by John Graham

For testimonials to encourage someone to use your services, they must tell a compelling story—not make a sales pitch. Here’s how to obtain believable and credible testimonials.

Find the Right People

Be selective about who you ask for testimonials. Look for deals where you had a large impact—perhaps even saving the transaction. Ideally, ask for a testimonial when you have performed well and demonstrated your competence, not when you need a testimonial. It’s your performance that makes testimonials compelling.

Don’t Ask Them to Write Anything

Most people want to be helpful, but they don’t know what to say or how to say it. That’s where you come in. Conduct a short phone interview with the client and, using notes from that conversation, craft a concise and compelling narrative.

Present the problem, your solution, and the successful results. For example, the client might say, “I needed to relocate but my house just sat on the market with two other brokerages. Jane Doe Realty saved me from paying two mortgages by coming up with a unique marketing plan that produced a fair price within two weeks.”

Be sure that your client approves of your final version before you share it.

Put Your Testimonials to Work

Testimonials aren’t worth the time and effort if you don’t leverage them. Put them in your newsletters, websites, and videos. Ask your client to post his testimonial on social media and tag your account.

John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales strategy consultant and business writer. He is the creator of “Magnet Marketing” and publishes a free monthly e-bulletin, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales Ideas.” Email him or visit