How to Get Awesome Testimonials EVERY TIME

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You’ve just finished work with your latest client. They’re happy, you’re happy, and you feel confident that you’ve over-delivered on all of your promises. Even they think they may have paid too little for your amazing service.

And yet, when you ask them to write out a testimonial, there never seems to be a good time for them.

When you finally do get someone to put pen on paper (or fingers on keys), it comes out generic, boring, and not quite as “rockstar” as you would like. Testimonials like this, when written by clients, seem to be the norm:

We hired XYZ Company to do ABC. Everything was great and their service was amazing. We’ll be sure to use them again next time we need X.

Early on in my magic business, getting rockstar testimonials was like pulling teeth.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t good — I knew I was doing a great job, and so did my clients. But I couldn’t ask for a testimonial at the event (when they were most happy with me) because they were too busy, and if I asked after the event they either didn’t respond (because the event was over and they don’t want to deal with it anymore) or they wrote something boring like the above.

I needed to figure out a way to get rockstar testimonials every time without chasing my clients around begging them to write something great. Nobody likes being pestered, and I don’t like being a pest.

Here are 3 strategies I have used in my magic business (as well as others) to get rockstar testimonials every time.

Rockstar Testimonial Tip #1: Survey Them

When someone is asked a general question like “What is it like to work with me?” how can you expect them to give anything but a boring, general answer? Ask boring questions, get boring answers.

Instead of asking your clients for testimonials, ask them to complete a survey and tell them that when they are finished you will take what they wrote and compile it into a review for them and send it over for their approval. Make the survey brief, but give enough questions that you can craft a nice “story” around it. Testimonials should read like a book, with a setting, a problem, a rising action, and a solution.

Setting: Who the client is, what they hired you for.
Problem: An objection. Testimonials should almost always overcome some sort of objection (because if someone else has the same objection and reads this testimonial, it may just do the selling for you)
Rising Action: The amazing steps you took to overcome this objection, and the unbelievable things you did with your product/service.
Solution: The result from using your product

Here’s one of my magic testimonials, broken down for you:

Sky had a lot to prove at our annual managers’ meeting [setting]just a year prior, some of them had seen world-class magicians Penn and Teller. [objection] During Sky’s performance, there was only one word to describe our managers’ reactions: Priceless. After the performance, our President approached Sky with a single phrase: “Your performance was better than Penn and Teller!” [rising action] Every company should experience Sky’s friendly, personal service, and unique show at least once! It is a keep-your-attention show that your team will enjoy, and at an affordable price. [solution]

Rockstar Testimonial Tip #2: Reward Them

One of the free benefits I offered all of my clients in the magic business was free “Reactions Photography” where I bring a photographer along with me and they snap photos of everyone reacting to the magic. In order to get these photos (and use them for free however they like), my clients must fill out the aforementioned survey. Once they’ve completed the survey, I upload the photos and they can share them with their guests. If they don’t fill out the survey, I don’t upload the photos.

If you can “withhold” some kind of free gift until you get a testimonial, you have all of the power. Get creative here.

Rockstar Testimonial Tip #3: Be Them

Some people just can’t be bothered to write a testimonial or fill out a survey. For these folks, I just write a testimonial for them based on our conversations and ask them to sign off on it. I take all of the creative license I want in making it sound like I am the best person on Earth (which, of course, I am…hehe) and send it to them in an Email, explaining that I understand how busy they are and would love for them to write me a testimonial, but if they don’t have time to do so they can simply use the one I made for them.

So far, no one has said “no” to the one I’ve crafted to be an amazingly effective sales tool, and that’s really the best-case-scenario.