Lawyers tend to have a love/hate relationship with testimonials.
As we all know, we can’t promise an outcome. And that makes sense. The result we produced for one client won’t necessarily be achievable for another.
That’s why some lawyers are gun-shy about using testimonials. That's a shame, because testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.
More than anything else, people want to know they’re making the right decision. The knowledge that others like them have already made the same decision – and are happy about it – gives people comfort.
It’s one thing for you to say that retaining you is a smart move. That’s just a claim.
It’s an entirely different thing for someone else to say that retaining you is a smart move. Then it becomes a fact.
Lawyers Need to Approach Testimonials Differently
In legal land, a testimonial can’t be about outcomes or results. Don’t try following the model you see on late-night infomercials.
Let’s reframe what a testimonial is. A testimonial should be about the experience of working with you. Most lawyers are guilty of spewing marketing platitudes, such as “big firm responsiveness and small firm rates.”
Clients aren’t dummies, though. They can spot marketing puffery a mile away.
But when they hear the actual experience of how responsive you were from a former client, they will start to believe.
Think about the different ways in which you’ve delighted someone with your service, responsiveness and knowledge. The experience, not the outcome, should be the foundation of your testimonials.
A Pro Tip for Killer Testimonials
Bear in mind that sugary sweet testimonials are less believable than testimonials that tell an authentic story, even if they’re not as glowing. In fact, a study from Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center and PowerReviews found that less-than-perfect reviews in the 4.2-4.5 range boost sales more than 5-star reviews.
Less believable: “Jane Doe is the best lawyer! She calls me back within 10 minutes every time!!!!”
More believable: “When I’ve hired lawyers in the past, I always knew what would happen. I would call, and it would take two days to get a call back. My experience with Jane was completely different…”
Research tells us - perfection is suspicious. After all, you’re human. Be transparent with your testimonials and share genuine stories, even if they expose a slight flaw.
When you request a testimonial from someone, ask them about the different stages. What was it like before they found you? What was it like working with you? What did that experience mean to them?
These tips will help you craft a powerful and convincing testimonial.