Friday, January 8, 2010

How to Ask for Testimonials

With all the new things you're doing to grow your business, have you given much thought to testimonials? They're a great way to show what you can do and inspire new clients to put their trust in you. Today sales expert Colleen Francis shows you the right way to ask for testimonials and start getting business from them!

While there are many, many ways to collect testimonials from clients here are 3 easy ways to get started right away.

1. Keep your ears open wide

When you're talking to your customers, does anyone ever share with you a little story about how they were able to make great use of your product or service? Check your email. Has anyone ever sent you a note just to say "thanks for the great work" on that last job you did for them? Or have you ever received glowing feedback from a client who responded to a survey that you sent out? Each of those is a testimonial, just waiting for you to act on it. And that takes me to my next point...

2. Ask and you shall receive

Remember our friend W. Clement Stone? He once famously said: "If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask!" When a client says great things about you, about your work or the products you sell, give them the opportunity to turn that praise into a testimonial. Simply ask: "I'd really love it if I could include what you just said in my client testimonials. Would that be okay?" People generally like to be helpful to other people, but they'll never get that opportunity to give you that all-powerful testimonial if you don't ask first.

3. Make it easy for people

One of the most common comments you'll hear from clients when asking for testimonials is "Well I'm really not much of a writer, so it's hard for me to put it in words." The real power of testimonials comes from the fact that they're not polished...they're authentic and from the heart. A marketing professional I know quite well recently shared with me his secret about how he addresses this issue in his business. "I borrowed an idea from John Caples - one of the great copywriters of the 20th century. When asking a client for a testimonial, he'd simply say 'Finish this sentence in 25 words or less: I really like (product/service/person) because...' This really works because it gets right to the point about the feelings people have for you, for what you do and for what you're selling."

Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions. Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line. Start improving your results today with Engage's online Newsletter Engaging Ideas and a FREE 7 day intensive sales eCourse: www.EngagingIdeasOnline.com.

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