Looking for testimonials and referrals? Here is one of the fastest ways to get them when you are new on the scene and no one knows anything about you or your business.
Try to connect with people who have a strong network in the community that you want to generate leads from. Offer your services or products for free or a significant discount. In return, ask for their commitment to provide you with a testimonial and act as a reference for you once they have received the promised benefit(s) from your organization.
Of course, be sure that you deliver to them an experience with your products or services that are what you want this person to say about you. If you run into a problem while delivering your goods, resolve it efficiently and get back on track. In many studies, loyalty is stronger among customers that experience a problem and have it resolved to their liking than customers who never have any issues that need resolution. And no, I am not suggesting creating a problem to drive stronger loyalty, just know that issues with service during this process do not have to be deal breakers.
Make sure you and your customer track the benefits they experience from working with you. While you are reviewing the improvements in profits, sales, productivity, or wherever the impact has happened is also a great time to ask the client to provide the agreed upon testimonial; just by putting a pen to paper confirming the great things you have achieved together.
Checking back regularly once you have delivered your services or products will help you stay in the loop for upcoming opportunities and allow you to seek referrals to people in the clients network, based on their experience with you.
Consider the costs of providing these services or products at such a discount as an advertising expense. By the way, this is not a long term strategy – it is a product or company launching strategy.
Now, go get recognized for the value you bring to your customers and watch your business grow!