Coach for Success

Get Your Customers to Shout Out about You

The very best endorsement we can get is from happy clients and customers, but it appears to me that very few people take advantage of this opportunity. Too many sales letters, brochures and websites are self-centred, i.e. what products/services we provide, not who we have helped and how.

I have just conducted a quick random sample of ten B2B service providers’ websites and, surprisingly, I didn’t find a single testimonial. One website did, however, give a list of about 20 clients they had done work for – better than nothing, I suppose!

So why is it that so many companies don’t let their customers do the shouting for them? My guess is that the vast majority of satisfied customers and indeed even those who are our “raving fans”, are just too busy shouting about their own businesses to have time to think about ours.

So if you want lots of excellent testimonials, as well as delivering excellent service and value, you’ll probably need to ask for them. Firstly, you need to think about who you would like testimonials from. If your ideal clients are financial directors of large companies, a glowing recommendation from Mrs Butterworth’s flower shop is clearly not going to cut much ice. People want to hear that you’ve helped people like them.

Secondly, you ideally want testimonials that talk about and support the important and unique aspects of your business. Simply asking for a testimonial might not achieve this. The best way is to follow up with customers after providing your service, asking them if everything is okay and specifically about the important points you want feedback on. When they make some positive comments, at the end you could say something like – I’m really pleased that you’re delighted with our service. It would be tremendously helpful if you would write a couple of paragraphs about what you’ve just said and if you could include X and Y you mentioned, that would be great.

Finally, for testimonials to work, they must be believable. Many people, unless there is an obvious need for confidentiality, may rightly be suspicious of a testimonial signed, “T.C. from Liverpool ”. The more specific details you give (full name, title, company, contact details, company letterhead, etc.), the better.

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