How To Get Testimonials

Testimonials from clients, displayed on your website, is one of the fastest ways you can help visitors to your site to register or contact you. Testimonials from real clients helps build trust with potential new ones in a hurry. Usually, there’s only one way to get a testimonial from a happy client, and that’s to ask for one. Although that’s true, it’s also a bit of an over simplification.

People love to help

Many agents hesitate at first to ask satisfied clients for testimonials. It can seem embarrassing and awkward. You’ll find, however, that most satisfied clients will be happy to say yes, because they know you’re in business for yourself and they’re delighted to help.

Be upfront

If you’re going to ask for a testimonial, be upfront. Although some would suggest you offer a gift in trade, I don’t think that’s necessary, and might even be offensive. After all, if they really liked your service, they don’t need to be bribed to say so. Pick a time when the deal is complete and they are thanking you for helping them sell their property or buy the one they wanted. Acknowledge their thanks then say, “you know, a testimonial would really help me – are you willing to write one for me?” Chances are they’ll say something like, “sure, I’ll get it to you soon.” Some will let you know they are unsure of their ability to write a testimonial, or, after a week or so you’ll realize they are stuck.

Draft it for them

It’s perfectly legitimate to ask them if they’d like you to write a draft for them. Most people don’t like to write much, and if you’re willing to provide a draft for them to edit, you’re much more likely to actually get the testimonial. Make your draft relatively short. Focus on one or two things you did that helped them and write it as if they were saying it. Then email it to them for either editing or approval. Most of the time they will make no changes, or very simple ones. Even if they make a lot, you’ve now got a real testimonial you can post on their website. If you’ve taken any pictures of them, ask them permission to post those beside their testimonial – or you could ask for the picture later.

Record a conversation

Another approach is to ask them to join you for coffee and a recorded conversation. Here the goal is both to get a testimonial and also to get some solid feedback on what went well, what went poorly and what was in the middle. Again, be upfront with your goals – to get a testimonial and improve how you work with clients. Generally I find these conversations take about half an hour to an hour. I start by thanking them for coming in, restating my goals. Then I open with something like “what did you like best about our relationship?” Let them talk. No need to interrupt them – if something isn’t clear make a note and ask about it when there’s a lull. The next question might be something like “what might have gone better?” Sometimes you really have to probe and make it clear you want that information, even if it isn’t  flattering. Again, your roll is mostly to listen and only ask for clarification when you really need to. Whatever they say you’re bound to learn something. You’ll need to get this tape transcribed so you can pull out the good stuff you want to use as the testimonial. Be sure you let the client see it and let them make any corrections or additions.

Get testimonials up quickly

You’ll want to get the testimonial up on your site quickly – fortunately your iHOUSE website makes it easy to add testimonials and pages. As soon as it’s live, send your client a link so they can see how their testimonial looks online. Have you asked for testimonials recently? How did it go? Do you have some on your website? Share about them in comments.
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