One week after you complete a project or deliver a product order is the best time to ask a satisfied customer for a testimonial or referral. To do that stop by, call or email to verify that she is delighted with your offering. To make it easy for her to share that delight with others, I’ve developed this five-step process to gain those important testimonials and referrals.
Five Steps to Receive Testimonials and Referrals
- Thank the client. Begin by thanking her for her business. “Thanks for bringing me in. I really enjoyed working with you.”
- Ask for the testimonial. Here’s how I ask: “Throughout the project you seemed happy working with me. Now that we’re finished, I wanted to be sure you still felt that way. If so, I’d appreciate it if you would put some of those positive comments in a testimonial for me. It would really make a big difference to my business to share your great comments with other’s who are considering working with me.
- Provide “help” if requested. Clients often tell me they want to provide a testimonial but don’t know quite what to say, If this happens, you might offer, “I’ve got some recollection of what you said during the project, would you like me to jot those comments down in an email to you and you can edit or approve them and send back to me. Clients almost always take me up on this and it gives me the opportunity to use comments that I think will have the greatest impact as testimonials.
- Ask for referrals. After gaining a testimonial, I focus on obtaining referrals.Here’s how I ask: “Now that you really understand the level of my offerings, is there someone you know who I should be talking to about what I do?
- Drill down for specific referrals. People will often not be able to think of any referrals off the top of their heads. At this point, you should be prepared to “help” them by mentioning specific trade organizations or other groups you know they belong to. For example, “I know you’re active in (local chapter of national trade association), is there an individual in that group who you think would benefit from an introduction to me? This almost always spurs an introduction.