Client testimonials and referrals
We are all consumers, and at some point in our lives we’ve been wowed by super slick websites, seduced by a product’s ability to answer our needs, or simply impressed by the marketing efforts that have gone into promoting something. Yet in today’s marketplace, people still rely heavily on reviews – what people actually think of the product or service, and whether they’d recommend it.
The same can be said for freelancers and contractors. Whilst you’d hope that your experience and skills would be enough, some still need to hear the thoughts of others to be convinced you’re up to the task. So how do you achieve more testimonials and referrals from your clients? In this blog, We explore just that, with some top tips every self-employed person can adopt.
Referrals and trust – one cannot exist without the other
As a testimonial and referral is an insight into someone’s personal thoughts and feelings, a certain level of trust must exist for them to part with such information. After all, you wouldn’t endorse something in your name if you didn’t believe in it.
So how do you get a client to trust you enough to refer you? It’s a tough question to answer as all clients are different, but the easiest way is to ensure you complete your contract on time, on budget and with minimal (if any) hiccups.
Understand how to approach the subject of a testimonial or referral
Before you ask your client if they’d like to provide you with one, remember that you’re not begging for something you don’t deserve. You’ve completed the contract to the requested specification and have proven that you’ve done it well.
It’s important to let the client know what impact testimonials and referrals can have on your professional development and how word-of-mouth promotion is integral to your future success. If they refuse then sadly there’s not much you can do, but by requesting one you’re letting them know of your expectations and why it’s important to you.
Consider them as transactions
This tip may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have a good relationship with your client it’s worth considering offering an incentive for their testimonial or referral. This could be seen by some as a bribe, so use your professional judgement here whether it’s an appropriate step to take.
Your incentive could be something as simple as a referral in return or discount for future work, because if they’re willing to refer you then they will possibly look to hire you for a future contract.
Remember that it’s not all just about you
Your client will know that as a freelancer or contractor you’re part of a bigger network, and that you will have your own opinions of them. So whilst their referral could open more doors for you, your thoughts on them could potentially put other freelancers or contractors off from working with them in the future.
If you have colleagues who possess skills that the client needs for future projects, let them know. You’ve essentially then shown the client that you care about their organisation and want them to succeed, even without your help. This will leave the client with a positive parting impression.
It’s time to show them off!
Don’t forget that once you’ve earnt those blinding reviews it’s time to show them off. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, professional website, or even material you send out to prospective clients, but just double check your client is happy for their comments to be made public. Always ensure that future clients can see what past clients have to say about your work.
Do you have tips for getting referrals that have worked in the past? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what’s worked for you.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.