A Step-by-Step Guide on Getting Better-Than-Crack Testimonials

As with anything in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do something.

Even something as mundane as collecting a testimonial.

But why should we care about how a testimonial turns out?

To answer that I’ll ask you another question: Does the idea of making more money sound fairly appealing to you?

Well then if so, you should probably care about getting the right testimonials.

The difference between a good testimonial and a string of garbage words thrown together.

Good testimonials help your curious prospect form a purchase decision.

In order for that to happen, the perfect testimonial should:

  • Come from a ‘qualified’ person (i.e. A person who commands respect, a person who is known to have a problem that has been solved by whatever is being sold)
  • Show that the product was worth way more than the price (i.e. It was $47 – but I made $2,000 with the methods a few days later)
  • Praise a benefit of the product (Look ma! No more dandruff!)
  • Be recommended (Go buy it son!)

Here’s an example of a good testimonial for a bar of Tastyman chocolate:

Amy likes herself some chocolate, she does

Amy likes herself some chocolate, she does

Amy’s testimonial is a good one because it establishes that the chocolate was able to solve a problem for her.  Instead of rattling off just how great it tastes, she touched on something more personal – how effective this particular brand of chocolate is at burying emotional pain!

A bad testimonial for a bar of Tastyman chocolate:

Hmmm...

Hmmm...

Although a compelling argument for purchase if for no other reason than to prove that you do not have herpes, it doesn’t touch on the actual benefits of the chocolate bar – therefore is ineffective as a selling aid.

The tricky, tricky business of getting good testimonials

Sometimes you get lucky and people will email you and tell you how much they love your product or service.  Then you can coyly ask if you can use it as a testimonial with their name, business name, and picture.

If you’re good at writing, you can always ask a person you’ve done business with if you could write up a testimonial for on their behalf and get them to approve it.  That is okay as long as the person has both agreed with the arrangement and the statement.

However, many people fall into the awkward category where they get in contact with people they’ve worked with and ask them for testimonials.

That’s not a bad thing in and of itself.  The problems start when you leave your past clients to their own devices.

Think about how you’d handle a testimonial request.  You’d likely jot something down that you thought would please the person asking for it.  ”It was fantastic, blew my mind away – you need to get this NOW!”

The problem with reviews like that is they reek of insincerity.

And testimonials ONLY work because actual people are so thrilled by the product that they’re sharing their positive experience.

There’s a huge difference between endorsements and testimonials.

A testimonial is a person sharing how a product helped them.  They can recommend the product, but generally the person has nothing to gain by sharing their experience.  The product was just THAT good.

An endorsement is generally associated with a well-known person or a person of influence.  They recommend the product – usually because they were paid or given perks.

Testimonials are usually seen as “Intrinsic” –  ”The product was just THAT good”

Endorsements are usually seen as “Extrinsic” –  ”I got paid money to say shit”

Example of why people don’t like endorsements: Spokesperson Charles Barkley calling his Weight Watchers gig a “better scam” than getting paid to watch sports.

Let me emphasize something:

So testimonials that talk about the product and sound like a paid endorsement just don’t cut it.

The simple questions you can ask to get an awesome testimonial that makes you look like a hero.

Consumer: How has this product improved your life since you’ve got it?  How has this product solved your problems since you’ve used it?

B2B: How has this service improved your business since you’ve used it?  How much have your profits increased?

Simple, right? Feel free to customize your own variations of these questions.

The idea here is ask them questions that make them say things like “Well since we worked together, profits have gone up by 20%, and my back no longer itches!”

Never make up your own testimonials or run a testimonial without getting permission first. Ever.

Besides being unethical, it just sets you up for failure.  The moment you’re exposed as a phony is the moment your business will crash and burn.

So just don’t.

And that my friends, is how to get testimonials that are better for your business than drugs.

Talk soon,

Danielle

P.S. To be fair though, just about anything would be better for your business than drugs. Even these horrible ads.

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5 Responses to A Step-by-Step Guide on Getting Better-Than-Crack Testimonials

  1. Lauren March 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Very nice. :D

    I wrote my own article on Testimonials last July: http://littlezotz.com/2011/07/the-3-elements-that-make-a-great-testimonial/

    We touched on a lot of the same things, but you went into a lot more detail than I did!

    Nicely done.

    • Danielle March 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you Lauren, Loved your post on it as well!

  2. Daphne Gray-Grant March 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    I think the very best testimonials explain some SURPRISE about how your product or service helped the buyer. Alternatively, it’s useful if they express some RELUCTANCE to buy, initially, and how they felt (positively) after the purchase. All of these seemingly negative things dramatically increase the believability of testimonials.

    • Danielle March 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Hey there Daphne,

      Absolutely, it shows that the product not only did its job, but went well above and beyond the user’s expectations. :)

      You really touched on it though, the bottom line comes down to reluctance that was overcome by the fact that the product was just THAT awesome.

      Great input!

  3. reeha@inkjet May 30, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    True Daniel. I agree with you having a good testinomial helps our customers to think why to buy and why I am paying on it. Example of bar of Tastyman chocolate is perfect.

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