Use Testimonials To Build Your Business!

If you don't have a good list of contacts please take the time and get it together. Once you have your contacts in order please read this article and apply what you have learned. It could be the most profitable activity you ever do in your business.
Every personal trainer should have a strong database management system. If you don't, you're missing out because your database is the most valuable asset you have in your business. If you don't have a nice and tidy list of contacts please take some time today and get it together.

You can use a basic excel file or you can invest in a program like ACT or Goldmine. Once you have your contacts in order please read this article and apply what you have learned. It could very well be the most profitable activity you ever do in your business.

Now hopefully you did this and you have a nice and tidy list of contacts you can reach with very little work on you part tracking addresses and contact information.

This contact list can be broken down into three subsections:

    Hot Contacts - These are your clients and close contacts. They know who you are. If you were to call them right now they would be able to remember you with very little effort.

    Cool Contacts - These are people who know who you are but who you probably do not do a whole lot of business with. You may contact them every other month or you may run into them once a year.

    Cold Contacts - These are people who you have come in contact maybe once and a long time has passed between the last time you talked to them. There is not a lot of consistent contact here.

But for this lesson we want to just worry about the Hot Contacts. They know you, respect you, and are very easy to get in contact with.

The Power Of Testimonials

There is a great quote that says, "Get someone else to blow your own horn and it will sound a thousand times louder than if you blew it yourself." This is so true.

Testimonials do something instantly that you cannot... they build trust. Why? It's a third party, and for some reason we like hearing from others. It reinforces our own thoughts and feelings about the person we are talking to.

This is also called third party selling. When you meet someone if you can drop a name or an experience that your prospect can relate to, it instantly builds a bit or rapport and credibility that you can leverage.

So with your hot contact list we are going to create a list of testimonials for you.

Often times your hot contacts are very busy people. If you were to ask them for a testimonial they will most likely say, "Of course!' but if you leave it up to them to do it will probably never get done. With that in mind I am going to tell you that it is completely legal to write a testimonial for them, that they can approve for you. I will show you how to do this.

Here Is A Sample Scenario:

Our example will be a recently graduated strength and conditioning coach. He works at a major University in the United States and is looking to branch out on his own.

For starters this guy has probably been in touch with a TON of people from a variety of sports. Perfect for cross-sport promotional ideas. He may, or may not, have a talent applicable across all sports and demographics. Maybe he is able to help these athletes drop fat without losing performance. Maybe he kicks-ass getting women to lose fat. Whatever it is we may want to consider targeting testimonials for a specific niche if that is the direction we want to go.

You can get multiple testimonials from the same person. This is really easy to do if you are writing them and they are approving them. I highly recommend writing them again because you can craft the testimonial for your specific needs.

If you are looking for testimonials for a fat loss book you surely don't want a hand written testimonial telling the world how great you were at getting someone stronger. The gut reaction to that is, "Thanks for the great testimonial (under the breath: but this doesn't really help me at all.)"

Here's what I would recommend this guy do. Feel free to modify this letter or approach to your specific needs.

    "Hey there (first name), I wanted to ask a favor if I might. You know, we had some great results while we've been working together and I wondered if you could help me. I'm in the process of putting together a website and building my business and I would love to get a testimonial from you that I can use in my promotions. You were such a fantastic person to work with I really want to try and attract more great clients who are just like you."

To help you out I'm not even going to make you write your own. I'm going to help you so you don't have to stress over it and we can make one that is super effective. I'll put together a couple and you can approve which one you like the best. That sounds like a good idea, doesn't it?

Ok, so there is your basic intro. Don't be afraid to ask for these. People love to give them and see their name in print. It can also be a great promotional tool if they have a product or service to promote. Have you ever noticed Mark Victor Hansen's testimonial on absolutely every website around? Well, guess what.

Each time you read his name he's probably selling another book. His testimonial for someone else's product or service is great promotion for his own stuff. You might want to suggest that to your potential testimonial prospect.

Getting Started

Action Step: Get online today, or open a couple books on your shelf and start looking for great testimonials for other people's products or services.

You will notice a couple of interesting things:

  1. Great testimonials are specific. Testimonials can't say that, "Gee whiz. Brian is a really, really, really, adequate guy." They can't be like that. They have to be specific and targeted. If you helped a woman with her golf swing then a great testimonial would read, "Brian helped me put an extra twenty yards on my drive in less than eight weeks and I dropped three pant sizes." Now that is a specific testimonial.

  2. Great testimonials provide a name, address and sometimes contact information. The best testimonials say, "Jon helped me lose 25 lbs in just 2 months..." - John Testy, Monial, Ohio - Author of Why Your Service Kicks Ass and I Can't Wait To Tell My Friends About You.

You want to avoid putting "Jon helped me lose 25 lbs in just 2 months..." - John T.

I will say this however; even a testimonial with no name or address is better than no testimonial at all. But you should do everything in your power to put as much information after it as possible. The more information, the more credibility, the more powerful the testimonial.

Some Random Thoughts

The more specific your testimonial is to what it is your selling the better. You don't want to have a strength testimonial for a fat loss book. Ideally you should match your testimonial to the following criteria: Match the product or service. Match the type of person (female/female, male/male, age group to age group - for instance, women want to read testimonials from other women, and the elderly prefer the opinion of another elderly person). Match the state and area if your product is geographically specific.

These ideas should get the ball rolling. My recommendation to the guy above is to start writing testimonials for athletes he has worked with and people he has come in contact with.

A sample testimonial for an athlete might look like this:

    "Coach Tony absolutely blew me away with his knowledge of losing fat and more importantly how he could get me to lose the stubborn pounds that were slowing me down. Now I'm leaner than I've ever been. I'm stronger than I've ever been and I look GREAT in my bikini!" - Angela Powers, Austin Texas

Coach Tony could use this testimonial for fat loss, females, summer beach goers, and people looking to get faster.

Here's one he could use as a testimonial for a colleague:

    "I've worked with Coach Tony for XX years now. And during that time I've never met someone so dedicated, so knowledgeable, and so able to produce incredible results in the people he's worked with. I recommend Coach Tony to any (insert demographic here) looking to (add benefits here). They will meet with a success uncommon to most and will be heads and shoulders above the rest."

This testimonial could be used for: contacts to other professionals, athletes, anyone looking for improvement or a coach to help foster those improvements.

With some creative thinking you can come up with your own testimonials. The more you have the better, and with a little bit of work every night you will quickly have enough testimonials to really add spark to your marketing pieces.

About The Author

Jonathan Edwards is an Olympian and a Marketing Consultant. He has put together a free report for you to help you build your personal training business. Whether you are a trainer or someone who manages a group of trainers you will benefit from this free report. To claim your free report please go to and get it today. Or you can email Jonathan directly at

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