Getting powerful client testimonials is more than just saying, “Send me your feedback.” Instead, you need to be asking the right questions. Here are the three questions you need to ask your satisfied clients so you can collect testimonials that will help you get more clients.
Have you ever dreamed of having a waitlist?
Whether you’re a stable manager wanting to see every stall in your barn filled or you’re an instructor looking to fill all of your lesson slots, most equine business owners would love to be at capacity, with a waitlist to boot.
If that’s you, one of the best ways you can get started is to collect feedback from your existing clients. And then use that feedback to create powerful testimonials to place on your website, brochure, and social media.
Testimonials are effective in marketing for the same reason we all read Google and Facebook reviews before picking a new restaurant or amazon reviews before buying a new gadget—we trust shared personal experiences, even those shared by complete strangers.
So, we know that testimonials work. Therefore, the real question becomes, how do you go about collecting powerful testimonials for your business? (Don’t worry, we’ll cover what you do with them in my next post.)
Rather than sending out a one-liner asking, “Will you send me a testimonial?” you need to give your clients some guidance.
That’s why I’m sharing the three must-have questions you should ask when collecting testimonials from your clients and customers.
Before we get to the questions, the first step when you reach out for testimonials is to let your client know what you’re trying to accomplish. That helps them to know why you’re asking the questions you’re asking.
For example, you can start with something like, “My goal is to share where you were before you worked with me, the experience you had, and what the future looks like for you and your horse (or family or business, etc.) now.”
I’ve also found that providing a simple fill-in-the-blank format gives clients the freedom and guidance to answer with just a few sentences. You may be thinking, “But I want them to just share from the heart.” I get that.
However, my experience has been that clients appreciate the specific questions rather than having to come up with something on their own and being unsure if they’re giving you what you need.
Remember, they’re doing this because they enjoyed working with you and they want to help you by sharing their experience with others. When you provide specific questions, you’re better able to capture the emotion that’s going to help you convert potential customers to paying clients.
Okay, now you know testimonials are important and you know you need to ask questions to get the best ones from your satisfied clients. It’s time for the questions. Get your notes ready!
Here are the three questions you should ask every satisfied client so you can build up your arsenal of powerful testimonials.
Question #1: Before I worked with <your name >, I felt: ____
It may be tempting to get right to “How did I help you accomplish your goals?” but don’t do it! A great testimonial conveys how you moved your client from Point A to Point B. That’s why you need to go back to Point A first.
How did your client feel about her relationship with your horse before you came into the picture?
How did your client feel about boarding her horse when she’s always had him at her place?
How did your client feel about getting on a horse for the first time after 15 years?
Why is it important to convey feelings? Because you’re going to use these testimonials as marketing tools and the potential customers that will be reading this testimonial are more likely to identify with feelings than facts.
They feel discouraged, too. They have a lack of confidence, too. They’re nervous about what to expect, too.
When they hear that your clients felt that way too, they’re going to say, “That’s me!”
And their next question will be, “Can you help me?”
Question #2: Now I am hopeful for the future of my horsemanship (or my horse, or fill in the blank for your business) because ____
Note that this assumes your client feels hopeful or positive about the future as it relates to your services. That’s why you’re only asking your most satisfied clients for testimonials.
Who has seen the biggest transformation since working with you? Those are the people that are going to share most passionately. Why? Because they want others to know about the difference you’ve made in their lives and/or their horse’s lives.
By asking about what they’re hopeful about for the future, you’re again focusing on how they feel.
Remember, your ideal potential clients are going to identify with that feeling because they want those same things for themselves and their horse(s).
Question #3: My favorite part of working with <your name> has been ___
This is where your clients get to share their specific experiences with you and your business.
You may be thinking, why ask about their favorite part versus just asking, “What did you like about working with me?”
Remember, the goal is to get down to the heart of why they enjoyed working with you. You’re not looking for a bulleted list; you need them to be specific and thoughtful in their response.
The answers to this question will show your potential customers from a client’s perspective what it’s like to work with you. It will also help them determine if that’s what they’re looking for in a trainer, barn, etc.
And if it is, then they now know that you’re the perfect fit, and hopefully, they’ll be ready to reach out to see if they can work with you.
Okay, there you have it! These are the three must-have questions to ask so you can collect testimonials that will move your potential customers to want to work with you.
Now, it’s time to take action.
Your next step is to make a list of five of your most satisfied clients. Then, take these three questions and put together an email asking them to share their experience working with you so that you can share about it in your marketing materials.
Stay tuned because my next post is going to show you how to take those testimonials and turn them into effective marketing copy for your website, social media, and print materials. Have fun collecting powerful testimonials!