An inside look at collecting sales-winning testimonials
Recently I realized that while I've racked up a perfect 5 star review record, the testimonials I was receiving were only halfway to where I wanted them to be.
Knockout testimonials are little trust-building gems, and they can be extremely persuasive when used on sales/services pages.
Truly great testimonials help potential new clients to see how your service/product helped another in their same situation achieve the goal they're also hoping to achieve.
Testimonials help potential new clients see that someone just like them, who had the same fears and hesitations, took the leap. And of course, just how well the product/service helped another get to where they wanted to be.
How we collect testimonials can truly affect the quality and usefulness they provide us as business owners. So today I want to tell you all about my old testimonial collection process, why I decided to switch, and my new, improved process.
I'll also show you exactly how I set it up tech-wise, so you can borrow the system too!
I previously directed past clients to leave me a review on the studio's Facebook business page.
My original thought process was that by using Facebook, and not say having clients just email me their testimonial, it would prove that the people leaving me reviews were real humans, as the testimonials would be posted on a public platform and connected to legit Facebook accounts.
This still rings true, and I believe that is a great benefit of collecting testimonials on Facebook or also Google. Collecting them in this way adds a small bit of legitimacy that you don't get when you collect them on a non-public platform.
Granted, I noticed over time that the testimonials were all a couple sentences in length, and they all started to sound the same;
'Paige is amazing to work with!'
'I'd recommend her to anyone and everyone!'
'Paige is a top-notch Squarespace designer!'
Believe me, it brings a smile to my day to get to read these, but I know that sales-wise I need my clients to hit on topics they didn't naturally think to mention when writing a Facebook review.
So, I weighed my options. Keep building up a bunch of very similar sounding reviews on Facebook, or collect them in another manner, have clients answer a specific set of questions that would get them to talk about the topics I really need them to, in order to have some sales-winning testimonials.
I decided to switch it up, and go with route two.
Here's the bits that are real sales-winners if you can get a past client to mention it in a testimonial:
How they felt before working together. What was their issue, and how was it negatively affecting their business? How did this issue make them feel?
Pro tip: Emotions sell. Remember that. 😉
What hesitations or fears did they have before deciding to work with the studio? What was holding them back from making the leap?
How do they expect/have found that their (in my studio's case: new website) will affect their business? What results have they seen? How has their new site benefitted their business? Did they experience increased income, confidence, compliments, etc?
Pro tip: If you can get a client to leave a number here, that's gold!
So, how do you ensure your clients speak about those exact topics? The topics that are going to help you knockout sales in the future so you can continue taking on dreamy clients? You ask them very specific questions, and provide examples.
I now have my testimonials collected via a form on my Squarespace website and stored in a Google Drive folder. This system is super quick & easy to set up.
So, what are the new testimonials like that I've been collecting from this new system? Here's a look at just one of the new ones I've collected!
"Before working with Paige, I felt frustrated with spending years (yes, years) on do-it-yourself websites like Wordpress and Wix. It never came out the way I really wanted it to.
Before working with the studio I was exhausted and feeling defeated with spinning my wheels and I needed a better solution. Yes, the investment is not something that suits everyone, but I knew that if I wanted it done right and on time, I would need to do this. I don't feel that I made an investment in a website, I made an investment in me. I am super confident to direct people to my website because it's professional, creative, functional and is a perfect reflection of me. I'm just so happy to have completed this huge piece of my business plan in 2 weeks!
I also believe this new website will bring me the clients that I want to work with. Paige listened to what I hoped to show of myself through the site and she nailed it! I believe that looking professional, fun and approachable is key in building a relationship with my readers and clients. I am not afraid to display my prices and get people to book directly through the site because my website shows that I take my craft seriously.
If I did a cost analysis on what I spend in the past trying to create my own website I spent money on hosting, templates, stock photos, etc. However, the biggest cost was my time in trying to do it myself and in not getting my content to market fast enough. I can tell you that I spent way more than what my investment was with Paige.
Now, I love looking at the analytics and seeing what social media and other marketing tools are working to drive traffic. People have been complimenting me on how great the site looks and when I get referrals from current clients, I direct them to the website to answer questions they may have or see the various services. Having Paige create my website has saved me tons of time.
Paige's skills are unbelievable!! Her creativity and her knowledge of Squarespace is like no other. I was drawn to her website and her business success as a solopreneur and I already felt that she is part of the women's business community that I want to support."
Pure gold, don't you agree?! 😀 (I actually trimmed the testimonial for length.)
With these new testimonials of true sales gold, I'm going to need to find a new way to organize and disperse this info throughout my site, as my current system of displaying testimonials with a few one-liners just won't work anymore.
Good problem to have.
How to set up a form to collect testimonials on Squarespace
1. Create a new page to hold your testimonial collection for. Click the + button beside your 'not linked' section.
2. Select an insert point, and select the form block.
3. Add form fields (most often to collect testimonials you'll use the 'text area' field), type in your questions, and add examples into the placeholder text area.
4. Click over to the 'storage' tab in the top right. Select Google Drive and name your new Google sheet.
5. Click save!
There you have it, my simple new system that collects testimonials which get to the heart of the concerns my future clients are thinking over as we speak.
Have a friend in business who could use some sales-winning testimonials too? Be a good business bestie and share this post with them!
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