Once you’ve overcome the awkwardness of requesting testimonials, it’s time to select a strategic approach to ask for a testimonial.  I have outlined seven versatile approaches to cover most circumstances.

1. Thanktimonial

Tell the client that you appreciate their continued business and would like to express your gratitude by promoting their business in a marketing effort for your company.  Promoting someone’s business is more valuable to their bottom line than taking their management team out for a steak dinner.

2. Surveymonial

Mail or email client satisfaction surveys and clearly leave a space for comments that can be used for marketing purposes. Extremely happy clients are known to fill this section out because they are proud that they chose your company.

3. Webtimonial

Instruct your Web developer to add a form section on your website for testimonials.  Send the page link to clients after project completions.  Make it very simple to submit with no login.  Integrate an approval process at your company.  Make sure to acknowledge that you appreciate that the client took time out of their day to complete the form.

4. Socialmonial

Encourage your LinkedIn Connections, Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers to post their experiences with your company.    Use these social networking reviews on your website, email marketing and printed marketing materials, giving proper documentation credit.

5. Convertimonial

Convert client letters of support for awards, certifications or bids into a testimonial.  Just send over the repurposed information for approval prior to integrating it into your testimonial distribution plan.

6. Randomonial

Keep your ears open and your pen ready. If you hear a client mention a good experience or solid results, ask them if you can use their insights in a testimonial. Yes or No. Send a draft to them promptly for approval. Make sure to not embellish their words. Authentic testimonials match the speech of the person giving the testimonial, not the company getting the testimonial.

7. Vendormonial

Ask your vendors if they would help you out with a testimonial that reflects the quality of your company’s professionalism, innovation in the market and modern processes.  The vendor has most likely worked with your competitor and may have some valuable insights to share.

Your approach to asking for a testimonial is a critical step in securing a testimonial. If one approach doesn’t work for a particular client, you can easily switch to another.  If you need help asking for testimonials, please contact Absolute Marketing Group at 218-284-1111 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              218-284-1111      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or info@absolutemg.com.

Note: MacDalton Berns’ February 2011 article will feature the last installment of the three-part Testimonial series: Testimonial Distribution Techniques.