Being Filipino means my family knows how to eat well. While I was growing up, my mom (and grandmothers) always told me to have food only at a restaurant where there are lots of other people in line.
Have you ever joined a line for a restaurant because there were other people in line?
Have you ever chosen a particular dentist, doctor, pediatrician, or any kind of specialist based on your friend’s or family member’s recommendation?
People “love” to go with other people’s recommendations.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling—it may be cell phone service, tires, computers, organic fruit snacks, lumber, or handicrafts. Your customers, if they spread the word about you, will be your biggest salespeople because people love to go with recommendations.
The power of testimonials is huge. A transaction will close much more quickly when you have a third party vouching for your work. Testimonials sell your services, and referrals from other satisfied clients help you close a sale much more quickly. To assist with your sales, put your testimonials on your website. Other options include adding a testimonial to your e-mail signature, adding a “past clients” page on your blog, and adding specific, targeted quotations from real people who you’ve helped, along with samples of how you’ve solved their problem or contributed to their happiness. Your testimonials help cautious buyers decide if you’re a good fit for them.
When creating your testimonial list, choose quality over quantity. Ask some favorite clients to give you feedback, and add their quotes to your service offerings. Make sure these recommendations identify what truly sets your brand apart.
Examples of effective testimonials include:
1) Visual Artists, Photographers, Designers
Keep an album of finished projects, even from your early days, that you may have on hand for a potential client. This method works particularly well for photographers or artists: you’ll be expected to bring along samples of your work to show that you’re effective and competent and that your style matches what your client seeks.
2) People Who Deal with Personal Issues
Most recommendations for therapists, counselors, coaches, and body-related specialists such as doulas, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, will come from current clients. If you are building up your business, consider doing reduced-price work for friends and associates in order to create a list of satisfied clients. Use their testimonials and encourage them to refer a friend. As you build a larger base of clients, your referrals will increase exponentially. My midwife has been operating this way for over 20 years.
3) Physical Exhibits of Your Work
Artists, contractors, painters, roofers, interior decorators, organizers, architects, and other consultants who work in the physical dimension will want to take “before” and “after” pictures. You’ll also want to provide physical representations of your work, like scale models, plans, and/or drawings. Add these items to your website. In addition, provide local references: for example, if you’ve recently re-roofed a house, tell your next client the address of that house so they may drive by and review your work with their own eyes.
When you organize your testimonials into a photo gallery, list of reviews, montage, downloadable resources section, case studies section, or simply some well-placed quotations, you show potential customers how you’ve solved similar issues to the ones they’re currently facing. From your customers’ point of view, they are faced with a bewildering array of options: your ability to identify similar situations and your targeted response will give them an easy choice by going with you and your solution.
Checklist for using testimonials:
Collect quotes from satisfied clients
Specify the details of a challenge and your proposed solution
Explain what you were able to accomplish for your customer
Choose quality testimonials over quantity
Add samples, photos, or downloads to show your solution
Specify what sets you apart
What makes your company unique?
What benefits does your company provide?
Why do customers choose you over and above others?