Monday, May 01, 2006

Blue Ferret Monday Tip - The Easy Way To Pry Testimonials Out of Stalling Clients

UPDATE 5-5-06: Duct Tape Marketing has posted a snappy bunch of tips on writing testimonials. What I said about writing them for your clients is right smack in the middle of the bunch, too. As always, John Jantsch gives us some great value.

I met with Alice, a longtime friend of mine, last Thursday for a coffee-shop chat. This woman makes my multitasking look like trudging through tar, so I always like hearing her stories. Oftentimes she's run into someone I might consider a prospect, and saved me the trouble of finding out they were a deadbeet.

The topic got onto testimonials. I related a call I'd received earlier that day from a potential client, who'd looked at the testimonials on my site and was interested in having me edit some of their work. Alice commented that she'd been trying to get testimonials from her customers for a while now, and never got anywhere. They kept stalling her.

I asked her if she'd offered to write them herself.

She was a bit confused. After all, the point of a testimonial is for it to come from the satisfied customer, right? Right. But if they're stalling on giving you a testimonial, you're not getting anything out of this, are you?

I don't remember who it was that told me this. But it's stuck, and helped me get testimonials from nearly half my clients when they were stalling.

The easiest way to get a testimonial is to offer to write it for the customer.

All they have to do is tweak it afterward to make it sound more like what they want to say. You're eliminating 90% of the work for them. They still get an accurate voice, and you get some of the most valuable sales copy known to the business world.

Got a client that would make a great testimonial (say, you were able to help them get a better return on 20% fewer expenses)? Send them an email and offer to do the testimonial for them. You'll write about the latest project you've worked on. All they'll have to do is make any changes they'd like and sign off on it. You win by lightening their load.

Isn't that why we're in business, after all?



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