Soliciting Powerful TestimonialsBy Burkey Belser
January 5, 2016
We have encouraged you to solicit your clients for testimonials for years—and for good reason. A testimonial is a transfer of trust, the promise from one individual that you might experience the same level of service they did. But getting our clients actually to reach out and get those testimonials is challenging. Here is a good article from Group Dewey Consulting (that provides growth consulting and training services to law firms). Read the entire thing. There is good counsel concerning the ethical pitfalls, particularly in South Carolina, who has taken over from Florida as the most unreasonable place to try to market your firm.
We have our own set of rules many of which are echoed in the Group Dewey article:
• Ask with loving-kindness. “Mr. Client, we’ve worked together so successfully for so many years, I’d like to know if you would be willing to give our firm a testimonial. If you must know the folks in marketing are all over…a certain part of my body.”
• If you want a testimonial from a client, write it yourself and offer it up to the client as a straw dog. They can improve it or rewrite it completely but at least they know what you want them to say
• Give the client an out. You can say, “We understand your company may not allow you to give a testimonial on their behalf.” That’s plenty of wiggle room for the client to beg off the request with no hard feelings on either side.
• You survey your clients regularly, right? Out of those interviews regularly come positive comments that can easily be transformed into testimonials with permission. “Hey, Ms. Client, I really appreciate your positive endorsement from the interview. Would you allow our firm to use this as a testimonial on our website?”
The only objection I have to this otherwise wonderful article is the sample letter. It’s three times too long.
Now, go out and get some testimonials. Make your marketing folks happy. They deserve your gratitude.