Often, the most important tools in your toolbox are customers’ and clients’ opinions of you. In a word: testimonials.
In the science of persuasion, this is often referred to as social proof. We follow the lead of similar others. How do most people choose with whom they do business? They ask their friends or professional peers for suggestions.
But don’t wait for others to share the good work your company does. Rather, focus on cultivating your own impressive library of testimonials. Here’s what you need to know.
There are moments of power in social exchanges. And, like Robert Cialdini taught me, if you know how to operate in those moments, you are at a significant advantage. When a client or customer says “thank you” to you, how do you typically respond? You probably say something like: “Happy to help!” If that’s the case, you’ve just fumbled a huge persuasive moment.
In that moment of gratitude, you should … CAPTURE A TESTIMONIAL!
When someone thanks you for something specific — be it a service, a product, a solution or for exceeding expectations — say this: “Terrific! I’m so glad I could help. Hey, would you be willing to help us help others? Would you type out what you just told me in a brief email so we can spread the good news of what we’re doing here?”
Now you have dramatically increased the likelihood of obtaining a testimonial.
Three More Ways to Capture Testimonials
Other options exist besides asking the customer or client to email you a testimonial. Consider posing these questions:
- Could we take a moment now for me to write your comments down?
- Would you like me to write something up later and send it to you for your approval?
- Would you be able to text your comments to me by the end of business today?
If you practice this approach every time a client or customer says “thank you” to you — and I mean every time, for any reason, no matter how small you consider the accomplishment — you will have an almost never-ending supply of powerful testimonials.
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