What is a testimonial and why does it matter?
A testimonial is a statement testifying to benefits received. It is based on personal knowledge or belief. A good testimonial can compel someone to action.
In business networking groups, a good testimonial from a trusted referral partner provides credibility for another person or company that can lead to new referrals from those who heard the testimonial.
The power of a good testimonial comes from the transference of trust, which creates the willingness to try those products and services personally, and/or recommend them to others.
Three Elements of a Good Testimonial
- Focus on One Person
When sharing testimonials about people in your networking group, only talk about one person at a time. Talking about every single business where you had a good experience can be overwhelming to the person you’re conversing with. By focusing on ONE company in your testimonial, you can go into greater detail about the products and services you have used. Talk about your experience with that one businessperson and how good they were.
- Be Specific
Talking in generalities is ineffective. Saying “They’re great.” does very little to convey the extent of the positive experience you had. Instead, talk specifically about what makes your fellow member’s services good. What did they do right? How friendly, speedy, or communicative were they? How did you feel after the experience? The more specific you are, the better the testimonial will be remembered. Specific is terrific.
That phrase comes from Ken Blanchard’s book, The One Minute Manager, which says that effective praising must be specific.
- Give a First-Person Testimonial
Whenever possible, make the testimonial a first-person endorsement. Tell others about your personal experience with your networking group’s members, always being specific. Talk about the problem you had and the way that professional or company helped solve it.
If you have not yet used their products or services, have you personally talked to someone who has? If so, you can turn that third-person endorsement into a first-person testimonial by saying something like this:
“My client (or my friend, or my associate) told me that they hired this person to do this work for them and they did it really well. This is what they said…” Then be very specific about sharing the details of your client’s experience with that company, which will make the testimonial stronger.
The power of a good testimonial is that it can become an instant referral multiplier. Remember that powerful testimonials focus on one person or company; they are first-person endorsements when possible; and they are very specific.
Have you experienced the power of a good testimonial? I would love to hear about it in the comments.