• move to a new suburb, do you pick the closest dentist or do you ask a neighbour for a recommendation to one who is gentle?  
  • needed a new accountant for your business, do you choose blindly or are you likely to ask around your peers to see who is getting a reliable service and great tax advice?  

As a nation, Australians are far more likely to accept a referral than to make a blind choice. 

When we talk up our own business it is bragging, but if a customer raves about you it is genuine proof! 

The difficulty is that most businesses don’t capitalise on their testimonials, and are not proactive in the way they source them. 

So ...   are you making the most of testimonials? 

One effective way to promote all your services/products is through third party recommendations, publishing testimonials from a variety of clients to cover your full range of offerings.

For example, if you have a signage and printing business, you could source 3 different testimonials as follows: 

  1. A customer states they are a start-up business and had no idea what to put in print. Your company designed a logo/business cards/letterheads and put together a brochure.  They report how grateful they are and how many comments they have received on their striking promotional materials. 
  1. Another client explains the clever signage and vehicle wrap you created for their van and states how often they get stopped in the street or telephoned purely because people notice the effective sign writing and the phone number on the van. 
  1. And to promote your print capabilities and longevity in business, another client states you have handled all their printing for many years, saying they are always happy with the print quality and how much they value being able to print in volume because you will warehouse for them. 

That’s three different clients speaking about your 3 core business areas, explaining what you do and complimenting you! Publishing testimonials from 3 raving fans like this will do more for your product or service than you just expressing that you are a print, graphic and signage specialist.  The added benefit is people reading your testimonials will learn of other services you provide they may not have been aware of, and this reinforces your skill set. 

A simple but very effective way to market yourself to the “buyer beware” society we live in. 

HAVEN’T GOT ANY TESTIMONIALS?  HERE’S 3 WAYS TO GET THEM 

  1. Contact your customers and ask for them! Give them some indication of what you would like them to say and most clients will willingly oblige.  If you think the word testimonial might scare people off, then ask customers “for their feedback” or “their story” or a “case study” instead.  
  1. Look through your connections on LinkedIn and ask suitable people for recommendations of your work. 
  1. When customers email you with praise:
  • tweak what they wrote into smarter sentences
  • add in their full name and suburb (or their name and business name)
  • email your version back to them, asking for their permission to use the text in your future promotional materials. 

Initials alone and a suburb look fabricated.  If a client won’t let you publish their name, it is far better to find a testimonial from someone else who will let you publish their details. 

Flaunt your testimonials.  Promote them on your website, within work samples, brochures, proposals, tenders, power points, in your reception area,on your Facebook page, in a PDF sent with information to a prospective customer, and in your information pack etc.  

It is quite permissible to publish short grabs from testimonials in lieu of using the whole statement word-for-word, as long as you do not mislead or change the intent of the words.  And the golden rule is never publish someone’s comments without their permission.  

What are you waiting for?  Get cracking on some new testimonials and let your raving fans sell your services!

And remember, every day you delay your marketing is a gift to your competition.