This Psychological Phenomenon Makes Testimonials Irresistible


Use the Power of Social Proof to Get More Clients

by Julio Vasconcellos


Testimonials Offer a Powerful Way to Bring in New Clients

Have you noticed how many successful brands feature positive reviews to lure in new customers? It’s no coincidence that big companies all over the world proudly showcase client testimonials on their websites, stores, and advertisements — in fact, it’s a well-known industry secret that including testimonials is a proven method to increase sales, especially from new clients. Nearly 63% of consumers indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a website if it has testimonials.

Why do testimonials work so well? The answer comes down to a concept called “social proof.” As humans, we look to other people to determine how to make the best choices. If you have the choice between an empty cafe or a bustling cafe, all things being equal, which one do you choose? Almost all of us will choose the busy cafe- the lure of the happy crowd pulls us in! You can position your independent service business to look like the busy cafe by showcasing testimonials from satisfied clients, therefore providing social proof for your business and attracting new clients.

Providing social proof at the moment when potential clients are making their hiring decision is essential. This could be on your website, online profile, or other marketing material that clients may be using to evaluate you.

Quality Matters as Much as Quantity

The best testimonials are results oriented and show that you can get the job done. Ask clients to be specific about how you helped them to reach their goals. Client stories make for great testimonials. Stories often bring an emotional element that makes them more effective and memorable. Try to get a broad variety of clients to share testimonials. People tend to relate to others who “look and feel” like them, so showcasing a variety of clients will connect you to a broader base of potential clients.

How to Ask for Testimonials

Getting great testimonials is easy- you just need to ask! In fact, a Texas Tech study discovered that 83% of clients are comfortable providing a referral, but only 29% of them actually do. The key thing is to ask the right clients at the right time. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask your best and happiest clients first. If you’ve been open to feedback and paying attention to your client roster, you should know who these people are. Turn them into your best promoters by asking for a testimonial. If you’re not sure, start with a feedback request first. Use that feedback to identify your most satisfied clients and ask them to provide a testimonial.
  • Time your ask. If a client compliments you or thanks you, this is a great moment to ask them to support you by providing a testimonial.
  • Automate your request for testimonials by including a link in your e-mail signature, invoices, or newsletters.
  • Maximize your network. Clients often look to professionals they have an existing relationship with for their endorsement of other professionals, so team up with professionals you know and respect and write testimonials for each other. Real estate agents often refer mortgage brokers or home inspectors, yoga instructors refer massage therapists, personal trainers refer nutritionists, etc. Having a network of professionals who are not directly competing with you is essential.
  • Give, then get. If you surprise clients with a gift or another benefit, following up with a request for a positive testimonial is very effective. The social norm of reciprocity is a powerful psychological phenomenon that ensures this success.

More Resources at Your Fingertips

Prefer’s Testimonial Tool

Our sister company, Prefer, has built a tool for you to gather and promote client testimonials seamlessly. Download the app and build a profile to create a live link that you can post to social media, include in your e-mail signature, or even text to your clients to ask for a testimonial.

On social proof

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