We’ve talked a lot about how to use testimonials in your work, but action is always more valuable than theory.
You need to take a specific plan of action to get high quality, valuable testimonials from your clients for your business.
Getting testimonials from past clients
Here’s a specific plan of action — a roadmap — that you can follow to get high-quality, valuable testimonials from your past clients that will help your business.
- Make a list of every client you’ve worked with over the last three months. Just write down their company name, to start.
- Go through the list and and cross-out any clients who have given you a testimonial.
- Now you have your list of clients to contact for testimonials. Go through this list of people to contact, and write down:
- The name of your contact at the company (the owner or the person you worked with).
- Their email address.
- The business problem that you helped them address.
- Any results, qualitative or quantitative, from the project, that you’ve identified and can highlight for them.
- Take this information and do the two-step ask for a testimonial outlined below.
Two-step testimonial ask
In your first email, thank the client for the opportunity to work together, highlight the impact your work together had on their business and explain that you’d like to feature a testimonial from them in your marketing material to showcase the results you were able to achieve together.
End your email with a simple call to action like: “Just hit reply to this email, and say “Let’s do it!” Once I hear back from you, I’ll send you a short list of five questions to answer, to help create your testimonial.”
This separates clients who will contribute a testimonial from clients who won’t. We want to focus on initial energy on the low-hanging fruit, the clients who are happy to contribute a testimonial. We can save the clients who don’t respond for a round of follow-ups down the line.
For everyone that responded yes, send them this testimonial generating email (inspired by the wonderful testimonial email that Sean D’Souza sends out).
Thanks so much for the opportunity to showcase what we’ve been able to achieve together!
Here are a few questions to get your feedback to use for a testimonial.
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from working with me?
- What did you find as a result of working with me?
- What specific aspect did you like most about our work together?
- What are two or three other benefits of our work together?
- Would you recommend this to others? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Feel free to type as much as you’d like. You can use these questions to create a draft testimonial or simply reply inline and I’ll turn your answers into a testimonial for your review.
Could you answer these questions before [DATE — recommend giving the client about a week ] if possible?
If the client doesn’t get back to you with their responses, follow up after the date. Follow-up again a week later if you still don’t get a response. If you still don’t get a response after 2-3 follow-ups, either focus on getting testimonials from other clients or use the advice in “What if a client goes non-responsive” section of this guide.
Going forward – SOP template
You’ll want to make collecting testimonial part of your process to make it easier to regularly get effective testimonials that reflect the kind of work you do and the kinds of results you’re helping your clients achieve. Decide on an approach that’s the best fit for you using what you’ve learned in this guide to systematically collect testimonials from your clients and create an SOP for it, making sure you cover:
- When you’ll ask clients for a testimonial (e.g. end of the engagement, one month after the end of the engagement, after X milestone)
- Putting wording in your onboarding materials to set the expectation for testimonial requests with future clients.
- Making the ask for a testimonial.
- Asking the testimonial questions via interview or survey.
- Following up with the client if you haven’t heard from them after they agree to provide a testimonial.
- Making any necessary edits/putting the testimonial together.
- Sending a revised draft back to the client for their review and approval (following up if they don’t respond after about a week).
- Publishing and leveraging your testimonial in your marketing assets.
Now you have your next steps to get effective testimonials
- You know how to identify past clients to approach for a testimonial.
- You know how to approach them for a testimonial.
- You know how to work with your client to generate a testimonial that highlights the most important areas of your work together.
- You know how to follow-up with a client who has gone non-responsive while writing the testimonial.
- You know how to create a repeatable process for collecting testimonials on an ongoing basis.
- You know how to maximize the impact of your testimonials and use them throughout your business.
And that’s the end of this guide.
If you’re looking to get great testimonials from your clients, you now have the questions to ask.
Want help getting testimonials from your clients (without the awkwardness)?
Meg has done-for-you testimonial services available to make it easier for you to get powerful testimonials. Check them out here.
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