Testimonials are a vital part of your sales message.

They provide social proof, help overcome objections, and back up claims you make in your copy.

The opinion of others matters to us. That’s why we so often rely on the recommendations of others when making purchase decisions.

A good testimonial can be enough to knock someone off the fence about your product or service.

Where a bad one can drain your credibility and arouse suspicion for your offering.

Follow these 6 tips below and you’ll be able to start getting killer testimonials that sell for you.

1. Don’t be shy

The only way to get testimonials is to ask for them.

Your customers may be busy with a number of priorities, but if you have a great product or service that genuinely helps people, you’ve probably got plenty of customers willing to give one.

The best time to ask for a testimonial is as soon after you’ve finished an engagement with a client as you can – when the quality of your service or product is still fresh in your their mind.

If someone mentions they enjoyed working with you or loved your product, grab it from them right there.

If they only give you a verbal one, that’s fine. But write it up, send it to them to review, and then put it on your website.

2. It’s OK to work with people on them

Some customers might be reluctant to write one, not because of you, but because they don’t know what to write in the first place.

A great copywriter will know how to turn a boring testimonial into a benefit-driven sales message, but often your customers won’t.

The last thing you want is something that means nothing to a new customer like… “Josh is great. I really liked working him”.

If they don’t like writing, ask if you can get on a phone call with them and record it, then transcribe the conversation into a written testimonial.

If you’ve got a template or questionnaire, send it to them so they can just ‘fill in the blanks’.

Make it easy for them.

3. Follow a simple format if it helps

Many people might find it easier to ‘fill in the blanks’ rather than create something from scratch.

If that’s the case, send them a simple format like below in either a questionnaire or even email bullets and ask for their responses.

  1. How you came across our product/service
  2. What situation you were in before
  3. What happened when we worked together
  4. What your results were

It doesn’t need to be too detailed, but all the testimonials you use should have a point.

Just highlighting these key points will get the message across quickly and convey the benefit of doing business with you to a new reader.

4. Be specific

You don’t need to share inside numbers from your business if you’re not comfortable. Rounded numbers are fine.

But you should strive to get some form of quantifiable data e.g. “increased conversions by 30% over last month” or “increased return on advertising spend by 57%”.

This adds another level of credibility to the testimonial, and to your services.

Use your customer’s full name if they’ll let you. Mention their company, their position, their URL, and if possible include a picture.

People will be more likely to identify with a previous customer like them, in the same location, or with the same kind of business/problem rather than if you just use:

– John S. QLD

5. Don’t over edit

Listen to how people talk and describe your services.

If someone only gives you a verbal testimonial, do your best to capture it in their own language – warts and all.

If your customer writes one for you, take care not to edit it to the point where it’s too slick.

This could raise suspicions if all your testimonials sound like they have been written by the same person.

6. Don’t make them up

Don’t make the mistake of thinking “I’m new, I’ll just make some up and get real ones later”.

Most people can smell B.S. a mile away and it’s just not worth it.

If you’re just starting out, give away your products or services to friends and acquaintances just to get their feedback. You might learn something valuable from the process.

If you’re an existing business, and your customers aren’t willing to give you a testimonial, there could be underlying problems that need addressing.

Here’s an example

I wrote this testimonial for Crucial Hosting shortly after I switched my hosting provider.

“I’m a freelance copywriter based in Brisbane. I help small business owners convert passive readers into hungry customers by writing compelling copy for websites, emails, blog posts, and sales letters.

I’d been driving traffic to my website through Google and Facebook pay per click ads but had become unhappy with my previous host’s server response time. My website was taking up to 10.2 seconds to load causing people to bounce so I was basically pouring money down the drain with my ads.

I knew I needed a change so I did some research online and decided to get in contact with Crucial after hearing them recommended by others. Tony and the rest of the team were super helpful.

They answered all my questions before we started so I felt I’d be in good hands. I even opted to pay them to do the migration as I was time poor and just wanted someone else to take care of it. The whole process went smoothly and the service was top quality. I was kept up to date throughout the migration but had to do very little myself which is what I wanted.

My website now loads in a lightning-quick 2.03 seconds. That’s 5 times faster than my previous host!

The small investment of upgrading my hosting will now lead to lower bounce rates, more conversions, and a lower cost per conversion from my ads. I couldn’t be happier with the switch to Crucial and I recommend them to everyone I meet.”

Notice how it tells a story… following the simple format I described above:

  1. How I found them,
  2. what problem I was having,
  3. what they did,
  4. what results I got.

This is a long one, but it took no time to write following a simple process.

Remeber these 6 tips next time you ask for a testimonial to make it easier for your customers, and avoid getting a dud.

Do you have any other tips for getting great testimonials? Comment below!