You saying you’re great is one thing, but a customer saying you’re great? That can really help to get sales over the line.

Testimonials and case studies can be incredibly powerful. Not only do they give your potential customers an example of how you could help them, the customer giving the testimonial is doing the sales pitch for you, and chances are what they loved about you will be what potential customers are looking for.

So how do you get more testimonials and make the most out of the testimonials your customers give you? Here are four tips to help you get testimonials that will convert sales for you.

1. Request testimonials after you have delivered value

The best time to ask for a testimonial is after you have given your customer value. It could be saving them money, reducing their expenses or stress, or making their life easier. Don’t make the mistake of asking them just after they’ve signed up, not only will you face more resistance, the testimonial you receive won’t be as specific or powerful.

2. Ask for testimonials in person or over the phone

When asking for a testimonial, always ask in person or over the phone. People are more likely to say yes to giving a testimonial when you have spoken to them, they also tend to send it through quicker.

3. Know what you want from a testimonial and be prepared to give prompts

To make testimonials work in your favour, you need them to answer all of the regular objections a potential customer may have with your business and industry. To do this well, you normally need to provide the customer you’ve requested a testimonial from with a guide of what you want.

It could be as simple as sending them a quick email thanking them for agreeing to do a testimonial and including a sentence like “what we are mainly looking for in a testimonial is how you enjoyed working with us. This could include the level of service, ease of contact, the quality of our work and what you thought of the finished product (plus any other specifics you want to include).”

4. Encourage customers to publish testimonials on a social platform

Once they have agreed to give you a testimonial ask if they would mind giving it to you on a platform like LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, Twitter or a review site where others will see it.

It’s one thing seeing a testimonial on a website, but seeing a testimonial given by a real person publicly? That adds a whole new level of reality and credibility, especially when you know the person giving it.

Plus with many review sites and LinkedIn requiring testimonials to be uploaded by the person who is giving them, it allows you to increase the number of testimonials you have on these platforms. It also, still gives the you the ability to copy and paste them into your other promotional material easily.