Now, I could tell you that our programs are the best at helping consultants grow their consulting business…
…or, I could SHOW you the hundreds of testimonials and clients sharing their results.
Which would you find more compelling?
Your clients raving about you is far more impactful than you raving about yourself.
But it’s not easy getting testimonials.
You don’t want to feel like you’re bothering your clients by nagging them.
Check out the video below where I’ll share with you a systematic way of getting testimonials — and the types of testimonials that will supercharge your marketing.
In this post, you’ll learn…
- The psychology of what makes testimonials so effective
- How to request testimonials from your clients
- How to use testimonials from past clients to get NEW clients
What Makes Testimonials So Effective
If you’re buying a new book, and you see that it’s received hundreds of five-star reviews, do you feel more compelled to buy it?
If so, you’ve been influenced by social proof.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation. (Source: Wikipedia)
In Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, he writes about the six key principles of influence — one of which is social proof.
“The principle of social proof says so: The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.”
Which is more persuasive:
- A friend recommending you buy their favorite product…
- Or, an advertiser recommending you buy their product?
It’s natural to be skeptical about people promoting themselves. But when their customers promote them, it feels more organic, trustworthy, and safe. That’s how social proof works.
Social proof is incredibly powerful in business. And testimonials are another example of social proof.
By showing praise from former clients who’ve benefited from your service, you show potential clients that your service will benefit them.
Now that you know why testimonials are effective, how do you go about actually acquiring them?
How To Get Testimonials
To get testimonials from your consulting clients, you’ll have to do three things:
- Do great work
- Ask for them
- Make it easy
1. Do Great Work
You can’t expect a testimonial if you didn’t deliver results for your client. Ensure that you are delivering the results your clients expect from you. Then, when you ask for a testimonial, they will be happy to oblige.
Some clients will offer you a testimonial without you asking. But don’t expect that to happen often. 9 times out of 10, you’ll have to go out there and ask. Get in the habit of asking for testimonials, and you’ll receive more of them.
3. Make It Easy
Writing a testimonial without any prompts requires a lot of effort. Make it easy for your clients to give you a testimonial by giving them some prompts or questions. You can even provide them with a framework or script that they can take, tweak, and make their own.
Sean D’Souza, author of The Brain Audit, provides an excellent list of questions to ask to receive a powerful testimonial. Here’s our “consulting” version of these questions:
- What were the hesitations that may have prevented you from investing in my service?
- What did you find as a result of investing in my service?
- What specific feature did you like most about my service?
- What would be three other benefits of my service?
- Would you recommend my service? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Now that you’ve started receiving testimonials, let’s put them to use.
How To Use Them
Collecting a bunch of testimonials and leaving them in a folder is great for your confidence. However, that won’t do much for your consulting business.
Put your testimonials out there so that they help market your consulting business.
Here are 3 ways to leverage your testimonials to help you start conversations with new consulting clients.
A case study describes a particular client’s problem, your process to solve it, and the result it had on their business.
Case studies are extremely effective because they resonate with the content. While reading it, they see their problem, a process to solve it, and a result that they want. They put themselves in the shoes of the client you’re writing about in the case study.
Case studies with testimonials will be among your most effective marketing material. If you’re looking for examples, check out our Consultant Case Studies page.
If you’ve got more than a dozen testimonials, then you can create a “Testimonials” page full of them.
Or, start inserting your testimonials on your critical sales pages: your service landing pages, contact pages, etc.
Testimonials make your copy twice as persuasive.
Through testimonials, your clients reinforce what you say about your consulting service. And because of the social proof effect, it’s more believable when your clients say it.
When your clients provide you with a testimonial, they’ve just finished writing nice things about you. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask them for a referral.
After they send you their testimonial, ask them:
“NAME, thank you for the testimonial. I really enjoyed working with you. I noticed you wrote about the RESULT that I helped create for you. Would you be willing to provide the names of 3 people who you think might also benefit from a similar result? Referrals are incredibly important to my business. I’d be so thankful for any introductions you could make.”
Sending this message to former clients out of nowhere and you might not get a response. But if you send it to them right after they’ve provided you with a testimonial, there’s a higher chance they’ll send you referrals.
It’s even better to ask this question when you’re talking to them over the phone or in person. That way, you can follow up by email after you’ve asked them for referral opportunities.
Reach out to three of your past clients and ask them for testimonials.
Provide them with an example or script that they can customize to write a unique testimonial.
Once you’ve received your testimonials, start using them to market your consulting business:
- Turn them into case studies
- Add them to your landing pages
- Ask those clients for referrals
Consulting is a relationship business, and social proof helps you leverage your relationships to win new business.
Aim to make every project you complete worthy of a glowing testimonial. The more of these testimonials you gather, the easier it will be to attract new clients.