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Get 'em While They're Hot!

By Dave Balch
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004

What do you do when a customer compliments you on your product or service? (If you don't get any compliments, you need to read all of my other articles… NOW!) The correct answer is "I get it in writing!"

It's wonderful when your customers appreciate you; it's even more wonderful when you can share that appreciation with others. After all, what gives you more credibility than a happy customer? And who better to spread the word than that customer?

The word of the day, then, is "Testimonial". Here are some tips and tricks to getting good testimonials and using them to your advantage.

1. If you get a compliment on your product or service, ask if you can get it in writing, preferably on their letterhead.

2. If you have what you feel is a good customer and you don't yet have a testimonial from them, ASK FOR ONE!

3. Regardless of how the subject comes up, ask them some questions that will clarify the benefit they enjoyed from your product or service.

4. Offer to put it in writing for them to save them time (and to word it the way you feel is best). Naturally, you will ask them for approval of what you wrote and then, if appropriate, they can put it on their letterhead.

5. A good testimonial gives specific results; the more specific the better. For example, "Our productivity increased 35%" is much more powerful than "You saved us a lot of time".

6. Use the testimonials everywhere you can. Every piece of literature, every brochure, every flyer should have at least one. And don't forget to use them generously on your website! (Don't include your customer's email address though, because that would make it available to spammers who comb the web looking for addresses to steal.)

7. Organize the originals in a binder where customers can see them, or so you can bring them with you on calls.

8. Make a separate piece of literature that contains nothing but your best testimonials… call it "Our brag" sheet or "People are talking about us… and we LOVE it!"

9. If possible, eliminate dates on your testimonials; if it's too old it loses some of it's punch, even though everything they said is still just as valid as when it was first written.

10. Can you take photos of your happy customers with your product? Some products lend themselves better to photographs than others; that's something only you can decide, but if it's a particularly large or well-known customer a photo could add more impact. (Remember, though, that if you use a photo of someone you will probably need some sort of release from them allowing you to use it for promotional purposes. And, if you didn't take the photo yourself, there could be some copyright issues to consider, so get some legal advice before you use photos in your marketing materials. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but a good photo is pretty powerful in establishing credibility for you and/or your product or service.)

Start collecting testimonials today, even if you're not quite sure how you're going to use them. Then, when you're ready, you'll have a boatload to choose from.


"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" sent by e-mail. Visit ( Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or

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