Here’s how to collect testimonials

clapBarbara ‘s clients often will call her to tell her how good they feel after receiving acupuncture sessions. She records what they say, and asks permission to use their words in her marketing. Why is that a great way to collect testimonials? Because the comments are about them and how they benefit rather than being about her as a practitioner. Barb’s potential clients don’t care as much about her as they care about what she can do for them. They relate to the client experience. 

Client experiences convince way more than even rave reviews about a provider, or in my case, a seminar leader. 

Several months ago, an Executive Admin wanted information that would help her convince her CEO that by attending the Executive Admin Training Camp, she would be better able to support him. I asked a couple of former attendees to write up their experience with that in mind, and got the most powerful testimonial imaginable.  Here’s what she wrote.


“As you know, our duties do not ever end after the work day is through. My executive also had the same feelings of hesitancy for me to be out of the office and the “unavailability” of the conference being in another state. After much negotiation and compromise (and much to my surprise) he allowed me to reserve the ticket.

My CEO requested an action plan of items to implement that would benefit our department upon my return. After hearing from those in similar positions at the conference and using the material Meryl provided, together with my co-workers (who also attended the conference) we were able to come up with an action plan. Since the December 2011 conference, many things from the action plan have come to life. Communication and feedback with multiple executives have improved, and together we developed a partnership model. I have worked very hard to “Say what you mean, mean what you say and not be mean when you say it” (one of Meryl’s quotes I have posted on my computer screen), and I have also begun to “share what I know” with others. We also implemented a “pack rat” day once a quarter for the entire department, applying lean methodologies.

I have been to many conferences at which I learned nothing. This administrative conference is well worth the investment. If your CEO believes in personal growth and giving his employees opportunities for improvement, this is the conference to attend. I believe the tools and tips Meryl provided and the discussion with others in our position really provided me with the necessary “take-aways” to develop my career and make work a much happier place to be.”

Holly B.
Executive Assistant
Van Wert County Hospital

The power of this testimonial is that it’s not about me, it’s about Holly, and what she was able to do after returning. 

When you’re collecting testimonials, pick up on messages that weren’t ever intended to be testimonials. And when asking for testimonials, ask that they be about the client, customer, attendee etc. more than about you. You could even ask someone to write it an a “Dear Potential Client” format. Thanks, Holly. Your email was just what the Executive Admins’ CEO needed to approve the training. 

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