How to ask for a testimonial

(And not feel super-awkward about it)

You’ve finally wrapped up the job; the client seems happy; and you’ve tiptoed around that uncomfortable issue of getting paid. And then comes the excruciatingly awkward question.

You know you need to ask it. You know it will help you grow your business. But [shudder] how desperate does it feel to mutter the request…..

“I was wondering if I might have a testimonial, please.”

It’s tempting not to bother isn’t it?

Testimonials are important – FACT

Why? Because they give you three powerful ingredients for your marketing strategy:

#1 Feedback on your service and how you deliver it.
#2 Social proof to help you win over new clients.
#3 Fuel for your copywriting.

Embellish your web copy with the words your current client base use to describe their problem and your solution, their pain and their sense of relief.

Getting a testimonial doesn’t have to be painful

It is possible to gather in the feedback you need without stumbling over the clumsy request for testimonials.

Tune into the feedback your client is already giving you. How did they respond to the first drafts? What words did they use to let you know you’d delivered exactly what you need. Lift a soundbite from your existing communication, and then ask your client’s permission to use it as a testimonial.

After I had sent the first draft of a sales page to a client, she emailed me this response:

“OMG. You are a genius. It’s exactly what I feel about what I do, and I want them to feel about my work …amazing!!!! love it so far. I am so excited….so happy to see my work reflected so beautifully.”

Do you think I’m leaving that gem hidden away in my inbox where only I can see it? Hell no!

I took out the ‘love it so far’ as that makes no sense out of context, sent back the edited version, thanked the client for her enthusiasm and asked if I could use what she had written as a testimonial. No awkwardness, just a harnessing of the momentum that was already there.

Ask for feedback not testimonials

If you’re looking for a professional, authoritative statement about the efficiency and effectiveness of the service you provide, then a ‘testimonial’ is what you need.

However, if an outpouring of emotion, appreciation, and constructive suggestions is what you’re after, then ask for ‘feedback’.

Tag a feedback email or survey onto your closing process and ask just three questions:

#1 What was the best thing about working with me?
#2 Would you recommend me to a friend, and if so what would you tell them?
#3 Before hiring me what fears or hesitations did you have?

Stop hiding your testimonials

Once you’ve made all that effort to gather up the feedback, please, for the love of your own business, do NOT plonk them onto a page marked ‘testimonials’. These little snippets of client love are like kindling and need to be spread around your website to stoke the fires of desire in your prospects. You can leave the full-length testimonials on one page, and then use the highlights throughout the rest of your website.

And finally

Make sure you also keep a private collection of positive feedback. Every little bit of goodness needs to be stored in one place, a bank of positivity, that reminds you why you do what you do, and how good you are at doing it.

What about you?

Do you struggle with the dreaded testimonial conversation? Why not try our advice and let us know how you get on.

Laura Robinson

Laura Robinson

Copywriting & Content Strategy

With an Award in Direct & Digital Marketing under her belt, Laura uses her knowledge and skills to help small business owners create customer relationships using the words on their website and blog.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember me? A case study in neglected marketing.

The life coach with more emotional issues than her clients. The web designer with the butt ugly website. Sometimes it’s hard to prioritise your own needs…

Read More

I know why you’ve got writer’s block

There is a cure for writer’s block, but it starts with understanding exactly why you’ve got it in the first place.

Read More

The doubting soloprepreneur

There is nothing that tests your self belief quite like running a business. Your brand should remind you and the world just how amazing you are.

Read More

Are you trying to bed your clients on a first date?

Pitching for the sale is the business equivalent of asking someone to sleep with you. Here are some dos and don’ts for building lasting client relationships.

Read More

Head v Heart

It’s true that purchasing decisions are often made from an emotional place. But we don’t feel good about them unless they appeal to head and heart.

Read More

The case for cheap design

Cheap design is usually bad, but it doesn’t have to be. If you must go there, these tips will help you ensure you aren’t just throwing your money away.

Read More

How schedules and systems gave me even more freedom in business

I went into business to be free and spontaneous. I never imagined that I’d need schedules and systems to allow me to be free and spontaneous!

Read More

Why are good people, so bad at selling themselves?

Is it just that good people are so focused on doing what they are doing? Or is it that they feel bad about selling or communicating what they do?

Read More

Ditch the social media buttons on your website

With a healthy social media following you’ll have much more luck directing people to your website. But the very last thing you should do…

Read More

We don’t speak religion or politics

We don’t speak religion or politics. But are we doing ourselves and our businesses a disservice by ignoring what is going on in our world?

Read More

Need help with your brand?

Schedule an obligation free call, to see if we’re right for you.

Book now

You're almost there!

Leave your details and we'll send you a super special link to all the tools and services we use to run our business. And to grow our client’s businesses too!

Yep. That will do it. The toolkit is winging it's way to your inbox as we speak!

Psst! Sorry to interrupt...

We thought you might be interested in the apps and tools we set our clients up with, along with a run down of how and why we use them. If so, pop your email in the box and we'll send it straight to you. Oh, and you're welcome! :-)

Awesome. We'll be in touch soon!