A testimonial can go wrong.
And it doesn't take much for it to go off track. All it takes is using the wrong words. If you use the wrong words, the customer is confused. And the testimonial goes over the hill, down the ravine and smashes into a million teeny-tiny fragments.
No, we don't like that scenario at all
So we have to understand what we're really doing when asking for a testimonial. And at the very core, we're asking customers for a “before” and “after” scenario. We're asking them to give their story, in detail. And how they felt. Detail, yes, that's it. But also the emotion. Both for the “before” and for the “after”.
But what's good for the goose is not always good for the gander…
You may ask a “WHY” question to a client and get a perfectly wonderful story. But you may just as well run into a blank wall of logic, that you don't want. So yeah, using the six questions is great, but hey, let's prep up the customer a bit as well. Let's let them know why we're asking for this testimonial and what results we'd expect.
But first, let's do it slightly wrong
Instead of prepping up the customer, let's just jump into the logical question and, as you'd expect, often get a logical but worthless answer.
Here is the logical question (the first question you'd ask the customer)
Why did you decide to buy this iPad?
Why did you decide to buy this microphone?
Why did you decide to come to this headline course?
Why did you decide to buy baa baa black sheep?
And tah, dah, the answers are…
I decided to buy the iPad because I wanted one.
I decided to buy this microphone because I needed to record a podcast.
I decided to come to this headline course to learn more about headlines.
I decided to buy baa baa black sheep because I have too many green sheep.
The WHY doesn't prompt the story in every case
It may simply prompt a quick, logical answer. Yet if you ask the scenario: What was your situation before you bought this product, you get a story.
What was your situation before you bought the iPad?
What was your situation before you joined this headlines course?
What was your situation before you bought this black sheep?
The situation brings out the story.
When the story is told, ask the next question: the “after” question.
What did you find as a result of buying the iPad?
What did you find as a result of joining the headlines course?
What did you find as a result of buying this black sheep?
Now you're getting a complete story: “before” and “after” but it doesn't stop there.
You've warmed up the customer with the first two questions
Now they're ready to give you even more detail about other points that they liked as well. And as you go down the list of questions, they will reiterate why they feel that way, and why they would recommend you. They now realise you're asking a “before” and “after” scenario.
But you can do even more
You can get the client to realise they're not just giving a testimonial, but giving their experience. That you really need to know what they felt “before” and then “after”. You want to know the pain “before” and the relief “after”. The more you get the client to understand that it's a story/experience that you're looking for, the less chances you have of running into snappy, logical answers.
This is because the client wants to help
They truly do. They want to see you succeed and will mostly, yes mostly, give you exactly what you need. There are always exceptions. There are always clients who never stick to the point, are full of themselves etc. But for the most part, if you warm up the client, tell them what you're expecting and then bring in the “before” and “after” questions, you'll get a powerful testimonial.
It's easy to simply take the testimonial questions from The Brain Audit and run it, but the results may be unpredictable
Instead spend a little time explaining your situation to the client.
Put in the footwork. It pays big time.
And both the client and you are happy.
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