How to Take the Pain Out of Asking for Testimonials
When you know how to ask for testimonials, it doesnt have to be as painful or prickly as this cactus!
June 10, 2021

Do you feel awkward asking for testimonials?

Maybe you ask, but then get crickets 🦗🦗🦗 And you have no idea how to follow up without seeming pushy.

Or you get them back, but they’re more lacklustre than a disappointing glass of flat champagne 🥂

And they really don’t talk about the difference you made in your clients’ businesses💰💰💰

Imagine if you never had to seek out work, all your work came to you from word of mouth and reviews?

Until WOM and referrals are working their unpaid butts off for you, reviews and testimonials are the next best thing!

Testimonials are a crucial form of social proof for your business. When people are unsure whether to trust or buy from a business, they look to others to see they they think, feel and do.

Yeah sure, ok, we all know that, but what do you actually do?

You need to build testimonial-seeking into your processes (not just offboarding!) and make it part of what you do.

To make it as painless as possible for you and for your clients – it needs to sit across your entire client adventure.

Here’s my 3 Ps (plus a bonus P!) to taking the pain out of getting client testimonials:

P1: Preparation

Preparation is key to avoiding post-project testimonial pain.

Prepare yourself and your client by doing these things:

  • Include a note in your How I Work documentation
  • Include a note in your T&Cs (but make it clear it’s optional)
  • Verbally discuss your intent to seek one during onboarding
  • Make a record of any positive feedback they give you throughout the project or while working with you

P2: Persuasiveness

While your client inherently knows the value of a testimonial for you, often it hasn’t hit their radar that it also helps other people like them. 

Remind them how they felt before vs now. And gently suggest how generous it would be to make it easier for other people to enjoy the same benefits by writing as testimonial.

Persuade them by saying these things:

  • The testimonial is not just to help you, it’s actually so you can help more people like them
  • Testimonials are the lifeblood of small business – we need them to keep thriving and to gro

P3: Painless

Bet you couldn’t pick that my third P was going to be Painless!

Everyone has a To Do List the length of a COVID testing queue in the latest hot spot. 

Don’t make them freak out at the thought of adding growing that list.

Make it painless by doing these things:

  • Let them know it’s not time for essays, brevity is key
  • Throw their words back at them
  • Remind them how you made their life better, and ask them to write about it
  • Request fluff-free – tell them you don’t need fluff – you just need a few words that focus on how you made their life better
  • Be flexible – let them know how you’d prefer it (Google My Business will be the best for a lot of businesses) but tell them you’ll take it however it comes
  • Give them prompters – topics you want them to focus on, things that back up claims you make about your business, things that help you meet your business goals, even ask them questions that get them thinking about how you helped them

Bonus P – Polite persistence

Asked for a testimonial, but haven’t had any love on your review sites or in your inbox?

It doesn’t mean they don’t want to write one (although reasonably, that’s possible). Their attention could be on 427 other things, and a quick reappearance in their inbox could be all they need to get cracking on it. 

Persist politely by doing these things:

  • Don’t be afraid to follow up, politely, respectfully and kindly
  • Recognise people are busy, give them ample time but don’t wait weeks before following up
  • Offer to write it for them – and then ask them to sign off on it

Go forth and snag those testimonials!

Now you have a framework to apply to getting testimonials, it should take away some of the pain and make it a fun part of your projects.

And once you have them don’t forget to show them off!

Still feeling anxious, sweaty or just-can’t-be-bothered at the thought of chasing testimonials?

We can’t have that!

If that sounds like you, you might need Fan Your Feathers, my done-for-you testimonial writing service.


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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