But there's a knack to structuring and crafting an effective client success story. Here's an easy process to help you nail it every time. I call it my RAVES formula for terrific testimonials!
The secret is thinking of a client testimonial as one of those makeover TV shows. They're all built around "before and after" scenarios, with the bulk of the episode devoted to documenting the process leading up to some amazing transformation.
First, you see a pitiful person, home or yard sorely in need of professional assistance. Yet change is scary. Even the neediest often resist at first, begging to keep that tattered college t-shirt, the stringy hair, those ugly floral drapes, the overgrown bushes hiding the front porch.
But as soon as they try on a stylish dress or suit, see computer-generated sketches of their future living room or classy curb appeal, they get excited. By the big "reveal" at the end, they're overjoyed, OMG-ing all over the place, and tearfully thanking their design mentors.
Take the same approach to craft powerful client success stories.
Let's use Lisa Sasevich's terrific testimonial above (thanks Lisa!) as an example of my RAVES formula in action.
- Remind us what things were like BEFORE, that is, why your client needed your help. I wanted to inspire my audiences to say 'yes' to possibility by talking about my own journey in a more vulnerable way . . .
- Add pain points or concerns. . . . yet without oversharing.
- View the process leading to transformation. Sandra pointed out relevant experiences and themes from my past I'd never noticed, and helped me organize these key events into . . .
- Emphasize the results. . . . a powerful signature story that explains my passion to make a difference by helping others realize their potential.
- Summarize the client's success, the "happy ever AFTER" ending of the story. . . Now I can easily connect with audiences at a deeper emotional level than ever before, with an authenticity that builds trust and boosts sales success..
So there you have it, an easy way to remember how to structure and craft terrific testimonials.
Wondering when to use the RAVES formula?
- Convert it into a set of questions to ask clients when you gather testimonials, either written or recorded.
- Use it as a guide to edit long, rambling or disjointed testimonials clients may send you unsolicited. [Always ask the client for approval when you change their wording.]
- Keep it in mind when you're writing or recording testimonials for others.
And by the way, do take advantage of opportunities to share your own success stories with your mentors.
It's a nice way to thank them for all they've done for you, share awareness of their work with others, while creating positive visibility for your own business.
For example, recently my printer asked me to participate in a video commercial. I said of course, and look how nicely it all came out. A win-win for sure. After all, nothing succeeds like success. Especially when shared!