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How to get client/customer testimonials – 6 ways

Those of you who are familiar with my website will know that I am a great believer in testimonials but how do you get them in the first place?

1. Be ready to write down anything which is said and ask if you can use it. I firmly believe that verbal off the cuff testimonials have a lot more energy than those written down. You avoid the inevitable “I would thoroughly recommend Fred Bloggs to do your website” which has about as much energy as a damp squib

2. If someone has been generally complimentary to you send them an e-mail saying “You were kind enough to say the following about my business – would you mind if I used that in my marketing materials” This sort of approach has never failed me and people are often relieved not to have to think up something warm and witty (no pressure there then) when asked “Would you mind giving me a testimonial?”

3. If you are new to self employment and lack testimonials due to having had very few customers so far, look at things people have said about you before. When you were employed, did colleagues and clients say anything nice about you personally? Well that still works, you are STILL you - so testimonials like “John has the ability to instantly understand the challenge and sort it” or “Mary instinctively knows when to help and when to let people try for themselves” will still have resonance

4. You are, of course, asking questions on your client feedback form that evoke testimonials aren’t you? For more detail on customer feedback forms please see this previous post

5. Are you able to talk about your business at business presentations? Plant a seed in the heads of the audience – “I really hoped you enjoyed this morning’s talk, please do e-mail me with any comments you would like to make

6. If you are a member of a networking group, have all the members done a testimonial for you? Even if they have not used you personally, if they know you well enough they should be able to say something like “I have heard nothing but super comments about Bill’s business…..”

By the way if a contact of yours happens to be on LinkedIn ask them if they would mind cutting and pasting their most complimentary e-mail as a recommendation and if you are on Twitter thank people for their testimonial and quote it – “Delighted to get this reaction from a client this morning – Jane, your postcards are brilliant

Do this because in terms of marketing getting testimonials in is one thing but tactically sharing them is another. So don’t miss the opportunity I am giving you here on this popular blog (!) - what’s the nicest testimonial you have ever had?
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  1. Really useful this Jane, as I've only just started collecting testimonials (after 4 years!).

    This is one that I received yesterday, and this is definitely the nicest one so far -

    "I have often said that Sarah’s writing deserves to be in the national press – and I know that (when she can find the time) inevitably it will be. I only hope that she continues to write for WVoN when she goes national, because I would be devastated to lose my star writer."

    From Alison Clarke, Founder of Women's Views on News

  2. Hi Jane,

    this is one of the most valuable ones I have had - hope it helps!

    “Tim and the Alniro guys have done some really excellent work for us recently. They are highly responsive, quick to mobilise and always look to fully understand the business problem
    before offering the most appropriate solution.

    Tim himself is very professional and trustworthy in his approach and works hard to give the best possible service. A great
    experience – oh and some damned good creative too!”
    Joanna Rob
    Multi Channel Development & CRM Manager, B&Q (

  3. How nice it is to be thanked! I was delighted to receive this unsolicited testimonial, sent to me at Harvey Studios:

    Dear Belinda,

    We wanted to say a big THANK YOU for doing the photography at our wedding.

    The photos were absolutely fantastic, you captured the day perfectly. We're thrilled to bits with our album and all the people we've shown it to have almost been lost for words when they saw it. We'll treasure it always and it''ll be a wonderful way to re-live the day over and over. We had a truely amazing day!

    Thanks too for being you, everything seemed to run smoothly and effortlessly and we both felt at ease in front of the camera,
    with very best wishes, Sarah and Adrian

  4. Hi Jane

    I like your number two point. Every testimonial is important and valued but it's nice to get a comment that is off the cuff.

    Doing what I do involves people being able to rely on me to do the best I can to get the result they want and my favourite comment from a client was "I know you're not just giving me the advice that means you make the most money - I trust you".

    (And I do have customer feedback forms!) x


  5. Hi Jane

    You are right saying that a testimonial off the cuff is much more dynamic, probably because it is instant and triggered by emotions (of gratitude). Your tip on using a comment that was said rather than requested is brilliant, thank you for sharing it (and yes, you can use this as a testimonial).

    As for the ones I received, nothing has ever beaten this one from the Bournemouth Council itself!:

    "Thank you so much for putting us in touch with Ewa – she came along yesterday to help a Polish parent get a school place for her son, and she was excellent.

    I’ve worked with interpreters before, and have been impressed by all of them, but Ewa was the best of all – she was patient and helpful. Thanks to her support, the parent was successful and the child concerned can now go to a new school.

    Many, many thanks. I have told my colleagues that if they need a Polish interpreter they should ask for Ewa!"


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