Last summer, I went on my annual whitewater canoe trip -- a half-day’s bumpy drive up old logging roads, and 6-day, wild paddle back on a historic fur-trading route.
To be clear about what kind of trip this is... let’s just say there are no comfort stations, and certainly no cell phone reception, Internet access or Starbucks.
We had to be really selective about what we packed, but two things I could not see myself going without were my ukulele and guitar. In fact, I bought a virtually indestructible, KLŌS carbon fiber, travel guitar expressly for this trip.
(If you want one there's a discount coupon code at the end of this article, but try not to get distracted just yet...)
We swam, we portaged, and yes, we dumped in the rapids… but that’s only partly what this story is about.
You see, when I got home, I was invited by the makers of the KLŌS guitar to write a blog about the adventure, kind of like a testimonial.
Now, I happen to know a thing or two about testimonials, having given presentations and workshops on the topic. I tell attendees that a (well-crafted) testimonial does more than provide a shameless plug for your product or service; it actually provides added value for the giver of the testimonial.
This may be counter-intuitive, especially if you’ve always thought of testimonials as being self-serving, so let’s consider this for a moment.
By asking for a testimonial, you are helping your clients reflect on the value they have received from your product or service, and articulate it in concrete terms for themselves. This helps them consciously realize the improvement in their life and/or business and create a new baseline for further improvement.
It’s the same value I see people get when they share their story at momondays. No matter how much they think they know their story, the process of crafting into a piece they perform on stage gives them a level of insight and awareness that they’d never get otherwise.
Well, that’s what I was telling myself as I sat down at my laptop, wondering what I could possibly write beyond, ‘I paddled, I played guitar, and everyone/everything got home safe.’
And then it happened.
Writing the testimonial encouraged me to think more deeply about my experience
I was able to see that the very qualities which made my KLŌS guitar such a great camping companion are the same qualities we’d want for ourselves in life...
A philosophical insight I got from the process of writing a ‘testimonial’.
THAT, my friends, is the story of THIS story.
Click here if you want to read about the original blog about our big adventure.
And so next time you ask a customer for testimonial, remind yourself that you just might be doing them a favor... and the next time someone gives you an opportunity to write a testimonial, say 'with pleasure!'
P.S. If you’d like a virtually indestructible guitar or ukulele for your travels and adventures, I really do recommend the KLŌS! Enter ‘michelrocks50’ (without the quotes) at check-out to get $50 off, courtesy of my friends at KLŌS, just because I asked them.