We know that referrals, references and testimonials help open doors and close business.
Using someone’s experience, framed in their own words, to help you to market your products and services, is much more powerful that you directly telling about your own products and services.
Last week was make a referral week and that inspired me to write about tips for giving and getting referrals and testimonials.
First tip: Give before you get. Even though you may be looking for referrals, it doesn’t work unless you give referrals first. When you learn how to write a good referral or testimonial, you’ll also learn how to ask for one as well.
There’s a fine art to asking. Some people are great at it. For example, Joan Stewart, publicity expert and master of words and strategy,asks for testimonials for ye Publicity Hound‘s products and services like this:
What would you say to your friend? Please be as specific as possible in telling us the name of the product or service you bought, describing how this product or service helped you, and what you liked most. An easy format is to begin by saying â€œwhere you wereâ€ before you bought the product or service, how you used the product or service-or how it helped you-and the end result.
Just ask. “I’d be grateful if I can quote your kind words” is how I ask.
There’s also a strategy for when and how to ask for a referral. Wait until after you’ve delivered the products or services before asking for a testimonial or referral. Check out Clayton Shold’s interview of Colleen Francis of Engage Selling about about when and how to ask.
Recommendations on LinkedIn is an easy way to get started. They coach the writer on how to say specific things to help with writing the referral.
How do you know the individual?
What position did they hold that you’re writing about?
What was the year(s)?
Select three specific attributes. Write a short 3 sentence paragraph.
Now, take 3 steps. Go give 1) a referral, 2) a recommendation and 3)a testimonial. After you’ve done those 3 things, you’ll have a much better idea of how to ask for one. And the karma is in your favor!! Remember, what goes around, comes around!