How Private Investigators Can Use Testimonials as a Marketing Tool
- October 25, 2011
- by PInow Staff
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. How many times have you had someone tell you to use their dentist, or to buy your car from a certain dealer because they’ll take care of you? These unsolicited testimonials are extremely effective, which is why you should have potential clients hearing and reading glowing recommendations about your services.
In an ideal world, people would stand on rooftops and shout their praises about your investigative prowess, but in reality sometimes it takes a bit of prompting to get people to share their opinions. It may seem a bit odd to ask clients for testimonials because you’d prefer to let your work speak for itself, but trust us, having someone else speak for you is amazingly effective.
To take full advantage of the power of word of mouth, we have put together some tips for private investigators to collect and display effective testimonials that will bring in new clients.
1. Identify Your Testimonial Subjects
To get started, you will need to put together a list of clients for whom you have successfully investigated. For your list, try to recall cases that had a noteworthy outcome, and clients who were quick to praise you for quality work. Also target people or companies you’ve worked for who have recognizable names, as these will make your testimonials stand out even more.
2. Collect the Right Information
Once you have identified the people you want to collect testimonials from, you should send them an e-mail or give them a quick phone call asking them for a few minutes of their time. Whether you have them write answers to questions you’ve typed up, or if you record them via a tape recorder or video camera, make sure that you’re not hogging their time. Try to make the entire process take 15 minutes at the most because they are likely very busy.
Know in advance what you hope to get from this interview so you can ask the right questions that gently guide the person in the desired direction. In order to get enough information for a well-rounded testimonial, you should ask them to discuss details including:
- A general description of the problem they were having that needed investigative work
- Their experience working with you, including your customer service and professionalism
- The reasons why they were satisfied with how you helped to resolve the case
3. Edit Testimonials to Fit Your Needs
Once you have collected written material or video footage, you need to edit it into the concise and compelling testimonial you will show off to potential clients. Usually, you will want to edit testimonials into very short paragraphs or video clips because people tend to have short attention spans. This means you will have to be extremely selective about which details and language to include. An exception to the brevity rule is if you decide to use a particularly successful investigation as a case study, and publish it in longer form.
After you are finished editing, get the person’s approval for what you have done. Make sure they are okay with how you have shaped their words and with the way in which you are planning to display the testimonial.
4. Display Testimonials in the Right Places
Now that you have your testimonials, how will you make them visible to potential clients? Think about your existing marketing collateral or marketing materials that you want to create, and consider how you can fit a testimonial on them. Ideas for places to display testimonials include:
- Brochures, business cards and other printed marketing collateral
- E-mail newsletter if you send one out
- On your private investigator website
- Get people to post their testimonials on your local search profiles.
- Case studies can be displayed in PDF form if you’d like people to be able to print them
Now that you know why and how you should collect testimonials from your clients, it’s up to you to go out and get them. You’ve done the hard work, so now let your satisfied clients talk you up!
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