As business owners, we spend most of our time trying to sell. We research, we reach out, and we spend hours fussing over the words that we use to describe our products. We get out of our comfort zone all the time trying to increase sales.

But the truth is, the most powerful advertising is the advertising we don’t have to write—testimonials.

Testimonials work because selling is about trust. And no matter how compelling we are as writers and salespeople, trust is best established by the proof that only other people can give. It is called social proof and it is one of the 5 critical components of influence.

Of course, the best thing we can do to get a good testimonial is to offer an outstanding service, and have delighted clients. But it goes farther than that.

How many times have you gone somewhere, really enjoyed it, remarked to your friends about how great it was, and then left without saying a thing to the people running the operation? Sometimes giving people an invitation to review your service paves the way for a testimonial they would never otherwise give.

Moreover, not all testimonials are created equal. People are more likely to trust testimonials that seem credible

  • The testimonials have photographs, name and website details.
  • It helps if your testimonials are from people who are “like them”; effective testimonials have to resonate with your target market.
  • Testimonials also have to have enough detail and authenticity for readers to grasp how the service impacted their lives.
  • A great testimonial clearly demonstrates the transformation your services provide.