We strive to exceed every customer’s expectations and are blessed when they voluntarily submit a glowing testimonial of their experience with your firm. But ultimately, for the best results in attracting new clients of great diversity, we need an equally diverse collection of testimonials.

One client may be pleased as punch with the high-quality of your product or service. The next client’s focus may have been entirely on the speed at which you delivered the goods. And yet a third client may chime in on the fact that she searched high and low for a specific feature or product that could not be found on this side of the planet that she found you had.

Whatever the client appeal, as the testimonials begin to roll in, it’s a good time to plan your Testimonial Collection. This is not unlike long, long ago when you may have planned which Boy Scout or Girl Scout badges you wanted to have. Make it fun, and it won’t seem like work.

So here’s how it works: Say, for example, you’ve received the three testimonials I mentioned above. (I’ve written them into the XY Chart below.) To complete your collection (which, by the way, will be ever-changing and expanding with new testimonials), you need clients to attest to the other features and benefits your products and services fulfill.

Remember, your clients buy from you because they have some type of problem that you solve. They want security to feel safe, so they buy insurance. They love relaxing and visiting with friends, so they want a vacation, and so on.

First list your products, their features and all their many benefits. Next, you’ll match up the comments in the existing testimonials with the products’ features and benefits that they mention. For example, Mrs. Jones may write, “You saved me so much time and hassle by managing all the planning of our family trip!” So you mark off “save time” and “save frustration” as key benefits.

On the other hand, maybe none of the testimonials mention the savings in money, or lost wages from the great trip insurance plan you recommended that they buy. Be sure you’ve set aside a box with this product yet-to-be-mentioned in a testimonial. Now you’ll be on the lookout for this specific testimonial. If an opportunity arises to capture this travel industry ‘merit badge,’ it’ll be fresh in your mind to say, “Mrs. Jones, thanks for your kind comments about the trip insurance. Even though it was a difficult situation for you, do you mind sending me an email – or I could write it up for you – with that testimonial about it?”

There are many ways to ask for a testimonial (which I won’t get into here). Consider developing a strategy to get all the ‘merit badges’ for your Testimonial Collection. A simple XY chart may help enormously in hunting down the most elusive comments.

Here’s a simple chart you can replicate for your own business, changing the benefit names in the column headings for the testimonials you have and would like to ‘earn’:
Testimonial Collection XY Chart

As you go through your collection of testimonials determine which ones fulfill which benefits and mark them off with an “X”. Add new product categories or benefits in the columns as needed so you know what to look for in new testimonials.

Last, but not least, you may want to reorder the columns to prioritize which benefits are the most important to clients, ensuring you display those testimonials where they get the best visibility.Who knows? The next prospect may read Mrs. Jones’ generous recommendation and become the easiest new client you ever booked!