Children don’t respond well to being ignored. Most children want some kind of interaction as reassurance that they are part of a group. They need telling they’re being good; that people are happy to have them around. In fact, if they aren’t getting any feedback they’re likely to start being naughty, simply to get attention.
As an adult this trait of demanding attention is ‘trained’ out of you. As you get older, if you’re trying to be noticed you become a show-off, an exhibitionist, an attention-grabber – perhaps on a good day ‘the life and soul of the party’.
But who wants to be ignored?
Nobody. We all like to know how we’re doing, whether it’s a compliment on doing something well or feedback on what’s not going so well. Yes, really – most people would rather know if they’re not doing things right so they can improve, than to gain a reputation as a poor performer.
There are organisations who have a policy of not giving feedback on the grounds that people will simply do as they are told. What does that do for job satisfaction?
There are organisations who encourage feedback at every level – even, in some brave cases, upwards. What does that do for relationships and for the people who get regular ‘notice taken’?
Feedback helps people to improve – and how they handle it and respond to it also builds their reputation.
- Testimonials are feedback from clients on how the company has helped them.
- Recommendations on LinkedIn are feedback from your connections on what their experience of you has been.
- Happy sheets at the end of training or seminar events are feedback on the trainer or speaker (don’t be fooled into thinking they’re a measure of what people have learned, that takes time to become apparent!)
If you’ve had a good experience with a supplier you’re happy to give them a recommendation or testimonial, but often forget unless you’re asked. The same applies when you’ve given great service to a client – if you don’t ask them for a testimonial they probably won’t actively give you one – so don’t forget to ask.
Here are my tips to get great testimonials:
1. Make it as easy as possible. Faced with a blank sheet most people don’t know where to start, so ask the right questions:
a. What did we do for you?
b. What was it like working with us?
c. What changed as a result of what we did for you?
2. Get an online system – use something like TrustPilot.
3. Ask people to put a recommendation on LinkedIn (if you’re B2B) or Facebook (if you’re B2C).
4. Send a testimonial form (just one page – and no more than 3 questions) with the invoice.
5. Call former clients and ask them for a testimonial for the work you did (you might be surprised at how many will ask you to do some more work for them).
What to do with your testimonials
- Add them to your website – but NOT on a dedicated testimonials page; nobody reads more than a couple and, if you have several different services, they may never get to the relevant one. Better to put them on the relevant page, so third party validation sits alongside where the visitor is reading about the service.
- Include them on your marketing flyers.
- Tell people about them on social media.
- Write a case study giving more detail about the work carried out with the testimonial on the end and publish it on your blog.
- Boast a little at your networking groups and read one out from time-to-time.
So – how are you doing?