Whenever someone says something nice about my company (or me) in print, on the phone or in person, I say “thank you” and then follow it with “may I quote you?” Some people don’t know that I am serious so I repeat what they said and ask if I may quote them and use in my marketing or post their comments to my website. A testimonial is an excellent and inexpensive way to get an endorsement from a satisfied client or customer.
In 30+ years in business I have never had anyone say “NO” and quite often the person will expand on their quote. I also ask if I can use their full name and company or organization affiliation. If they say “no,” I don’t use the testimonial – (except when they don’t have a company affiliation). The name and company give the quote more credibility. Most people think that quote with only initials and maybe a geographic location are made up (and some of them are). When someone goes to my website and sees a testimonial from a happy client, they feel better about their decision to do business with me. And it is amazing how many tell me that that’s the reason they chose my company.
When you deal in an area where confidentiality is key to your success it is much more difficult (but not impossible) to get these types of testimonials simply because people may need or want to remain anonymous.
If your clients are not offering you their words of gratitude, ask them how you are doing! If you are doing a great job, they will tell you and you can then ask them to use their testimonial. If their comments are not what you wanted or expected to hear, use their input to improve your products and services.
Marketing your small business offline, will be easier when people see the social proof in the way of testimonials from others who have done business with you, your company. All you have to do is ask!