A testimonial from a prominent satisfied customer or client can go a long way in persuading others to utilize your business or buy your product, which is why it is so important to learn how to ask for testimonials. Testimonials bolster your credibility, lend a great deal of ethos, and can often improve your bottom line. Testimonials make perfect social media content as well; whether they’re presented as text, images, or video, they can carry a lot of weight.


The problem arises in getting people to say the right things for a high quality testimonial. It’s not that satisfied clients aren’t willing to go on the record as being happy with your service — it’s that they often don’t know what to say other than what you did was really good. If you can ask the right questions and lead people to a good answer, you’ll often get the quote or sound bite you need. Here are six questions you’ll want to ask, along with an extra tip, to get a good testimonial.


  1. What did you like best and why?

A question like this creates focus: instead of repeating that your product or service was really good, your testimonial giver can narrow down to one outstanding aspect of what they received, explain a little bit about it, and give some reasons why it was the best.


  1. What are two or three other things that you liked?

It’s likely that there’s more than one positive aspect of your business that your satisfied client or customer can discuss. Following up the first question with this one allows him or her to expand upon the initial answer. When used together, the answers to these two questions provide a complete testimonial about the excellence of what you provide.


  1. How did you become convinced to buy this product or use these services?

This question sets up a problem-solution dynamic. What your business or organization provides fulfills a specific need, and your client’s answer to this question will demonstrate that exact need and how you can meet it. Presumably, others reading or watching the testimonial will have a similar need, and they’ll know that you can help.


  1. What concerns did you initially have about our product or service?

We all have fears or concerns when we make a big purchase or hire a business to do work for us. A good answer to this question demonstrates that those fears are mercifully unfounded, and that everything will work out well in the end.


  1. Why would you recommend our product or service?

The answer to this question directly responds to potential customers’ concerns: why should they buy your product or service? What’s more, a testimonial that directly recommends what you have to offer demonstrates that your satisfied customer was willing to put his or her reputation on the line by putting in a good word for you.


  1. What else should potential customers or clients know?

When you ask someone for a testimonial, it’s almost a given that he or she will do some mental preparation beforehand, rehearsing some things to say and coming up with a few points to make. However, their prepared statements may not fit into the answers they give to your questions. Finishing up a testimonial interview with this question allows your client to say those things on the record.


Tip: Stay quiet and listen.

This is a secret that many journalists and documentary filmmakers know, and it’s sometimes how they get their best material. When your interviewee has completed an answer, it’s tempting to just move along to the next question. However, if you can stay quiet and smile for five or ten seconds, you create a silence that becomes a little uncomfortable. People are often tempted to fill this silence with talk, and the person giving the testimonial will often chime in with another comment or two. Sometimes, these are the most insightful and fascinating things they say — but you won’t get them if you don’t stay quiet and listen a little longer than you think you should.


Ask and You Shall Receive

Getting a great testimonial that will bring in new business is easy if you know the right questions to ask. If you’ve been unhappy with the effectiveness of the testimonials you’ve received, or if you’re just getting started with creating testimonials, these six questions will lead you toward persuasive and focused quotes and clips. Asking the right questions, then staying quiet and listening for the answers, should get you the testimonials you’re after.