I was doing a press interview and the interviewer asked if it was ok for a contractor to ask for a referral AND a testimonial. I said, not only is is OK, it is a must! Here is how I suggested she let her readers know how to position the request in the field:
“Mr. and Mrs. Jones, I’m happy you are satisfied with the project, our business survives on referrals and testimonials from satisfied clients like yourselves. If you happen to know of someone who is thinking about a project like yours, I’d be happy to talk about their options when they are ready. In the meantime, if possible, could I trouble you to fill out this review card and send it back to us at your convenience, the postage is already paid.”
Then stop talking…the rest will figure itself out. They will say yes to AT LEAST the review card, and you never know, they may have someone who IS looking in mind and you are on your way!
Asking for testimonials and referrals should always be part of your marketing plan, and if you can practice that enough to get it to sound natural and genuine, I promise you will close a lot more referrals and testimonials!