The type of client testimonial that nails more business for you & the type that puts people off

How valuable are the testimonials people provide when you ask for feedback?

The whole point of a testimonial is to provide encouragement to others to use your services or buy your goods.

After all, the praise of an existing customer can be most powerful.

But there’s a danger that we might accept flattering comments and think they will help to improve how others see us, when in fact they might have the opposite effect.

It’s great when someone says nice things about you, and it’s even better when they put it in writing so you can share it with other people.  But is what they say about you of any value?  Read on...

Compare this statement about a recruitment agency …

‘Lockwood Recruitment are amazing. I’ve been with them for three months and they’re always so welcoming every time I visit. They serve great coffee in their office, too.’

 … with this one …

‘Lockwood Recruitment took time to listen to my expectations, they found out precisely what I had to offer and then matched me up with three vacancies within a short time frame, each of which matched my skills set perfectly.’

Can you spot a difference? You can quickly identify the one with greater value.

Or how about these two statements, comparing this …

‘Sarah’s personal training sessions are the best. I enjoy it every time I visit her gym.’

… with this …

‘Since starting my personal training sessions with Sarah I have lost half a stone and I’ve slashed a minute from my 5k time.’

See the difference there? Which statement would be of greater value to Sarah as a businessperson?


The above illustrate the two different types of testimonial. 

1) Empty testimonials – of little value

2) Performance testimonials – with specific and relevant information

So how can you encourage people to write the second type?

The first thing is to not be afraid to ask.

You can start by saying ‘Would you do me a massive favour, please?’

Most people say ‘yes’ when you ask them to do you a favour, even before they know what it is.

And you can quickly follow up by asking if they’d write a couple of sentences about how your services or products have helped them.

Say, for example, you organise networking events and you want to encourage more people to attend.  Ask your regulars to write about the tangible results they’ve seen since joining.  And give them an example of what you don’t want, as well as what you do want.


Empty testimonial

‘I love attending the Goring Business Breakfast Club because it gets me out of the office and we enjoy a good natter over a meal’ is not what you want.

Performance testimonial

‘Since attending the Goring Business Breakfast Club I’ve forged three joint ventures that have enabled me to boost my turnover by 20 per cent.’

or even better, put the benefit at the start of the sentence …

‘My appointments are up by 50 per cent since attending the Goring Business Breakfast Club, and I’m adding new customers every week. I’m so grateful that organiser Martine invited me along. I wish I’d said yes sooner.

Switch it round …

You can also increase your value to your network by providing performance testimonials. How grateful will your valued contact be when you do that? 

Your next step

 • Review the testimonials page on your website and take positive steps to secure better feedback from clients or customers next time.

We can compile case studies or testimonials on your behalf. Speak to us on 01491 877533 or click here to send an email

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