How to Ask for Great Testimonials


Let’s take a step back: what’s the goal of getting a case story, or a case study? Normally, it’s about getting leads and telling a story. You want someone to connect with your customer. You want your prospects to remember you, and to endear your authenticity, and convert more by helping them realise your authority.

Testimonials aren’t always going to do this, because a lot of people think of testimonials and the “result” they give. But no one connects to results – why should they remember results unless it’s for someone like them?

This means they have to be able to connect to the testimonials first before being actually able to sympathise with your product and service.

What can go wrong? Lose Authenticity

So, while it shouldn’t be, testimonials could be a story. When you ask someone for the word “testimonial,” they immediately think of saying something about a person. Because if you’re asking them, you know they’re likely to give you good feedback and say great things about you.

Unfortunately, you get to lose Authenticity. We see this all the time. When you ask for a video testimonial, that’s the thing they are going to give. There’s going to be a psychological disconnect because they say great things about you, and they always think that you may be lying.

So even if they’re being completely honest, if someone gives a testimonial to you and they’re not used to being on camera, the testimonial appears as if they are lying and can hurt you.

What can go wrong? Not knowing what to say

When you ask someone for a testimonial and they want to say great things, they may not know what to say. “Why do you want this testimonial? What do you want me to talk about?”

I’ve been doing video testimonials and these interviews for about 10 years and I’ve done hundreds upon hundreds of these interviews and everyone’s always scared at first. They’re scared of being on video because they’re not used to this. They may be afraid of saying the wrong thing.

Consistency is Key

So now that we know what can go wrong, what should we do about it? They key to good feedback is consistency, and this is important in your marketing.

When people make small commitments and take action, small actions lead to bigger actions. For instance, if you’re in a neighborhood where people are putting out small signs in their windows, chances are you’re more likely to put up a big political sign because of familiarity.

The point is that you should ask for consistent feedback. You can always just put a net promoter score (NPS) request in an e-mail and ask for people to rate your product. This is your first step to gaining testimonials for other people.

Even if you don’t want to get testimonials, you’re going to get more reviews, and these reviews can open doors to case studies – and that’s how you get to ask the questions you need.

When you get the feedback you need, you can get stories you want to have as testimonials. You may ask others, “Hey can we talk a bit about that?” and ask if you can record them on video.

Another tip is to connect with them and have them give as much as their experience as possible. Who are they, and what did they feel about the product and the service? The more empathy the viewers have, the more they’re going to see themselves in the video.

Stage by Stage

So the key here is to stop asking for testimonials directly and ask feedback stage by stage. Timing is also an important part of the process as you have to do this consistently. The best time isn’t always at the end of your project, but it’s a good time to measure success. It doesn’t mean you can ask for feedback during the project phase, though.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making courses, websites, marketing, or any type of business. The thing here is that your product or service will be better if you start the habit of being consistent with asking for feedback. You will have a continuous supply of stories you could use to help viewers get attached to your product or service.

Unfortunately, some businesses find it hard to ask for help from their clients, but sometimes this is what we really need. A client telling a magnificent story can have his story be on the company website, and it can generate the empathy you need to get the prospects you like.

You need to start developing stories and making systems on how to ask these stories. You have to start looking for these stories and develop them. This will become easier over time.

If you want to learn more about getting these stories right, download our Free Case Study Planning Checklist.

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