Your Clients Hold the Key: How to Ask for and Get Great Testimonials

May 6, 2011 by

The most powerful form of marketing is by far word-of-mouth. The leads you receive through word of mouth marketing are much stronger and have a higher conversion rate than any other.

When it comes from you, it’s easily seen as hype. When it comes from someone who has actually experienced it, it’s proof.

Why do testimonials work?

Testimonials work because they are a story of someone else’s experience. They inspire people to act by giving them the knowledge of how to act and the motivation to do so. Strong testimonials are a template for success.

What makes a good testimonial?

I’ve seen this often. Testimonials that miss the boat don’t say anything. Ones like, “Kathy Jo is great. I highly recommend her,” are flat, vague, and lack specifics. They don’t hold much weight.

A great testimonial is emotionally charged, believable, results-oriented, and demonstrate exactly what the client experienced. It takes the reader through the writer’s journey.

Here’s an example of a great testimonial: “Before I began working with Kathy Jo, I was extremely confused, frustrated, and didn’t understand how to market my business. Together, we created my business model, identified my niche market, defined my ideal client, and defined the values and benefits I offer. Now I have clarity, and am energized and excited. The results? My clients have increased by 50%.  I highly recommend Kathy Jo to any coach that is dealing with the frustrations of marketing their coaching business.”  ~ Stacey Byrd, Byrd Media Marketing

Elements of a great testimonial

Great testimonials should:

  • Be believable: going from $0 to 6 figure income in 3 months is not believable.
  • Have an emotional impact: What is different now?
  • Be from a real person: this can be a difficult one for coaches. Because of confidentiality reasons, we must have permission to share this information. You may find some are hesitant to do so. In this case, use as much information as you can (first name, initials, last name, company and position) while still respecting confidentiality

How do I get a great testimonial?

Often when we ask for a testimonial from our clients, we get one that is flat. It’s not because our clients don’t want to help us or don’t appreciate us. It’s because they don’t know what to say.

Make it easy for them. Here’s an easy template to give your clients to help them craft their testimonial.

  1. Where were you when we first started working together?   “Before working with _____, I was ______.”
  2. What was the solution? What did we do together?  “Together we, _____, ______, and _____.”
  3. What difference did it make?  “Now my business/ my life/ my___, is experiencing____.”
  4. Call to action “If you are experiencing anything similar to what I was, call _____ immediately! Don’t wait any longer.”
  5. Name, company, position

Even though you may feel funny asking for testimonials, if they have some sort of guideline, most satisfied clients that have achieved the results they are looking for are more than happy to write them. So make it as easy as possible for your clients to help you grow your business and give them this testimonial guideline.


Kathy Jo Slusher-Haas

Market Your Coaching Business





  1. Top 10 Lead Generation Strategies for Coaches & Consultants | Market Your Coaching Business - [...] with past clients you’re sure to receive high praise and hot leads. The key is to ASK! Read: Your …

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