Testimonials: What's in it for them?
Copyright 2006 Kathy Gulrich
When it comes to marketing tools, we're all pretty good at
asking "What's in it for me?"
Let's use testimonials as an example. You might use
* Testimonials are much more believable, more credible,
* They can be used to say things about you, or your
products or services, that you could never say yourself
* They resonate with your prospects
* Testimonials give people a reason to do business with you
* Your testimonial writers will uncover, and then point
out, some ‘off-the-beaten-track’ benefits of your products
* And did you know that people who write testimonials for
you often become your most loyal, long-term customers?
And the cost? Virtually nothing.
Very few marketing tools give us this kind of return on
investment. Yet very few solopreneurs use testimonials
effectively. (And many don't use them at all.)
In my experience, the biggest reason testimonials are
under-utilized is that we feel uncomfortable asking for
So let's look at building our confidence. I suggest you
start by asking a slightly tougher question:
"What's in it for them?"
Be sure you ask yourself this question before asking anyone
to write you a testimonial.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What will they get
out of writing a testimonial for you?
* To start, they'll get the satisfaction of helping you out
* They'll be flattered that you singled them out, and asked
for their feedback
* In writing the testimonial, they will review everything
they've gained in working with you, or using your product –
and this in itself is of value to them
* They get recognition by being listed on your website, or
in your brochure or advertisement
* And they may even get more business – since readers may
follow the link from your site (or advertising) directly to
them, their company, and their products
So the next time you're a bit hesitant about asking for a
testimonial, look back at this list.
Forget for a moment about why you want or need the
testimonial. Think instead of all the ways the person
you're asking will benefit from writing one.
Make the shift, and then ask for the testimonial.
Walk the talk, I say
If you ask your customers for testimonials, please also be
willing to provide testimonials for products, services, and
businesses that you use and like.
When you write them, take the time and effort to do a great
job. And be sure to include your full name, along with your
credentials, contact information, website address, and so
on – so that people can link from the other websites back
One caveat, however: Never, never endorse a product or
service that you haven’t actually used – or that you’re not
totally enthusiastic about.
Your positive words about a ho-hum (or worse, defective or
unprofessional) product will instantly damage your
credibility with your customers and prospects. Sometimes
Make it a habit
Once you get started, you’ll find that getting testimonials
is actually quite easy. And totally gratifying. So make a
habit of asking for testimonials.
Do it often. Do it consistently. And then use your
testimonials to build your business!
About the Author:
Best-selling author Kathy Gulrich helps clients get from
idea, to action, to results – more quickly, and more easily
– whether they're looking to write a book, develop a new
product, or market their product or business. Clients love
her direct, no-nonsense approach – and her gentle
insistence on great results. Find out for yourself: Check
out one of Kathy's teleclasses, or take your free
"Testimonials Snapshot” at