The One Essential Element of a Great Testimonial

testimonialSeptember 15, 2020

Every great testimonial involves pain.

The pain you freed your client from.

I was reminded of this recently when I received a note from one of my North Fulton Business Radio guests:

I was so nervous wondering what I was going to say that I almost cancelled. You made me forget I was on the show. We were just having a conversation and it was so easy. Thank you so much for making my appearance so enjoyable.

Imagine, though, if the note had simply said:

You made me forget I was on the show. We were just having a conversation and it was so easy. Thank you so much for making my appearance so enjoyable.

A powerful testimonial has now become a nice compliment. Now while those words feel good, there’s something missing. The pain.

Now read the original comments again:

I was so nervous wondering what I was going to say that I almost cancelled. You made me forget I was on the show. We were just having a conversation and it was so easy. Thank you so much for making my appearance so enjoyable.

Stage fright is agonizing. The nervousness of wondering whether you’ll say the right thing about your business involves a lot of angst and personal second guessing before that interview, speech, or elevator pitch happens. This person lit up a fear many can identify with and gave the note much greater impact.

Great testimonials are client-centered, not “you” centered. Comments like “John, you’re such a great host” or “you’re so wonderful” or “great guy!” are the skim milk version of testimonials. They might make me feel good, but the point of getting testimonials isn’t about me, unless the principal concern in my business is buffing my self-image instead of building the bottom line.

The reason you want testimonials is to help prospective clients who read them understand the pain you can deliver them from. You want others to read that testimonial and self-identify.

It’s about them.

Any endorsement you receive from a client is a precious gift you should be grateful for. It’s impossible to control what’s said when you are privileged to get a testimonial that’s unsolicited.

When you’re able to ask for an endorsement, though, ask your client to recall the pain they were in before you fixed their problem, and how their business and life has changed because of your involvement. The more specific both the problem (“my sales were down 25%”) and the results (“my sales are now at an all-time high and I’m not working 12-hour days”) are stated, the better.

The best testimonials are mostly about the client’s journey to a better business and life, and yes, the role you played in that journey. The emphasis, though, is on the client.

It’s about them, and it starts with their pain.

 

Photo Credit:  JumpStory

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray

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About me:  I’m enthusiastic about how changes in pricing strategy can significantly change profitability for a business and enhance life choices for business owners. I live this passion through Ray Business Advisors, my outside CFO and business advisory practice, in which my pricing is exclusively value-based, not hourly. I work mostly with professional services providers on how they can change their pricing not just to increase their profits, but better serve the wants of their customers. Click here to learn more or call me at 404-287-2627.

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