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I am sure you all know that testimonials are a great addition to your website, leaflets and brochures. Rather than bleating on about how good you are, let your clients tell it in their own words.

They work because of the “social proof” they give.  The same way that 8 out 10 cats prefer Whiskers, your potential clients want evidence on why they should spend money with you.

But instead of getting evidence, most small business owners end up with pretty poor excuses for a testimonial.

Steve was a really wonderful trainer.”

We had such fun working together.”

The widget is lovely to use and I wholeheartedly recommend it.”

Lovely words, but as testimonials, they absolutely stink!

The demand for personal recommendations is expected now. And with wishy-washy testimonials like these are, quite frankly, a wasted opportunity.

For a testimonial to work effectively for you, it has to explain the benefits of what you deliver.  Here’s an example of one of my testimonials that I have displayed on my business coaching page, kindly given by Lisa Turner from Pyscademy.

I started working with Karen because although all the bits of my business were working they weren’t really integrated with each other. Karen helped me get some real clarity about the processes and steps I needed to make to achieve my goals.

After only a single session I achieved my first two goals – to start running virtual training session and to get bookings for an upcoming course. With Karen’s support and advice, I set up and ran my first ever virtual training and as a direct result got bookings on an upcoming course. I am absolutely delighted with the result and how easy it was with Karen’s help.”

Why does this testimonial work harder?  Let’s break down the 3 key questions that were answered:

What was life like before working with me? Bits of Lisa’s business were working, but they weren’t integrated.  If I really wanted to push this testimonial further, I would have probably asked Lisa how that felt and added that too.  Would it have been frustrating?  How much time did Lisa waste?  This helps a potential client to relate to the story being told.  “That’s just like me” you want them to say.

What process did we follow? I helped Lisa get clarity and we figured out some steps to take.

What were the results? Lisa got her virtual training sessions up and running, plus got clients booking on her course as a direct result of running her seminar.  And the whole process was “easy”.  Most of my clients come to me because they struggle to attract the right clients so this testimonial highlights that I can solve this problem, as well as make everything easy at the same time.

Make sure your testimonials provide the answers to these 3 key questions and your testimonial will speak volumes when it comes to evidence.

One final tip – don’t expect your clients to know this.  Most clients find it very hard to know what to write when asked for a testimonial.  This is why most of you end up with one of the “really lovely person” quotes.

Ask them these questions on the phone or in person, write down the answers and ask them if you could use these words as a testimonial.  Present them with this pre-prepared testimonial based on the exact phrases they said to you, and you’ll get testimonials working harder for you.

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