I chose this title because since 1983, the year I became involved in the nutrition industry, the use of testimonials has been a topic of heated discussion.
Many states have adopted laws governing the use of client testimonials by clinics and marketers of nutritional products. With good reason, most do not properly use the testimonial they receive from happy customers who are simply sharing their personal experience.
It has become a closely watched practice because here in the United States, it seems, it is illegal to get a sick person well. That’s right, you heard it, and this is an entirely different topic than the one we are examining in this article.
Many people over the years have found themselves in plenty of trouble sharing with prospective clients that if they just take this herb or supplement, all their worries will be over. It in this context, they shouldn’t use a testimonial.
It lacks professionalism and gives Nutritional Therapy a bad name not to mention that it can land them in a heap of trouble. Hopefully by the time you read this, you will have a better understanding of how you can properly use written testimonials in a professional manner.
First, capturing a good experience on paper, “testimonial,”
In our clinic, we use a simple one page form that allows the client to express what their health was like, in their own words, before they started Nutritional Therapy and what it is like now, after using Nutritional Therapy for 6 weeks.
(This is part of our re exam process which is covered in our more in-depth Patient and Practice Management series.)
At the bottom of the form are two boxes that can be checked by the client. One mentions that the client is giving us permission to use their testimonial in our in office promotional booklet ONLY.
The second is allowing us to use the testimonial, as a reprint, in our public education and out of office marketing efforts. Most of our clients over the years have checked both boxes and then lastly, there is a place at the bottom for them to sign and date the document.
In the state of Wyoming where my clinic is located, we are required to keep the hard copy submissions on file if those testimonial submissions are used in or out of the office.
Our FAQ Booklet also has a written disclaimer at the end telling the reader that all testimonial reprints have been used with written permission and the original permission forms are located at our office.
I personally feel this is good practice in all testimonial situations unless you live where the use of testimonials is strictly prohibited.
If that is the case, there are still ways to capture great content to lend to your credibility. Video is one way that works very well in place of the written testimonials.
We all know or should know the power of third party referrals in the building of our business.
These are valuable in establishing credibility, they are used to educate potential clients to the value of your services, they will expand the awareness of existing clients to the bigger picture involving the different cases we have helped over the years.
When presented tastefully, with no misunderstanding of its use.
The Use Of Testimonials Will Benefit You In The Following Ways
- Lends credibility to your service.
- Serves as an identification piece in the mind of the client and prospective client.
- Over time will cover a broad range of cases that your service has been helpful with.
- Helps eliminate the lack of efficacy that can exist in the mind of new clients.
- Allows the client to share with family and friends the benefits of Nutritional Therapy.
(We use a 40 page booklet of testimonials we have collected over the years, we give this booklet to clients so they can share with family and friends the success that people have had, in other words, they begin from day one helping us build our practice.)
Here is a role play of how we teach our clients to use the testimonials booklet properly, (which if you haven’t written your own, at the end of this article will be an email address on how to request our free clinical copy.)
When clients start a Nutritional Therapy program, many of their family members and friends will ask them what they are doing.
Two things we educate our clients on so that it is ingrained in them when asked, “What do they do at the Country Doctor? Their quick and well educated response is, Nutritional Therapy.
Next, they share our FAQ Booklet with their family and friends which lists in alpha order over 32 pages of case history and the success others have had with Nutritional Therapy. Finally the most valuable wording our clients use with family and friends is this phrase.
“The doctor said it was too soon to tell, so let’s find out”
Those three little words on the end are priceless because if the person the client is speaking with is serious at all about improving their health, finding out how is the next logical step.
More often then not, the person who sees our testimonial booklet calls the office and comes to the next available Clinic Orientation Class.
We conduct these classes on the first and third Tuesday of the month so new clients can come in a be pre-educated on what Nutritional Therapy is all about…. ok, getting a little off topic but I hope you can see how one action, the use of testimonials, seamlessly roles into the next action which is to help more and more people get desperately needed help.
I am certain we can come up with more discussion on this topic and you, the reader, are certainly welcome to contact me at the information below. For a free digital copy of the FAQ and Testimonials Booklet we use, please forward your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, happy practice building.
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