Testimonials: Your Selling Super Powers
You have created a fabulous business, doing excellent work for a slew of wonderful clients. Your clients love your work... in fact, many, if not all, tell you regularly how pleased they are, and give you great feedback.
You have likely heard over and over that rave reviews from your clients are perhaps your most valuable tool for bringing in new clients. In fact, they are so effective at influencing sales that you can think of these little gems as your instant "selling super powers!"
So, what's holding you up from attaining these powers?
Maybe you aren't aware of some of the "super powers" testimonials can give you instantly:
Credibility that can get a skeptical prospective client off the fence. This applies particularly to endorsements from known experts in your field or "celebrity" clients.
Value - When your satisfied customers describe how your services have helped them succeed, it illustrates the value of what you are providing them. Value sells!
Emotional Connection - Potential clients will identify personally with real people telling their story of how you and your services filled a critical need, solved a pressing problem, turned their business around, or helped them finally reach their goals.
Do you like the sound of this? What if your super powers could lead to more clients through less effort, higher demand for your services, and the ability to set a higher fee for your services? They can! And the great news is, to gain these super powers, you do not have to be bitten by a radioactive spider, or change into a spandex suit! All you have to do is ASK. Here's how:
First of all, stop making negative assumptions. More often than not, we put off or (gasp!) neglect asking for something we need, because we assume that we will meet with resistance, or worse - outright rejection. (Even if your client does give you a polite, "no," it is not a reflection of you. Maybe they are uncomfortable putting themselves out there, or it's just not the right time.)
Making assumptions is an action based in fear, and has no business in your business. Ditch them.
Most often, your clients will be MORE than happy to help! This is because...
1. You will hand pick the right clients for the job. You know who they are - you have an excellent rapport. You actually look forward to their calls. They have had measurable success because of your services. You know they are happy with you, because they tell you. They are paying you well and on time! For these folks, helping you by telling the world how much you've helped them is a pleasure (and it also gives them bragging rights for having "discovered" you)!
2. You ask when the moment is right. The best time to ask is directly in response to their praise for a job well done! In this case, it does not have to be a seasoned client. A new client who is still in the "honeymoon phase," and has met a goal or is happy with a completed project can be a great source of testimonials if you create the right opportunity. Build on the momentum of those "feel good" vibes!
3. You will make it easy for them! Create a quick survey or even just a few direct questions to ask them, so they don't have to come up with something from scratch. You might consider focusing on one problem which you or your services solved for them, a time in which you went above and beyond, or a big milestone that you helped them achieve. Don't forget to ask for a photo - it adds more credibility to the testimonial.
4. You will give [commercial clients] a chance to promote their business! Put your client testimonials front and centeron your blog, website, direct marketing and social media profiles, with links to your client's website/landing page, and it's a win for the both of you! The most effective way to do this is with video. A video testimonial gives viewers a real feel for who you are by whom your clients are, how they look, and how they express what you and your services mean to them. Video is great at creating that emotional connection I mentioned earlier, and emotions are powerfully persuasive! Not only does this help you, it helps your client!
But be careful - video (and photos) can also backfire if not considered, planned, and executed with laser focus. Choose your clients carefully - you want them presented as professionally as possible. Testimonials are not only about making a good impression; they are about making the right impression. Like attracts like, and you want, and deserve, only the best!
By Donna Toothaker
Photography By Franz Pfleugl
Donna Toothaker is CEO, founder and coach of Step It Up VA Coaching. These highly sought-after VA coaching programs have been created for established, successful VAs who wish to create the 6-figure business of their dreams. Visit http://www.stepitupva.com to receive the free report, Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid in Creating a 6-Figure VA Business