Advisers seeking testimonials should provide their clients with a clear structure for responding, business consultant Kim Payne has said.
Ms Payne, managing director of 9rok Consulting, told ifa that advisers need to provide clients with guidance on how to word a testimonial.
“If you just ask a client to write a testimonial, that's dangerous,” she said.
“When people have a good experience, they want to share that with others but often they don't know the best way to go about it.”
Ms Payne suggested sending out a template asking clients to describe their situation, explain how the adviser intervened and what the results were.
“You give them the structure of the testimonial and say, ‘I'd love you to think about how we helped you pay off your house sooner’ or ‘how we helped you to reduce your interest costs’,” she said.
In her view, testimonials are ineffective when they merely endorse an adviser’s merits.
“You don't want them to just come back and say 'they're a great guy' or 'we highly recommend them'. That doesn't do anything,” she said.
She also encouraged advisers to start their request with a reminder of the services previously provided to the client.
“It's about reciprocity,” she said.
“If you position asking for a recommendation or a testimonial with what you have done first, it gives you the right to ask for the testimonial back."
To lend credibility to a written testimonial, Ms Payne recommended adding a name, title and photo of the client to accompany the text.
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