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 I often talk to clients who are not comfortable requesting testimonials. They might feel that testimonials shouldn’t have to be forced, but that they should just come naturally. Sometimes you will get ready-made testimonials from clients, but for the most part, you’re going to have to ask clients to write out their thoughts.

The best time to ask for a testimonial is when a client is pleased with the work you’ve done for themâ€"for example:

•    When you’ve successfully completed a project.
•    When your work has helped them get closer to solving a problem.
•    When you have solved a problem for them.
•    When they express that they’re happy with your work.
•    When they thank you for your work.
•    When you deliver your finished product.

When a client expresses that they’re pleased with your work, ask if you may share their story with your potential clients. If they say they have no problem with this, tell them that you will send an email requesting their testimonial.

Another good approach is to provide your clients with a survey form every time you complete a project, sell them something, or finish your work for them. Inform them that their participation is completely up to them, and that you might use anything they write as a testimonial.

You might also consider reaching out to people who have said positive things about your work in the past. Ask if you can use their email or verbal comments, and find out if they would like to add to or alter their initial feedback.

Testimonials that Get Clients

Testimonials are Social Proof that you are good at what you do. This social proof lets potential clients know you’ll provide the results you promised in your sales copy, marketing materials and conversations. This reassures them that they can TRUST you and helps them justify their purchases.

However, for a testimonial to motivate potential clients, it needs to say more than, “You Rock!” It must tell potential clients WHY you rock, and it needs to be in compliance with the new FTC Guidelines.

An effective testimonial describes the problem or difficulty that motivated a client to work with (or buy from) you and the result they achieved. The more specific and tangible the details, the better.

You want to make it easy for your clients to write testimonials, and it helps if they follow a specific format, so ask them a few questions to get answers that will help you get clients.

This Business article was written by Jennifer Davey on 5/2/2011

Jennifer Davey, Founder of JJS Coaching and Author of the Getting Clients Home Study Program, is a Business Coach, Marketing Strategist, and Speaker. She helps small businesses and self-employed professionals grow their businesses and develop strategies for getting clients, building business, and making more income.