How to Get High Impact Testimonials from Coaching Clients

Did you know that most people only read 10% of the text on your coaching website or a landing page? That means that every bit of copy should be essential and high impact. It’s true of testimonials as well.

Left to their own devices, your clients will usually write a testimonial that praises you highly but does a poor job describing the measurable results of working with you. Help your clients craft a brief but power packed prospect-winning testimonial.

Example of a low impact, high praise testimonial:

I hired Rhonda Hess as my coach because I wanted her to help me create my own coaching business and get beyond my self-imposed limits. I had no idea she would be instrumental in helping me find myself. Because of her belief and commitment in me, I am now living the life of the person I always dreamed I could be.  Bigger than I thought I could be. Through her listening, questioning and insights, she allowed me to bring to life character traits in myself that I now use to make a difference in the world, which is what really matters to me. She has a gift in her ability to get beyond surface issues and ask questions which move you above and beyond where even you thought you could go. Every time a session ends, I hang up the phone amazed at what has transpired in me in less than an hour. She is very spiritual, connected to the workings of the universe, honest, caring and generous.  I couldn’t have found a more valuable coach.

While it’s flattering to receive a testimonial like this one, it isn’t useable for three reasons:

  1. It’s not likely to be read because it’s too long.
  2. The language is “flabby” with too many prepositional phrases and low impact language.
  3. It focuses on the value of coaching skills rather than the measurable value of the experience as an investment.

Example of a High Impact Testimonial

In just four months of mentoring with Rhonda, my coaching business shifted from floundering to full. I’ve tripled my income by easily attracting more and better clients who stay longer. She showed me how to set up a well-leveraged marketing funnel that builds trust with ideal prospects. Now I ace my consults and get hired every time! – Joan Crouch

Why is this better?

  • It’s a quick read at 57 words.
  • Every phrase is word-smithed for impact.
  • It clearly shows three concrete benefits that will encourage prospects to invest.

Six Simple Steps to a Winning Testimonial

If you make it quick and easy for your clients to deliver a winning testimonial, you’ll get more that are high impact.

  1. Often, a client will send you an email with the seed of the best kind of testimonial — unbidden with natural “sound bites”.  Watch for these and ask if you can use it in your marketing copy in the future. Save it in an electronic file until the right moment.
  2. Keep a bullet-pointed list of your client’s successes as you work with them.
  3. When the timing is right, verbally ask your client if they’d be willing to give you a testimonial.
  4. Immediately follow up your request with an email including your bullet points about their successes. Also include your draft of their testimonial inviting them to either accept it as is, tweak it, or write their own from scratch using the points you’ve provided. You’ll be surprised how often your clients will say: “It’s exactly what I would say!”
  5. Ask them for a photo to show with the testimonial and find out how they would like to have their name listed. I like to include their web address so they benefit from having their site linked from mine.
  6. When you receive their testimonial, thank them personally.

Guidelines for ace testimonials:

  • Three to five short sentences, 75 words or less.
  • Use “I” language.
  • Vary sentence structure. Read aloud to check for proper syntax. Proof it!
  • Include at least 3 specific measurable achievements or breakthroughs.
  • Audio versions of a testimonial can be very powerful in addition to the written version. Use a service like AudioAcrobat.

On websites, landing pages and brochures always list at least three testimonials. If you’re just getting started and don’t have paying clients yet, get testimonials from individuals who have experienced your practice coaching. If you’re marketing a product, give away a few to get your first testimonials.