Client Testimonial Best Practices for Investment Advisors

A good client testimonial can greatly propel your marketing and sales efforts. Do it right and make it count.

As market competition intensifies, investment advisors must do whatever it takes to stand out.

Prospective clients have a lot of choices. After all, there are nearly 13,000 Registered Investment Advisors in the US alone.

Client testimonials are one way to differentiate your firm and show the true value you bring.

These stats on testimonials validate the importance of such publicity, which can help you grow your business.

Below are a few helpful tips on getting the testimonial done right.

4 Client Testimonial Tips for Investment Advisors

Select a Client You Know You've Served Well

Asking for a client testimonial is a big deal, and only the most satisfied ones should be approached.

Divide your client base into categories by their satisfaction levels. Whatever your criteria is for a happy client, that's for you to decide.

For those in the lukewarm or dissatisfied groups, they should be left out of  testimonial outreach. In the meantime, figure out how to make them happy again.

The reason you want be selective in whom you ask is because it shows respect to your audience.

If you know you've done a great job with a certain client and you've maintained close contact, it's not unreasonable asking to quote them. You helped them. Now they can help you.

If you ask a client who's on the fence, that may be awkward. Asking one that is clearly dissatisfied, that could be insulting.

For example, if the client was upset with you recently, asking for a glowing review (too soon) shows a disconnect between your client's feelings and your understanding of their feelings.

It's one thing if a client declines a testimonial for privacy reasons. It's another if they reject because of failing to meet their needs.

Asking a second time for a testimonial after being rejected once before will be harder and more awkward, unless enough time passes and you've clearly improved.

Otherwise, it's best to get things right that one time.

Always Ask for Permission

Before creating a client testimonial, make sure the client gives their consent.  Let them know your intent in obtaining such a quote.

If you plan to share their feedback on your website and in other marketing material, tell them. When such is displayed, show them.

Clients may have said nice things about you in the past, but if those statements weren't "on the record", then don't publish those statements without asking first.

In some cases, the client will let you create the testimonial for them.

That's great news, as you can craft the message as you see fit, but have the client review what you wrote. Do not exaggerate or falsify claims. Make sure not to misrepresent how the client actually feels.

Otherwise, it appears like you are taking advantage of the relationship. Keep client trust by being honest and accurate in your self-written client testimonial.

Have a Descriptive Testimonial

You've identified the right clients to ask. You've gotten their permission. Now you just need a good quote.

A generic statement like "We're happy with their services" may be true and accurate, but it's not descriptive enough to woo a prospect.

Prospective clients need a concrete grasp of the value you provide as an investment advisor.

Rather, you can guide the client along, requesting they mention some or all points in the following areas:

  • specifically how you helped them
  • any pain points or issues you resolved for them
  • length of the current relationship
  • personal, heartfelt statements about the relationship
  • if and why they would recommend you to others

If you are creating the testimonial on behalf of the client, you should touch upon the above suggestions.

Appropriately Display Testimonials

Once you've gotten a nice quote, you must decide the right places to display it.

You might have multiple testimonials to showcase. The clients fit different personas, they use different services, and they have unique stories to share.

A positive statement is good in itself, but if the testimonial is not optimally placed, the message may not resonate with the intended audience.

So, if you are sharing quotes from retail and institutional clients, make sure the testimonials appear on website pages and in marketing material that fits the market segment.

When reading a testimonial, prospective clients will try and see themselves through the clients you serve. If a high-net worth investor visits a page geared towards him or her, and if there's a compelling testimonial by someone like them, that could make all the difference in the prospect initiating contact with you.

Consider Other Means of Sharing Testimonials

While the focus of this post has been on written quotes, there are other ways to display a testimonial, like video.

This HubSpot article has great ideas on how to create different testimonials and display pages.

The Testimonial Speaks for Itself

The RIA space is a competitive one, but there is a lot of opportunity for those who understand the value of the testimonial.

Like referrals, the testimonial is one of the best forms of advertisement for your business.

By selecting the right clients, getting their permission, conveying the right message, and displaying the testimonial appropriately, investment advisors can hope to see higher engagement levels from prospects.

Though competitive, the prospective client market is huge. Prospects can find you on the Internet if you market your firm accordingly, and in conjunction with testimonials, you'll get the business you deserve.

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