it on your website.

This is pretty straightforward. Once you have your client’s approval, put their glowing words on your website. Let your client’s words speak for how great you are at what you do.

Step 6: Ask your client to add their endorsement to LinkedIn.

Once your client has given you approval to use their testimonial on your site, head over to LinkedIn and send your client a request for a recommendation. Tell your client they can simply copy-and-paste the testimonial you’ve already compiled right into LinkedIn. It will take them less than 1 minute to complete.

Why systematize this?

As business owners, we have lots to do every day. For every task you do on a regular or semi-regular basis, you’ll save yourself tons of time to streamlining and systemizing.

Streamlining your system for collecting testimonials is smart for several reasons: it helps you put a clear end to the engagement with your client, collect essential feedback, and put some well-earned praise on your website.

Finally, putting testimonial-generation into a system saves you time. And who couldn’t use a little praise and a little more time?

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