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Client testimonials are invaluable, no question. Good or bad, they can help you evaluate and improve your business. But these testimonials don’t just land in your inbox on their own.

If you want your clients to give a testimonial for your product or services, you’ve got to ask them for it.

Testimonials are good for highlighting the competitive advantages you have in the sweeping industry or showing potential clients you have other satisfied customers.

The best way to get quality testimonials from clients is to present them with a questionnaire to help guide their responses in a direction that works with your goals. But avoid asking Yes/No questions.

Testimonials aren’t structured like Question/Answer interviews. They’re stand-alone descriptions of what you’ve done to help your clients. You’ll get much better testimonials if you prepare questions that provoke descriptive responses and can be turned into full-sentence answers.

Write questions reflecting what you want out of the testimonial. Ask your clients questions to get them talking about what you want to convey. If you’re trying to convey your company’s competitive advantages, ask questions about what those are.

Provide these questions to your client while your work is still fresh in their mind. Thoughts, ideas, and experiences easily slip from the mind with distractions or passage of time. Don’t let that happen with your clients. Pose your questions immediately after you’ve completed a job to increase the likelihood of receiving a positive, in-depth review of your work.

Be sure to let your clients know you plan to use it in your marketing and let your clients know you may be editing their responses and will seek their approval before using them. I’m not saying to change all their words and make up a testimonial, but to correct grammar mistakes and pull content from different answers together to make a more effective statement.

And don’t forget, your clients are in no way obligated to help you out, so give them thanks for their contributions. It’s not only common courtesy, but it also goes a long way for your client referrals and client retention, too.

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