Every contractor needs to have a list of customer testimonials. They are powerful and can improve a contractor’s sales performance significantly.
However, according to Ron Segura, President of Segura and Associates, who works with large and small contractors helping them build their business, “all too many contractors do not take advantage of this marketing tool, often because they do not know how to go about it.”
Accordingly, Segura offers the following ten easy steps they can take:
1. Be positive about asking for testimonials. Many contractors feel uncomfortable about asking for a testimonial. Don’t. If the customer is happy with your service, they will be happy to write something for you.
2. Make sure you are in the mood. If something is weighing heavily on your mind, asking for a testimonial can wait another day
3. Be selective. Make a list of those clients you believe would be most receptive to providing a testimonial.
4. Select long-term clients first. Select clients you have had for many years. Asking a short-term client for a testimonial would likely not go over too well.
5. Know your comfort zone. Start with the clients you feel most comfortable with and build from there.
6. When to ask. Instead of using email or a phone call, ask a client for a testimonial in a one-on-one situation, for instance, following a maintenance review, at a social function, or a business meeting.
7. How to ask. Here is a good way to ask for a testimonial in a one-on-one situation: “This morning when I was planning for our meeting, I realized I have never asked you for a testimonial. I wondered why, and I could not find a reason. So, I decided today that I would ask your help in obtaining a testimonial that I could present to a possible client.” This works; try it.
8. It gets easier with time. Asking for testimonials is like cold calling. It gets easier over time.
9. What to do with testimonials. These should be part of every proposal and distributed at a presentation. Take pictures of the facility mentioned and include them with the proposal.
10. Be thankful. When you receive a testimonial from a client, be sure and thank them. Send them a thank you card with a short note. No one does this anymore, so it has considerable impact. Your customer will appreciate it.