I attended a training a couple of months back in which an amazing woman superbly facilitated one of the sessions. I really didn’t know what to expect at the outset of this session and was amazed at what this work brought up for me. Indeed it was the catalyst for making a major change in my life. I expressed my deep gratitude to her at the time and when I received a request for a testimonial a few weeks later my first thought was, “Yes, I’d love to do that”. I was busy at the time and when I came back to it I thought, “What could I say that could possibly do justice to this lady or adequately describe my experience?” Although I had the best of intention to write her the glowing testimonial she deserved, I stared at the screen for a while thinking about what to say until I got distracted by something and didn’t end up writing anything…
If you find it hard to get testimonials from clients or workshop participants it may be that your asking is too open-ended. Think about it this way; do you ever remember trying to learn a foreign language, Spanish for example, and someone says to you, “Say something in Spanish?” What’s your reply likely to be? “Say what?” Even if you know hundreds of words you probably can’t think of what to say in the moment with so little direction. Now if that same person were to ask, “How would you ask where the toilets are in Spanish?” You’d probably reply without hesitation, “Donde esta la servicios?” My Spanish may be dreadful but I know that one!
Our minds always attempt to answer questions and we tend to do things that are easy. If you find it hard to get testimonials from your clients why not make it easier for them by asking them to answer a couple of questions and if you could use their answers as a testimonial? For example, let’s say that you specialize in helping people to deal with stress. You do specialize in something I hope! Questions you could ask in this situation might be along the lines of:
- Before coming to see me/attend the workshop how was your stress affecting you?
- What difference did coming to see me/attend the workshop have on you?
When you ask a question about the impact a presenting problem was having on your client before they started working with you, it enables the reader of that testimonial, your prospective client, to identify with the situation described. If what you do has been a solution for someone else it fires the neurons in their brain that produces the thought, “Maybe this would work for me too!”
Remember, your prospective client is looking for a solution to THEIR problem. They’re not really interested in how great other people think you are, what they really want to know is, “Can you help ME?” A testimonial is an opportunity for you to show them you probably can; this is the real value of testimonials that is often missed. It’s an opportunity to provide social proof that you have a real solution to offer THEM.
What questions could you ask regarding the work you do? Asking a couple of simple, open-ended questions could make all the difference between you getting the glowing testimonial you deserve and having a client with the best of intentions to give you one not know where to start!
I might add that I’ve gone back and written the testimonial for this lady that I wish I had a week ago!