Rich Dibbins, founder of legal sector specialist Staxton Digital, offers his top tips on how to get testimonials from happy clients of your law firm. (Updated 5 January 2023)
- Just ask. Clients rarely volunteer testimonials, but happy clients are often willing to provide a testimonial once they know you would like one.
- Timing is everything. Ask as soon as a matter has completed, or after a big win.
- Make it routine. Include asking for testimonials as part of your client feedback questionnaire after providing legal services.
- Guide the client. Encourage clients to comment on your key selling points (for example, quality of service).
- Edit carefully. Many clients are happy to let you edit what they say before signing off the final version, but over-edited testimonials can lack authenticity. Of course, never create fake testimonials.
- Encourage specific details. If you provided a great service, what was so good about it? How did you outperform client expectations? If possible, what (ideally measurable) results did you deliver for the client?
- Get snappy quotes. A relatively short quote that carries a single clear message works well, and is easy for a client to provide. Or you can pull out one or two key sentences from longer testimonials.
- Control the process. Be careful about asking clients to provide testimonials in public spaces (for example, online) – you don't know what they will say or how it will come across. Aim to agree the testimonial first before sharing it with the world.
- Mix things up. Get a variety of testimonials that make separate points – for example, one focusing on quality of service, another on value for money and so on.
- Relatability works. Clients are most influenced by testimonials from similar people (or firms). Testimonials from high profile clients (eg the leading company in the sector) also have an impact.
- Anonymous testimonials work too. Some clients aren't happy to have their names publicised – but a quote from ‘FTSE 100 Finance Director' carries weight as well.
- Consider video testimonials. These can be as simple as a Zoom recording.
- Use your testimonials everywhere – throughout your website (not just hidden away on a testimonials page), in marketing materials, in individual emails, and when you are talking to potential clients.
"Testimonials are the best form of social proof. According to research from Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don't even know. There's no easier or better marketing you can do to promote your work."
Scott Simmons, BD coach and trainer, Legal Balance