The 3 simple questions you need to land brilliant testimonials
“Could you write me a testimonial, please?”
Back in the day, that was the sum total of my BIG ask.
Every time I delivered a project and the client was thrilled (which was every time, obviously), I’d sheepishly pose that one question.
Maybe I was too bashful or too naive to be more prescriptive. Either way, I wasn’t being strategic about collecting customer feedback.
And let’s face it, collecting feedback should be strategic and part of your marketing strategy.
So I’d end up with things like:
“Tam is great. She is a great copywriter. Her work is great.”
And other eye-opening gems, such as:
“I highly recommend Tam.”
Which is nice and all, but in the grand scheme of things?
Pretty limp as a testimonial. I mean, nobody’s gonna hire me off the back of those, right?
After a while, I realised a bit of tactical ‘massaging’ was the way forward.
So I started asking my clients more open ended questions. Questions that invited more thought, more detail. That helped paint a more colourful picture.
Over the years, I’ve honed these questions—with a little help from conversion-maestros like Joanna Wiebe and Talia Wolf.
And I use them to eke out more descriptive testimonials for myself and for the case studies I write for my customers.
Wanna check them out?
Can you tell me about a time when you realised you needed/wanted to work with me?
What would you miss most if my business disappeared tomorrow?
How is life different for you now we’ve worked together?
This combination of questions digs into three crucial areas:
The BEFORE – The challenge your customer was up against before they came to you —and what it looked like.
The SOLUTION – What you did for them and importantly, why YOU’RE good at it.
The AFTER – The transformation they experienced as a direct result of your work.
This is the crucial three-act arc of every good story, ever.
And if you can ask these questions over the phone, even better.
When you get the chance to chat it through, you’re more likely to hear the emotional, human side of your customer’s story.
More importantly, you can record (or transcribe) their words verbatim.
And this is important for two reasons:
1) It’s hashtag more #authentic - natural language is bright, infectious, compelling and real (trust me when I say your readers know the difference between genuine and canned quotes).
2) It zaps the kind of spartan, formulaic testimonial we’ve all seen on LinkedIn (and probably written ourselves) that does nothing to push your business forward.
And there you have it!
Three tried and trusted questions to help you land brilliantly persuasive testimonials.
Why not give it a try? I’d love to know how you get on.
Case studies get you to ‘YES’ faster.