Testimonials - the magical way to turn boasting into evangelism. Sure, they're effective - and their use is hyped in every corner of marketing communications. But just how do you go about gathering them? Here are 10 ideas: 1. Have something worth talking about. Having a mediocre product that simply meets expectations encourages silence. People talk about something that is either 1) really awful or 2) really amazing. The closer you are to the middle, the less chatter you hear.
2. Put a feedback button on your website. Encourage your customers to send you their opinions - regardless of whether they're "good" or "bad". In truth, they're all good.
3. Give to get. The networking organization BNI hypes the benefits of "givers gain". And it's true. Give colleagues a well-written testimonial and ask for one in return.
4. Use LinkedIn. Log in to your LinkedIn account and under the "Service Providers" tab at the top left click on "Request a Recommendation".
5. Paraphrase & e-mail. When a client gives you a verbal testimonial, send a friendly e-mail thanking them for the conversation, paraphrasing what you heard and requesting permission to use their testimonial.
6. Give stories the spotlight. Weight Watchers encourages participants to submit success stories. Stories sell. Bragging bores.
7. Market research sweepstakes. Give respondents a prize for completing a survey about your company. Prizes encourage response rates.
8. Ask for specifics. When writing a survey, break down large, open-ended questions into bite-sized, directive questions which are more likely to receive a response.
9. Give credit. Did a great idea come from customer submitted feedback? Share the credit to entice readers to share their opinions.
10. Strength in numbers. When requesting testimonials, ask for quantitative data. For example, "After hiring Randy, my profit increased by 20%" or "Gina helped reduce my production time from 2 weeks to 3 days."
Fastread: How to Get Testimonials for Your Product by WorkatHomeChannel
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5 Tips for Getting Freakin' Awesome Testimonials by Brent Hodgson