In my view, client references or testimonials represent the most powerful promotional content you can have. Just consider when you buy anything off the web - don't you go with the product or service that has the best reviews? Conversely, don't you avoid those that haven't?
So make sure you gain your customer testimonials. Ask for them at the most appropriate time - typically just after you've delivered your product or service, when they are at their most positive about you (or should be!). Alternatively, use this as a negotiating chip, getting the prospect to agree to be a reference site as a quid pro quo to a concession on your side.
Here are some of the kind comments I've had, authorised for release:
"Thank you very much for your time today. It’s been extremely helpful and more importantly it has boosted my business confidence which is sorely needed! Your gentle persistence and expertise in directing us towards a proper planned future is now paying off and we can confidently stand firm in these uncertain economic times."
Justin Freeland, Managing Director, Antique Furniture Restoration Company
"Andrew’s ongoing support was really helpful, he has a lot of ideas to offer and resources he can call to hand to help you develop your business."
Joanna Atkinson, Director, Solicitors practice
"Having known Andrew for a number of years and continuing to benefit from his experience and advice we are now very happy to recommend his services. His personal style of coaching while maintaining just the right amount of insistence helps to keep progress moving along. He has a broad breadth of knowledge and personal experience which gives him the requisite credibility particularly for SME’s ploughing a furrow through uncharted mud! In summary a very affable and skilled advisor."
Trevor Dale, Commercial Director, Human Factors training Company
"When I was introduced to Andrew I was immediately put at ease by his concise approach to making business work - he immediately took on board our concerns and worked with us to ensure we had a smooth transitional period in our business over the last three years or so. His clear thoughts and extremely helpful mentoring has guided us to a new chapter in our business - where we are now enjoying the rewards."
Richard Booth, Managing Director, Corporate Photographic services
“As my business has grown, I have really appreciated Andrew’s ability to assimilate quickly the areas where I need to focus. His knowledge of IT and its application in business operations is also especially valuable. I would recommend using his services, particularly where sales processes need to be more effective.”
Oliver Griffiss, Managing Director, SME Office and IT services Company
“After contacting business link I assumed the advice and support would be helpful. However when Andrew came to visit me the insight and understanding of my businesses that he grasped in a relatively short period of time was impressive. On a subsequent visit some months later, I was even more surprised at the level of detail that he recalled about both my businesses. I’m sure note taking played a part, but it was obvious that it went beyond that. Andrew goes the extra mile, and left me feeling clearer and more optimistic about my business. I would thoroughly recommend his services.”
David Biggs, Owner, Media Duplication and Website Development businesses
“Your 'mentorship' over the past few years has provided important support and on a personal level it has been a real pleasure working with you.”
Nikki Oliver Pentucci, Director, Foreign Languages and Lifestyle training Company
“Andrew’s expertise has proven invaluable to my business over the past couple of years. Providing ongoing specialist guidance and immeasurable support from day one, his direction has meant that my company continues to build and develop. His calm approach has also managed to keep me sane during the process!”
Emily Morgan, Managing Director, Freelance PA services Company
“Hello Andrew, I would like to thank you so much. The business has been turned around thanks to your ideas and positive comments. It is making excellent money again. I need to concentrate on the other businesses I want to build now.”
Eve Morin, Owner, online au pair recruitment business
”When I first met Andrew I had just opened my business and I was in need of some assistance, in our first meet Andrew was a great help, not only did he help me with my business set up but also with ideas of how to grow, tips for marketing, sales and even how to get my company higher in Google rankings, we worked up a plan and it was put into action, but it didn’t stop there, Andrew later followed up to make sure I was still on the right track and the business was growing and once again gave me more solid advice and help, this helped my business to grow and my business skills expand, he went that extra mile and took that extra care, I am truly grateful and would highly recommend his services...”
Ryan McCormick, Director, Online Promotional Goods Company
"Andrew demonstrated outstanding client relationship building skills. He facilitated business acceleration and growth strategies to superb effect. An exemplary Business Adviser with specialist sales and marketing knowledge."
Adrian Jones, Business Development Consultant, an Innovation specialist consultancy