A great question came up today during the Q&A section of my webinar, Price Right in 2017. Toward the beginning of the presentation, I told my Honey Story (you can read that whole story here), just to make the point that so often when it comes to pricing, we make it about us in the most negative way, and forget the value as perceived by the client. That is, we get tripped up by the Mental Game of Pricing.
So much of the time, the obstacle to charging the right price for the genius we’re putting out into the world, has little to nothing to do with math. What gets in the way most of the time is what’s in our heads. You know, the self-talk. The negative self-talk. The self-doubt. The who-do-I-think-I-am’ing we do to our own selves.
Pricing can be scary. Pricing can be vulnerable.
And those negative voices can be loud.
I suggested that one way to turn them down, dial them way back, is to make it a practice to collect testimonials from the people you serve, the people you’ve assisted to make their lives, their work, better. Of course, we all need/want testimonials for our websites, for our sales pages, for making our case to new people who are just meeting us. Testimonials can also have the very happy side-effect of giving us a boost when we need one.
Sometimes we hear it better when it’s coming from other people, amiright?
When you have a mini crisis of confidence, you can turn to these testimonials to be reminded, to see what others see but what our fears or insecurities like to chatter over, keep from us.
In the Q&A someone asked, so how do you get testimonials?
Answer #1: You ask for them. I know that sounds like such a snarky, lame answer, but what I really mean is, you make it a practice to ask people, close to when you’ve delivered excellence to them, to write a testimonial for you. You make this a system in your business. You schedule it, for example after you’ve received the final payment or delivered the final piece of the project or product. You keep a list, if you’re like me, on a pink post-it in your planner and tick through it.
Answer #2: You make it easy for them. Part 1. Everybody’s busy. Most people will delay responding to an email that requires a lot of thought, so make providing a testimonial easier by providing a short list of bulleted prompts or questions to help your client give you the info that is most useful to you. If people prefer not to type out their answers but would prefer to send a recording or a video or be interviewed by phone, YES.
As an example, here’s a typical email from me asking for a testimonial. Of course, it follows a customized greeting and a few sentences that are specific to what i know is happening with that client.
Would you be so kind as to provide a testimonial about our work together? Here are some questions as a jumping off point for your response, but of course, feel free to approach this any way you like. Doesn’t have to be an essay, either. ;>
- What was your situation before we started working together? How did you feel Before?
- Were you nervous about our work together before we got started? Do you remember any specific hesitations? What, if anything specific, made you feel better?
- What results did you get from our work together?
- What was your experience of the process?
- How would you describe how you feel now? How does the After compare to your Before?
- Would you recommend this offer/service to others? Why?
Answer #2: You make it easy for them. Part 2. If you’re so lucky that some happy client sends you an unsolicited email full of praise, don’t be shy about responding right away with your thanks and a request to be able to share their kind words with others who are considering working with you. I like to avoid surprising anyone – so I think it’s good to ask before you take their words just to you in an email and make them public.
Tip: Please don’t think that you have to wait until you’re a Big Bad Established Business to gather testimonials. Even if you’re just starting out, just beta’ing a new offer or service, ask for them. Even if you're testing and barely charging anything, still ask. Eventually, since you’ll have built in this habit of collecting feedback, you’ll replace those early testimonials with fresher ones that are more relevant to how your business has grown and changed, but they’ll still serve your needs right now.
Go on. Ask. It’ll do you good. Promise.