Chances are many would, but all the hard work you’ve done over the years amounts to nothing if you’ve got no proof! I know it’s elementary but this is worth thinking about — how often have you gone out of your way to get that testimonial or positive feedback that you so much deserve?
I know my answer — almost none. Emphasis on “almost” because last evening I did something I could never thought was possible — I reached out to a bunch of former clients specifically asking for a testimonial. And thankfully, they all responded with a resounding YES!
Phew! That actually took a lot of courage. Almost 8 weeks of contemplating and if you’re thinking marketers and salespeople aren’t usually ashamed to gather testimonials, you’d be so wrong. There are special snowflakes like myself who accidentally found themselves to be in marketing and business development. And we often let our own set of insecurities and self-esteem issues come in the way of getting things done. Even if it’s for our own good!
This also ties back into being a “referable” business. Particularly if you’re a start-up or a small/medium business. Heck, regardless of the size of the business one has to be referable. It adds a layer of credibility to you, your business and makes it so much easier (not saying you won’t go through the motions of the usual sales process) to people to trust you. And handing over a part of your client’s business is all about trust.
Precisely why I (now) believe that what other people say about your business is so important for its growth. If nobody’s saying anything, it’s probably your fault. You haven’t created enough opportunities for others to say a thing or two (preferably positive) or just haven’t mustered the courage to ask them to share their experience (working with you) with the rest of the world.
Case in point — my own coaching business. Yeah, it’s a side-hustle but I’m credentialed by some of the most influential coaching authorities, meaning I not only know my stuff but I also know what it takes to facilitate deep and long-lasting personal/professional transformation. Not trying to impress you with that because I honestly suck at asking for testimonials!
Take a look at this blog for example. I’m cocksure you won’t find a single testimonial. Not because people haven’t found my service useful but I failed to ask them! They’re busy after all. And for the gentle souls who took out the time to proactively share their testimonial, I simply thanked them and did nothing about them.
Of course, all of that is about to change. I’ll be focusing on updating the website as a whole in the upcoming weeks but that’s not the point. It’s this — who’ll vouch for you and your business? Because if nobody does, you’re virtually non-existent and will have a terrible time selling yourself to your clients over and over again.
(Note: I know some folks rave about the number of LinkedIn testimonials they’ve received, which is great, but I don’t see the reason why they aren’t able to bring those testimonials to their website. You have to get them to your “owned” land.)