PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA Journal. Elizabeth Tobin, JD; Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner answers your questions about creating a thriving Resonance Repatterning practice. If you have a question that you would like answered or if you would like to share your views about any of the topics discussed here, we welcome your comments.
Q: Why are testimonials important and how do I get them?
A: Traditionally, testimonials are written endorsements where satisfied clients attest to the value of your product or service. Now audio and video testimonials are becoming more common. You can use testimonials in ads, brochures, websites, flyers, sales letters, email marketing, and even books.
Testimonials are important because they help establish you as an expert, enhance your credibility, and offer third-party proof that your services actually work. People may not be as receptive when you tout your work. But the fact that others have tried it, and have taken the time to share their positive experiences, can be the deciding factor in someone’s moving from tentative prospect to willing new client.
Before you use testimonials it’s a good idea to become familiar with the FTC guidelines. You can read them on-line at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf
Obviously, testimonials need to come from a real client and reflect their true experience. In addition, you need to get your client’s express permission before you use their testimonial. Satisfied clients will often give you spontaneous and unsolicited feedback thanking you for their session. Don’t assume that you can use this as a testimonial. Ask them directly if you can use their feedback and if possible get their permission in writing.
Whenever I get an email from an appreciative client I always ask if I can use their email as a testimonial. Invariably the answer is yes, although some people will put a restriction that they don’t want me to use their full name. Always honor any restrictions that the client requires. I’ve created a Testimonial file where I store these emails, including the client’s affirmative response to my request. This way, when I’m writing promotional copy I go to that file and choose a relevant testimonial, and I can see right there whether the client has put any restrictions on its use.
Testimonials that are specific are more preferable than general statements of appreciation. In addition, testimonials that speak to results rather than generic feel-good superlatives are more effective.
For example, here’s an unsolicited testimonial from a proxy group client that speaks to results:
“Since the Repatterning started, I’ve had many life changes that have come so quickly it’s like riding a wave. I’ve overcome my fear of selling my jewelry and did my very first craft show. I’ve lost 11 ½ inches in the last two months (yea!!), and I’ve moved to a new townhouse twice the size of my previous apartment with a 2-car garage with all bills paid including hi-def cable for only $200 a month, and the Land Lord didn’t want to charge me a pet deposit because he loves dogs. What!!! That never happens. I can’t even begin to count the number of blessings I’ve had in the last few weeks. I’m in a position to be able to take another vacation in December. (I’m the one that hadn’t taken a vacation in years), and I feel really hopeful. I wanted to thank you and share my blessings with you. Here’s hoping that you have a wonderful Holiday from your friend in Oklahoma, Shaneen.”
Notice the specific details she included. Now contrast that email with this one from a client which I classify as more of an appreciation than a testimonial:
“Just writing to say thank you because I am acutely aware in this moment of how much you are doing to serve others and help people ‘on the path’. You are truly a blessed creature and I am grateful for the act of providence that brought you into my life! Thank you for all that you are and all that you do, but above all for being you!”
This email is very heartfelt, very enthusiastic, and it conveys a beautiful sentiment. In fact, I loved getting this email! But I wouldn’t use it as a testimonial because the main thing your prospects want to know is, “How can you help me?” And I’m not sure that this email specifically answers that question. However, this client would be the perfect candidate to ask for a testimonial and give them guidance as to what you’re looking for. By giving your clients specific questions to answer, you can help them write powerful testimonials.
Here are some specific questions you might ask:
• What was the problem or issue that prompted you to work with me?
• How did our sessions together help you in responding to or resolving this challenge? Please be specific.
• What positive changes have you noticed as a result of the sessions?
• What were some of the doubts or concerns you had in first trying the Resonance Repatterning process?
• How were these doubts or concerns alleviated?
• What would you say to others in recommending my services?
Don’t be afraid to ask your satisfied clients for a testimonial. In fact, being proactive in asking for testimonials can help both you and your client’s growth. In addition to helping you in your marketing efforts, the act of writing a testimonial can help your clients connect more deeply with the positive results from their sessions. Taking the time to reflect on their situation and what has changed since working with you can be very powerful. Expressing those positive changes and relating them to the Repatterning process can help your clients integrate and sustain their shifts and increase their own awareness of the value of your services.
Elizabeth Tobin, JD is a Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner who earns her livelihood through her full-time Resonance Repatterning practice. Geographically based in Boston, MA, Elizabeth serves an international clientele with individual telephone sessions, proxy groups and live workshops. Visit her website at http://LizTobin.com