The Best Ways to Request a Testimonial

Why should you ask for a testimonial?

As I transition my website from a pagebuilder to using Gutenberg, I'm re-doing my site's pages. If you didn't catch it, I added a new page, which is called “Ask me a Question.” The page ends with the easy way to ask me a question using Clarity, the service I've been using for years.

You may also recall that I showed you how you could build your own version of this service on your own site.

But you'll likely notice that before you get to the Clarity area, you see a bunch of testimonials. That's what I want to talk about today, because it's so hard to get over ourselves and make the ask.

So why should you ask for a testimonial? Here are three reasons:

  1. It's easier than bragging. If you're not going to tell the world how awesome you are, it's not likely that anyone else will. Unless you ask them to. And their words will feel less uncomfortable than you bragging on yourself.
  2. It helps people make decisions. People who aren't sure about hiring you or buying your product may need a little push. And the testimonials from others can be that tiny little extra something that pushes them over the edge and causes them to buy.
  3. It's a reminder of your awesomeness. And lastly, sometimes you just need the confidence boost. When I go back to my own clarity page (where there are way more of these testimonials) and read them, I feel good about life again (especially on a hard day).

When should you ask for a testimonial?

When should you ask for a testimonial? That's easy. Last week. The second best time? Now.

[tweet “The best time to ask for a testimonial was last week. The second best time is right now.”]

There are at least four different times when you can request a testimonial. I recommend getting comfortable doing it for all four.

  1. Right after a successful project completion. This is the best time, for agencies, to make the request. Especially if you do it before you send the last invoice. That way, when you've delivered the project, and they're happy, they'll write you a great review. If they then want to haggle on the invoice, you can always point to the proof of satisfaction. But the real dynamic here is being timely. Don't wait months. Do it right after you've turned things in.
  2. A week after a purchase. If you're selling online, and someone has made a purchase, wait seven days and then circle back to see how they liked it. Make the request and make it easy (see below) so that they don't have to work hard to tell you how happy they are.
  3. During a quarterly review. If you're on retainer with a customer, you're likely delivering constant service. It can feel awkward to go back, out of the blue, and ask for a quote. But if you start scheduling quarterly (or annual) reviews with them to talk about how things are going, it's a natural time to request a testimonial.
  4. When you want another purchase. Now, I know this is crazy. But hear me out. Let's say someone made a few purchases from your site, but has now gone quiet. You want to give them a coupon to incentivize another purchase. But don't just give them a coupon, ask for a quote. Basically, you're inviting them to give you a testimonial and you'll send out that coupon right away. And just watch, you'll get a quote AND a repeat purchase!

How do you ask for a testimonial?

I'll be honest, the first time I made a request I was so nervous that I stuttered. And I don't normally stutter. But I was terrified. Simply to say, “Do you mind sharing how I did on this project?” I thought they'd be super critical (even though I'd done everything right).

Automated Systems

So after that mess of emotions, I went a different direction. I started using systems. LinkedIn has a way to recommend people (give them testimonials), and it has a way for people to request a testimonial. So I started using that.

The best benefit of using any third-party system is that if someone wants to ignore the request, they don't feel like they're ignoring you. Today I don't use LinkedIn for those requests, but I still use the Clarity service to ask for quotes after we've finished a call.

I have 233 reviews on Clarity. All without me having to risk my pride!

Automated Emails

If it doesn't make sense to use automated systems, you can still use automation. In the form of emails. For example, if you use Jilt with your WooCommerce store, you can send an automated request 7 days after a purchase (like I mentioned before), and they'll take care of things for you.

This is particularly powerful if you're asking them for product reviews, because tools like Jilt can send the customer the specific link to review the specific products they bought. That makes the review process fast and easy.

Want more ideas?

HubSpot articulates nine ways to make the request.

The Actual Ask Template

At this point, what I would normally do is give you a few templates for how to make the ask. But guess what? Someone else has already done that. And I don't need to copy all of their work into this post.

So here's the link to 9 email templates to use when asking for a review.

And before I go, I have a new technology I'm about to try out that invites people to leave a video testimonial.

And here's where I ask you to think about giving me one. If we've ever gotten on a call and I've shared an insight with you that helped your business, I'd love to hear about it.