The Secrets to Getting (and Giving!) Useful Testimonials

Have you ever spent some time perusing the BRA Directory? I mean, if not…you SHOULD. That fabulous place is absolutely FILLED with hundreds of incredibly skilled female and non-binary entrepreneurs.

(Reminder! As a Member, you can always keep your profile up to date with any new content, photos, promotions, and testimonials by clicking HERE. It’s important to keep it current!)

I love clicking through our Directory and realizing that there’s just about someone for every job you could think of. It’s become so easy to fill any need just within our own Network.

Which is why there are so many of us who are dedicated to and succeeding in fulfilling one of the main core values of Business Relationship Alliance…

The “Alliance” part. We hire each other; we keep the money flowing between us.

Guess how I know…

Testimonials.

BRA Member profiles have an entire section to add testimonials. I especially love featuring the ones that come from another BRA Member. Check out this little badge we created when BRA Members work together.

But sometimes I’ll click through the Directory and stumble upon something that I’m absolutely struck by — the lack of testimonials provided by some pretty stellar business owners. What the what??

We need to stop feeling so shy about asking for a testimonial. I mean, I barely check out of my AirB&B or exit my Uber before I am asked for my feedback and I don’t know these people at all.

Testimonials are actually an essential part of the sales process. Feedback and reflection are needed for growth, but also to make sure we are meeting the highest standards with our clients and customers, so that they will not only refer us, but want to work with us again and again.

The other reason they are absolutely essential is the reverse. Let me say that again…

Testimonials are an essential part of the purchasing process.

  • “How was that lobster roll from the Ragin’ Cajun?”
  • “Are those shoes comfortable?”
  • “Is Hamilton worth the cost of the tickets?” (Yes, yes it is.)

Regardless of the price tag of something, consumers are constantly seeking advice, referrals, and feedback on everything we spend money on, whether it be a taco or a hotel in Belize.

So why do we get all shy and bashful when it’s OUR TURN? I mean before I booked that AirB&B in NYC, I read about 6 testimonials. It’s common practice, so the time to be quiet is over. It’s time to be BOLD. Put yourself out there and just ask.

Here are some of my best tips on how to live boldly and ask — and how you can reciprocate, too!

How to ASK for a testimonial:

  1. Make it easy. Create an exit survey. Use Tally or SurveyMonkey or even Google Forms and ask specific questions with clickable responses and leave only one section for a written response. (The best surveys should not take more than 3-5 minutes to complete.)
  2. Be authentic. It shouldn’t feel awkward. One of the easiest ways to approach getting new reviews or testimonials is to ask for a favor. For example… Can I ask a favor? If you enjoyed our last BRA event and/or are getting a lot out the BRA community, take a minute and write a testimonial. Share it on our Facebook page or shoot me an email. It helps other women in business find us, and would mean a lot!
  3. Be timely and add a compliment. If someone is gushing about how happy they are with their photos or their new website, say something like, “You have been a dream client; it was a pleasure working with you. Would you feel comfortable writing me a quick testimonial?”
  4. Use what people are already saying. If someone gives you a shout out in their Instagram Stories or creates a TikTok about your amazing handbag, ask if you can use it for a testimonial. Then they don’t have to do ANYTHING.

Keep in mind that you should be prepared to hear the good AND bad. If you ask for the truth, make sure you can handle it first. It’s not always going to be easy to digest, but that’s how we grow and adapt. Constructive criticism is key to improving, so don’t take it personally.

Just remember that without honest feedback, we would just keep moving along in the slow lane, unlikely to grow.

How to GIVE a good testimonial:

As important as it is to ask for feedback and testimonials, it’s equally important to reciprocate! Support your fellow BRA Members and other small business owners by sharing your two cents. Don’t wait to be asked!

Surprise that clothing designer, photographer, or chef by going directly to their Facebook Business Page, Google Business Profile, or LinkedIn Profile and writing an honest review of your experience with their service or product. Some tips:

  1. Use their name or business name in the testimonial. This makes it personal and humanizes the experience.
  2. Tag! Posting a reel on Instagram and you happen to be wearing that cute new pair of earrings? Tag the artist or jewelry designer!
  3. Shout it out when you find a great new resource or that new pair of flattering, yet oh-so-comfy leggings. Word of mouth is vital to many, many different types of small businesses.

Now go spread some love to your fellow entrepreneurs!

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