Getting Good Referrals and Endorsements

January 15, 2014 by Alan Dodson

Getting ReferralsOne of the biggest challenges that we face in business is getting our happy customers to provide great recommendations and reviews of the services that we have provided to them in the past.  Here are some guidelines to garnering good endorsements.

What makes good review?

The main point of a testimonial or review is to be able to provide a third party endorsement to people that have little or no knowledge of you and your business.  This provides an opportunity, for those that hold your capabilities in high regard, to share that knowledge.  Great testimonial must not sound like your marketing and advertising materials!  So as you continue to gather letters and other messages from your clients, only feature the ones that have the following attributes:

  • 1.      Verifiable: Make sure that all of your references and reviews contain the full name and a method of contact for the person providing it.  Never use anonymous references.
  • 2.      Authentic: Don’t script reviews for your clients, people respond to real people, not copied scripts.
  • 3.      Informal: Don’t modify or correct grammar, the best reviews are conversational in nature.
  • 4.      Specific and Direct: The most amazing recommendations are focused on a specific aspect of the service you performed, rather than a general overview of the entire job.

You HAVE to ask for them:

You know you did an outstanding job, but you can’t understand why people don’t write reviews or send you referrals.   Don’t wait for clients to put compliments into words, be aggressive and send out requests.

Give them a reason to respond, with a deadline of sorts included.  For example, you could say the following in an email; “Thank you for allowing be to be a part of your wedding reception.  I am currently updating my website (Facebook page) (reference list) and would like to include your opinion of the services I provided to you.   I am including a couple of past references to give you an idea of how other people have reviewed my work.”

Keep these ideas in mind as you ask;referral2

  1. Tell them why you are asking for recommendations and include samples of recommendations you’re hoping to receive from them. This will help get responses and keep them in context with your expectations.
  2. Tell them why you are contacting them specifically. This gives you an opportunity to compliment them on an aspect of the event and shows that this request is one of a select few and not a mass mailing to many people.
  3. Include a deadline for response citing something you will be doing with their recommendation.

 When you get them….use them!

Even the most wonderful recommendations and reviews are totally useless if they sit in a drawer, filing cabinet or in your computer.  Take them; use them in full if possible, or accurately edited versions on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, your website and sales materials.  Use them in personal presentations, in letters and emails.   You will be amazed at the power they will have.

Online Reviews

Online referrals and recommendations are an essential part of your marketing mix. Today, those reviews are increasingly part of the post-sales experience thanks to the popularity of independent online review sites like Wedding Wire, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+ Local, Angie’s List and many more.  However, using those reviews in any other context may be a violation of Copyright’s and you must get the client’s permission to use them in any way other than by linking to the review on the on-line site.

Waiting for reviews and recommendations will not put you in the fast lane to build your brand!  Asking for and properly using great testimonials will!

If you want to be successful, you must do more than is required. What is the difference between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following?  It is simply doing more!  Most people will not invest the time and energy to do the little things that will take them to the top.

“You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.”  Napoleon Hill

Until next time, Alan

Alan Dodson conducts specialized workshops covering sales, marketing, social media and Master of Ceremonies and does one on one consulting with his company Top Gun Systems.  His goal is helping event professionals excel in their local markets.  He has been a sales specialist, mobile DJ, entertainer and event professional for over 30 years.  He owns a 29 year running bridal show and Mr. Picture Booth Manufacturing in Bristol, Tennessee and is the Entertainment Director for Concierge Weddings & Events.


Alan Dodson Alan Dodson (15 Posts)

Alan Dodson is a 43+ year veteran of the wedding and special event industry. He is a recognized authority on sales, marketing and social media for wedding and event professionals. Alan is an accomplished speaker, presenter and author. He is a featured writer for several international magazines & blogs and regularly speaks at International Event Industry Conferences. Alan has extensive training in electronics engineering and writes reviews of new and updated equipment for the DJ industry. His company, Top Gun Systems ( represents, and establishes dealers for, the audio brands of Feur Germany, Voyz USA, LD Systems as well as Ultrasone Headphones, ProX Cases & Trussing, Xstatic Lighting, Uno Laser and Earthquake Audio. He also offers sales, public speaking, Master of Ceremony and social media training in workshops and individual consulting. As a DJ/MC/Entertainer Alan specializes in weddings and is known as “The Wedding Wizard”. Alan can be reached by email at and on social media at:,,

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