I introduced this topic in a previous posting on this blog so will avoid repeating the points I made last time.

Recommendations, referrals and testimonials are among the most effective ways for ambitious professionals to establish their credibility.

In an ideal world prospective clients would seek recommendations and referrals from trusted friends and family. Where this isn’t possible the testimonials given by third parties are a powerful alternative. In effect they are confirming to prospective clients, “Yes, this adviser is for real, they are good and this is how they helped me.” The implication of the testimonial is that when the prospective client engages you, they too will be pleased and have their problems solved. They start to believe in the promises you have made and the assurances you have offered by reading that others either recommend you or have been glad they used your services.

A useful testimonial includes these things: Full name (forename and surname). If possible, enhance the effect by including a title and business name/type. Anonymised testimonials are less convincing.

Compare the impact of the following two testimonials I have received about one of my talks:

1) A very entertaining talk on a dry but serious subject.
– I. Goldin

2) 180 people in the audience tonight and you kept them all riveted with your dynamic presentation.
– Michelle Fisher – Chairman, North West London Society of Chartered Accountants

I’m sure that the second one has a greater impact generally than does the first.

Subsequent posts in this short series will contain ideas as to how you can obtain testimonials, what to do with them and the key mistake you will want to avoid making.