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Business Coach Uncovers 5 Easy Ways to Capture Marketing-Driven Testimonials

Nov 7, 2007
I count my outstanding testimonials as one of my top three business assets. So as a small business consultant, it pains me to see woman-owned businesses sprinkle their websites and marketing packets with weak, waste-of-space quotes like "You were great to work with!" and "A real treat--I would hire you again!" Blah!

To convince a potential client to hire you, your testimonials must be truly awe inspiring. A "marketing-driven" testimonial must clearly establish the client"s problem, describe the solution, and then champion the end result of having used your product or service.

I tell my business coaching clients to think of marketing-driven testimonials as mini-stories. The mini-stories are complete with a central character (your client), a riveting dilemma (their terrible situation before they hired you), and the happy ending (the great results you delivered and that they are now enjoying.)

Here are the 5 tips for capturing marketing-driven testimonials that have worked for my business coaching clients:

Tip #1: Let your client know at the START of your relationship that you'll be asking for a testimonial. You can casually mention this in conversation, or include it in your client agreement. All you need to say is something like this: "I know we're going to achieve great results together! As we do, I'm going to ask if I may quote you or if you would write a testimonial for me. Is that okay with you?"

Tip #2: Take advantage of the honeymoon period for a glowing endorsement of YOU. The first 30-60 days of working with a client are rosy. They love you, you love them, and they're motivated to make changes and are taking action. Now it's your turn to take action and ask them to write a testimonial for you.

Tip #3: Not everyone is a Mark Twain so offer to supply a draft for their approval. How do you think books get all those glowing, beautifully-crafted testimonials for their covers? Most authors and/or publishers draft them and send them for approval or tweaking. People are more than happy to help... but are often too busy to type up the testimonial you so dearly want. So, help your client out by offering to send a draft for their modification and approval. They will be thrilled and much more likely to get it done quickly for you!

Tip #4: Steer in the marketing-driven testimonials in the direction of results, not simply about how much they like you. We know your clients love you but what really makes an impression on your Almost-Client (which is who the testimonial is intended for, right?) is results. When you first start working with a client, make a note describing their circumstances and issues. Use this as a comparison in their testimonial to show how far they've come.

Tip #5: A good tale is always interesting to read, even if it seems long. It's tough to convey everything you want in one or two sentences, so let your testimonials read like a mini-story. Woman-owned businesses seem to avoid the longer testimonial. But once they try what their business coach (me!) recommends, they find that their testimonials become more effective in bringing in new business.

You can see marketing-driven testimonials in action on my HorseWise Brilliance Unbridled VIP Signature Branding and Marketing program page. The testimonials are strategically sprinkled throughout the page to emphasize the information on the webpage which is adjacent to them. You'll notice that most testimonials also include a photo to personalize the story and bring it to life.

Aim for one or more fresh marketing-driven testimonials every month and you'll soon have an enviable collection that significantly adds power to your marketing arsenal. (And you'll get an A+ from your marketing coach!)
About the Author
Business coach Kendall SummerHawk, the "Horse Whisperer for Business" delivers savvy ways for entrepreneurs to turn hectic businesses into 6-figure successes. Get her "7 Quick and Simple Tips to Brand, Package and Price for More Money, Time and Freedom" at http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com.
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