Recently I was talking to a Health Coach I know and our conversation drifted to client testimonials.  She told me that she never asks her clients for them anymore.  She used to collect them but she said she didn’t really know what to do with them so she decided to stop asking.  She also mentioned that she felt like she was burdening her clients by asking them to complete a testimonial form.
Needless to say, my heart skipped a beat when I heard her say that.  Can you imagine?  Not asking for a testimonial after all the time she put into working with her client.  It’s getting me fired up right now just writing this to you.  I never want you to find yourself in this position so I thought I would shine a light on client testimonials and the incredibly huge value they have to your business.

In any health coaching practice the object is to get clients, right?  Clients are the lifeblood to your business.  Well there is another lifeblood of any health coaching business and that is client testimonials.  Testimonials are powerful statements about you and your abilities from someone that has worked with you.  That is one of the most personal interactions you will have with your client.

Testimonials have tremendous power to establish your credibility as an expert in your field and as a Health Coach.  Unfortunately I am realizing that many Health Coaches are not asking their clients for a testimonial.  Even worse than that, they may actually get a testimonial and they’re not using it.  It goes nowhere but in a file in a drawer. (Can you see me cringing?)

The purpose of a testimonial is much more than an ego boost for the health coach.  The true purpose of a client testimonial is to establish your credibility.  While doing that it performs double duty by becoming a wonderful piece of advertising material for you.  You can regularly use quality testimonials to add credibility to your expertise and market your business.

The problem is that many Health Coaches don’t have their “testimonial radar” turned on.  The truth is that once you turn on your radar you will find the opportunity to collect testimonials around ever corner.  Let’s explore this concept further.

As an example, a glowing email from a client can become a testimonial.  Possibly someone you are affiliated with in your business gives you a verbal complement.  Request that they put it in writing.  Invite clients to share successes and celebrations along the way.  Don’t wait until the end of their coaching program.  Remember, you are changing lives.  Your clients would probably jump at the chance to support you by telling the world how amazing you are.

Another type of testimonial that you may not have considered is at the time you give a talk or participate in a health fair.  Feel free to ask the person in charge to provide you with a testimonial.  They can speak to the quality of information that you provided and to your professionalism. 

One last suggestion would be if you took a client or a group of clients on a shopping tour.  It is a one-time thing, but very impactful for them.  The information you provide will change the way that person shops in the future.  Pretty great, right? So when you finish with the tour ask for a testimonial.

So why am I making such a big deal about client testimonials?  Here’s the deal. The reason that they are so valuable to your business is because they establish your track record.  As your business gains momentum and you become better known by your target market, client testimonials may be the critical nudge a prospective client needs to hire you.  When they read how you’ve helped others it will resonate with them and feel like, “If that person could do that, so can I.”

With each service you provide you need to have a regular point in the program that you ask for a testimonial.  Don’t leave it up to chance.  You need to make it routine. It is no different than the outlines you follow for the coaching that you do.  You choose a point in time that you ALWAYS ask for a testimonial.  That way you will never forget.

If you happen to be in a longer coaching program with a client, (6 months or longer), then I highly recommend asking for one testimonial at the halfway point in the program and then another one at the end.  Not only is it valuable to your business, it also will give your client the opportunity to reflect upon how far they have come.

Here are a few tips to get you the highest quality testimonials that will inevitably result in the greatest impact on your business:

  1. Have a specific questionnaire that is geared to each individual situation, (ie: shopping tour, coaching program, group talk/presentation).
  2. Request the testimonial as soon as possible.  You want everything to be fresh in their mind.
  3. Ask your client to be very specific.  How much weight did they lose?  How much has their cholesterol dropped?
  4. It is not only acceptable, but recommended, that you rewrite the testimonial to have the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.  You want it to look as professional as possible.
  5. Never leave it up to chance.  Request the testimonial and if you don’t have it within a day or two then get a verbal testimonial over the phone.
Once you have received a testimonial be sure to thank your client.  My thought is that a hand-written card or letter is appropriate.  Don’t skimp with just an email.  Let them know that they were worth the extra time to hand-write a note of gratitude.

Now that you have the testimonial what do you do with it?  Great question.  Here is a list of some of the ways you can use your glowing client testimonials:

  1. Include them in your newsletter or blog post.  Everyone loves to hear a success story.  So share them freely.
  2. Definitely put them on your website.  You can place them sporadically on different pages of your website or you can dedicate one special page to all of your testimonials.
  3. Include testimonials in all of the advertising that you do.  You want to verify the success your clients have had in the past.
  4. If you do any direct mailings, include one to three client testimonials on that material as well.  Again it is establishing your credibility.
  5. Lastly, if you can get audio testimonials that is fantastic.  Some people relate better to the written word, others relate more to audio.  Collect them both ways so you will appeal to more people.
Collecting testimonials is truly one of the easiest things you can do for the success of your business.  They are golden nuggets so please don’t miss the opportunity to shine.
It is my sincere hope that this information has been useful to you.  Testimonials are an extremely powerful tool that removes any skepticism that a potential client may be feeling.  Remember, the more specific the facts in the testimonial the better. 

Do you have any clients you can request a testimonial from right now?  I’m sure you do.  Don’t let another second go by.  Contact them today and get that testimonial down on paper.

Will you please do me a favor?  Will you click over to my Facebook page and tell me how you are going to use a client testimonial that you’ve received?  If this article has impacted you and you plan to use client testimonials in a different way in your business I would love to hear about it.  You can share with me by going to http://www.facebook.com/KarenPattockBiz.

To Your Success,

Karen
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Karen Pattock is a successful business woman that has launched 7 successful companies. Her passion is guiding health coach entrepreneurs through the initial critical years in business using her proven methods. She provides expertise in marketing, business building, client attraction and list building.  
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