You are passionate about what you do – you believe in your products and services, but you really are compensated for being a “raving fan” of what it is that you represent. You make money based on what you say about yourself, right?
Your customers aren’t though. They are the BEST endorsers for what it is that you do, because they don’t get paid to do so. So why don’t we have more good client references?
I’d like to start a revolution for everyone who offers great products and services to get ONE letter of reference (or video, or audio) for EACH client or customer you have. Possible? If you have hundreds of customers doing tons of business, that may not be as easy, although, have you ever taken a look at Amazon? They ask everyone who has done a transaction through a book seller on the Amazon site to rate and review them. It IS possible, even with high volume.
Ask your client at the beginning of a relationship, not at the end of their buying cycle. Set the bar high – let them know that your intention is to offer service so valuable that they will be happy to offer a letter of support and recommendation once you are more into the relationship, or when product delivery and service has been fulfilled.
Here is probably one of the best examples of a valuable reference page on a service provider’s website. I have met Norm Levy of Strategic Development Corporation once before and was very impressed with him and what he had to say. But I was really blown away when I saw his client page. We all should have favorable reference upon reference – if there is any doubt in a potential client’s mind about working with Norm, I think it would be totally alleviated after reading what some big names in business say about his work. Norm, you get a very large gold star for doing what many of us SAY to do, but you did it. In Norm’s case, I would bet he gets most of his business from referrals anyway – and even then, someone referred to him will probably go right to his website to learn more. THAT is the value of a page like his – whether you do mostly referral business or are building your business from scratch – document what others say about you.
It has motivated me to beef up my own site – so I won’t be the cobbler with no time to fix my own shoes.