No matter your industry, testimonials are an extremely powerful tool in attracting new clients. Testimonials are written communications that speak positively about you and highlight what is special about you and your firm. There is only so much you can say about yourself without sounding boastful–plus, prospective clients don’t want to just take your word for it that you’re a great lawyer. They want to hear what people who did hire you have to say about you and your work.
More than anything, client testimonials should demonstrate success, build trust, and provide credibility. So it is imperative that you incorporate review acquisition best practices into your law firm marketing toolkit.
Here are five tips from Patrick J. McKenna, an internationally recognized authority on law practice management, to secure world-class client testimonials:
While this might sound obvious, it is imperative that you understand your client’s expectations, keep your promises, and go above and beyond in solving your client’s immediate needs and anticipating future problems. If you question your success in any of these areas, address that first before even thinking about requesting a testimonial!
Ask for them
Even after you feel like you’ve truly earned a testimonial, you may still have to ask for it. Fortunately, most clients are receptive to these requests so long as you have a good relationship. Clearly explain what you need (either over the phone, in person, or via email) and why you would appreciate their feedback. Treating them to lunch or coffee doesn’t hurt either!
Don’t neglect ‘unsolicited testimonials’
These are the pieces feedback clients and colleagues send you via email, snail mail, seminar feedback forms, or even in conversations. Chances are you’ve received more than you think! The next time someone emails you thanking you for your thorough and prompt response to their question or your latest thought-provoking article, respond immediately and thank them for their kind words. Then simply ask permission to use what they wrote–along with their name and professional title–on your website and/or marketing collateral. If the feedback occurs in conversation, ask if it would be okay for you to write up what they said and email it to them within 24 hours for their approval.
Make it easy
Make it as easy and comfortable as possible for your client to discuss your work. For some people, that may be answering questions over the phone or in person. For others, it’s writing their answers down via email. Ultra-busy clients may appreciate it if you take the first stab at drafting the testimonial and send it to them to use as a jumping off point. Knowing your client’s communication style will help you in tailoring their review experience.
Some of the most powerful testimonials come from a recognized influencer or high-profile person who can speak about how you helped address and solve their problems. Bonus points if that problem is representative of what others in your targeted client group experience. Start with them. As you move down your list of clients, keep in mind that the best testimonials are written by clients who are ridiculously happy with your work. If you question whether or not someone would give a good testimonial, that’s a sign that you should rethink the ask.
Above all else, be confident in yourself and the benefits that you are delivering to your clients each and every day. This will shine through every testimonial you receive!
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