How to get a results-focused testimonial from a former colleague/client

I got some questions about results-focused testimonials after my last webinar. In the last post, I gave a high-level template, but here is one at a much more granular level of detail.

It can be daunting to give this template to a recommender and tell them to fill it in. I suggest that instead you make their life easy. Have a 5 minute conversation with them on the phone, ask them the necessary questions, and then you write the testimonial up for them using this format. Send it over to them so they can edit it to their liking and then post it on LinkedIn.

  1. Provide a half-sentence of background on them and their company (example: “I’m the CTO of a startup providing a Big Data analysis platform to retailers…”)

  2. Another half-sentence on the problem faced that led to them hiring you (example: "as we started to gain traction, we realized that we had an overload of ideas and opinions about future product definition. Everyone disagreed, and the roadmap was changing on a daily basis. We were trying to hire a full-time product manager, but it was difficult position to fill – we couldn’t find someone with sufficient experience and proven results…”

  3. (optional) A half sentence describing their reservations about hiring an outside consultant (example: “…We had reservations about hiring an outside consultant for such a strategic function as product management…”

  4. (optional) Another half-sentence about why/how they overcame those reservations. (example: “…but the clock was ticking. We could not afford to wait any longer.”

  5. AT MOST, a half-sentence about what/how you (the consultant) did (example: “I need not have worried. Sue immediately got up to speed and brought order to chaos.”)

  6. Then, the RESULTS they got (example: “Within three weeks, we had a well-researched, well-defined product roadmap that everyone agreed on. As a result we put out a leading-edge product that has great traction in the market, and we attracted key investors to our recent financing round”)

  7. (optional) Then the recommendation: (example: “I absolutely recommend Sue to startups who need to move fast and need strong product leadership.”)

Sue Raisty

Product management geek, born-again engineer, adoptive mother of boys, coach & mentor, mountain trail runner, tinkerer, no-bull communicator, wannabe writer, room mother & compulsive researcher.

Silicon Valley, California http://blog.sueraisty.com