How To Get A Perfect Testimonial
It's bitter sweet when a final client session comes to an end. On the one hand, it's super rewarding to watch my clients own their confidence + abilities and set out to accomplish amazing things in their life and business - on the other hand, I sometimes feel as I would imagine a mom might feel when her grown child leaves the nest in pursuit of her dreams.
Afterwards, I email my client a special action plan, thank her again, and invite her to provide a testimonial. What I've come to realize though (both through coaching and being coached myself), is that sometimes clients don't fully realize just how far they've truly come from when they first began. Sure, they'll send a testimonial boosting about their experience and how their coach supported them, but there's usually a whole lot left out.
If you're a health coach, you may receive a testimonial about how safe and comfortable you made your client feel, how they enjoyed the recipes and resources you provided to them, and how they feel so much healthier and revitalized. What's missing though, is how exactly you helped them transform their life - what they're able to do now that they couldn't before, how their relationships have benefited, the abundance that has since entered their lives.
If you're a business or success coach, you may receive a testimonial about how kind, knowledgeable and expert you were during and between sessions, or about how confident your client now feels in her abilities as a coach. What's missing though, is how much their following and list have grown, the solid foundation they've built for their business, the amount of potential clients they've spoken with, the amount of money they've made, how working with you has benefited their relationships, what they're able to do now that they weren't able to do before, the dreams they were ready to give up on and are now living.
Unfortunately, it's the before and after comparison that tends to get lost - something that can truly catapult your reputation as an expert in your niche.
I've come up with 2 easy solutions to this problem:
- Begin your final session by doing a quick recap of everything you've noticed your client has achieved (she may not even realize she's done so!), then ask your client if that's accurate and whether she agrees. If she agrees, congratulate her on her success thus far and ask if it would be OK to share that version of her journey with your audience. This way, you have her permission to elaborate on any testimonial you receive from her if this important information is missing.
If you show up prepared, this is something that shouldn't take more than 2 minutes to discuss, so don't worry about taking up too much of your coaching time together.
- Guide your client with her testimonial. Odds are your client doesn't really know what specific information you're looking for, so she'll refer back to how you made her feel. Providing your clients with a quick testimonial form to fill out will help produce the information you're seeking, and ultimately the testimonial you know to be true and complete.
To create a testimonial form on your Squarespace website, simply create a new page that's not displayed on your menu bar (a 'not linked' page, as it's called), and use the 'Form' option to add options/questions for your client to complete.
You can view my testimonial form HERE.
*Bonus solution: If your client isn't camera shy, you can always interview them via Skype and record it to create a video testimonial instead of a written one.
Bottom line, while it's great to hear how supportive and kind you are to your clients, that's not the type of testimonial that will gain the trust of potential clients who want RESULTS.
Remember, your clients aren't mind readers - it's up to you to help guide them into sharing their full journey. No doubt they'll love reliving the growth and benefits they've experienced!