Getting testimonials from clients can sometimes be tricky. Not because of client dissatisfaction, of course, (because then you wouldn’t ask!) but perhaps due to the bureaucracy of getting five levels of management and legal affairs to sign off. There are also situations when a customer doesn’t want HIS clients to know that he benefitted from your services. Very tricky.
Of course, we could be talking about energy management or pest control but the issue is the same: If the client flaunts his successes in resolving energy waste (or ridding his premises of cockroaches) that story is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there is the obvious good news that the client has moved in the right direction – is using less energy, saving money, and in a more market competitive position. On the other hand, this company’s clients could come calling for their share of the savings. Or, in our more…er…delicate example, the pests are gone but why were they there in the first place? (and what else is hiding under the rug?)
For a small startup, testimonials and references are the lifeblood of new business. It takes a confident client – not to mention true delivered value – to step up and broadcast his support. (We are ever grateful for these clients!) But it got me thinking of other industries that might face a similar situation:
- Human Rights Law
- Professional Mental Health Services
- Private Investigators
- Soil Contamination Removal
- Bankruptcy services
What other industries face this dilemma? How have they built their business, conveyed their authority, and built trust if not from stated client testimonials?