Getting and Using Consulting Testimonials

Are you collecting testimonials from your consulting clients? What a shame if you’re not.

Testimonials are one of the most powerful forms of proof you can offer prospective clients.

Not only that but the media enjoy them as well.

When they hit your website looking for an expert opinion what do you think is the first thing they look for to ‘verify’ you know what you’re talking about? That’s right, testimonials.

1. Getting Testimonials Isn’t Hard

The easiest ways to get testimonials is to simply ask for them…

If you’re doing good work your boss or client should have no problem giving you a great testimonial. The key however is to make it easy for them.

Here’s how to make consulting testimonials work:

2) Put Together a Sample Testimonial
This can take two forms. Show a previous testimonial that they can use as a guide to write their own. Or, even better, write the testimonial for them. While this may sound like an odd approach at first, as long as you clearly mention that this is just a guide and that they can change it any way they want … why not? It works great.

For example, you could send an email to your client, the President of a manufacturing company and say:

“Hi Tom, hope you’re having a great week.

I’m updating some of my marketing materials and am in the process of collecting testimonials from clients and wanted to ask you for one.

I know you’re very busy, so I put together a sample to save time:
“Mike really knows his stuff. He’s helped our company generate 5 times more leads for less than we were spending before. He’s reliable, professional and a real pleasure to work with.”

Tom, would something like this be okay to use? Feel free to edit that and put it in your own words. Really, whatever works for you.

Thanks,
Michael”

While that might come across as too forward it works like a charm. Most clients don’t have time to ‘think’ of something to say. As long as the sample you give them is accurate, 8 times out of 10 then reply back and say “Sure, that works”.

3) Aim for Testimonials That Are Specific
Be sure that your testimonials don’t just talk about how wonderful you are. Or how “John worked really hard, he did a great job” Why? Because general testimonials are just plain BORING!

Not only are they boring they’re pretty much meaningless.

For your testimonial to offer value … it must include details that show you can deliver results. For example “Jane helped us improve our hiring process and we’ve now been able to save 2 weeks compared with out previous hiring process”

Or, “Ron knows his stuff. He increased our sales by 15% and he’s only been helping us for a month!”

Not all testimonials have to include numbers, though they are great. Here’s an example from a customer that purchased our Consulting Success System™:

“I was skeptical at first but once I dived in I realised I had hit a goldmine of practical information. The ebook is well written and provides clear actionable examples you can implement from day one. I also liked the fact that real world examples are used throughout the content rather than textbook academic material. Overall it’s a great resource for consultants and I’ve recommended to other colleagues and friends as well. “

You get the idea right? Good testimonials are detailed and clearly show how you are adding value, and why you’re the real deal. They exude trust, make your offering more believable and provide proof that you can generate results.

That’s powerful stuff and that’s what prospective clients want to see.

I’d be happy to answer questions you have about testimonials below in the comments and welcome any stories of how you or others you know have used testimonials to build their business. There are lots of great examples out there.

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  • Great information, thank you! this is a silent tool that I think most people overlook.

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  • I've discovered that a value statement is the most powerful thing you can display. Therefore, when a testimonial indicates how much value you provided to someone that sets you apart, and also shows HOW FAR above the crowd you are.

    In fact, people make buying decisions based on finding the most valuable thing they can find for the money they have to spend, so when a client gives you a testimonial that indicates the value they got from you it implies to your reader that they very likely could get at least as much value from working with you.

    Now, when you competitors are posting testimonials that say they "are great" great can be anything from slightly better to millions of dollars better, but no one nows. Your testimonials that say, "John increased our business 3 times within 1 month" or "increased by $1M in 6 months" give an indication of just how valuable you are.

  • Alan – well said and great points! Thanks for sharing that.

  • There is nothing like 'word of mouth' to boost your sales and testimonials are a wonderful format to do that. Thanks for the great information.

    • Cathy – thanks for the comment! If anyone can share some examples of how testimonials or word of mouth helped to grow their business (?) would love to hear about them…

  • I never forget this information. It’s great.

  • Great reminder about gathering testimonials, Michael. I find they can be the third party endorsement that make all the difference with prospective clients.

  • Good post. I do something similar, which works, and this is more direct and simpler. I am going to adopt you method. Thanks!

  • Ayotunde

    hi,
    I have always nutured the idea of plunging into the consultancy business.my question howeveris,i have not worked for a consultancy firm anywhere in the world before,neither do i own one of my own,how do i break into this business.i do not have a testimonial.kindly advice me.how did u break into the business the first time,kindly share your experience with me.thanks.