These days being in business is all about building relationships. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to making a purchase, whether that be for having a new lock fitter, purchasing a new kitchen or bathroom, having new windows, having their garden landscaped or an extension built on the house.

When we go to book a restaurant, hotel or a holiday – how many of us read the reviews on trip advisor before booking. Even when you purchase something on line these days from companies such as Argos, Amazon or Next, they all have reviews (testimonials) next to all their products from people who have already purchased them.

In his book, Unleashing the Idea virus, Seth Godin talks about the power of other people – particularly, reputable people – praising you, rather than you doing it yourself. Sure, you can tell potential customers that you’re great, but that hardly holds any weight compared to someone else, especially if that someone else is considered trustworthy, saying the same thing.

Potential customers want to hear what you’ve done for your previous customers. They want to hear the success stories. These potential customers want to hear how your product/service helped others who were in a similar position to where they are now. If they can do this, without needing to phone each previous client for a reference, it’ll be much easier for them to be convinced that they should hire you or buy your products.

So have a think about how you can collect testimonials for your business and ensure you have a system in place. Have feedback forms, email customers after they have purchased, send out questionnaires or just simply ask, and once received – check that they are happy for you to share it.

When you do receive a testimonial –make sure you shout out about it – put it on social media – have them on your website, make sure you place them on your adverts.

Let your successes with previous customers speak volumes to potential customers.

Sarah Gerken
Author: Sarah Gerken