How three questions will get you great testimonials from your print customers

Posted by Matthew Parker

Sometimes I just don’t believe what my four year old daughter says.

Occasionally she is trying to get out of trouble!  But more often than not she isn’t telling fibs.  She has just changed things round a bit.  And that is because she is saying what she thinks I want to hear.

And many print company testimonials suffer from this problem

Is this what print customers think when they see your testimonials?

The customer says what they think the printer wants them to say.  And the prospects just don’t believe the testimonials.

Often the testimonials are too enthusiastic.  They are not specific.  A statement like “XYZ Printers provide wonderful service” doesn’t really mean anything.  It might just as well apply to a car cleaning company.

And testimonials that aren’t believable can drive potential print buyers away.  You could be losing print sales if you don’t have the right testimonials.

Do testimonials really affect buying decisions?

You may be surprised at the amount of information gathering that is done before a buyer contacts you.  Some studies indicate that 60% of the buying journey is taken before the buyer contacts the seller.  And a large part of that journey will have been online research.

You need to make sure that customers have the best chance of being attracted to your company.

And that’s why printers need to use the three question testimonial

Print companies who use three question testimonials will find it easier to create partnerships with their prospects.  This is because their prospects believe what the printer is saying, right from the beginning.

These print companies will also receive more enquiries.  This is because potential customers want to deal with companies they believe.  And they believe three question testimonials, not ones that promise the earth.

Printers who use traditional testimonials will continue to have publicity that their prospects won’t believe.  So they will find it difficult to engage with potential customers.

The printers who have three question testimonials will have control over their sales pipeline.  And they are more likely to achieve their sales targets.  But printers who don’t use three question testimonials won’t believe this.

So what is a three question testimonial?

A three question testimonial is one that goes into a bit more depth than a normal testimonial.  It forces the client to say more about their true experiences with the printing company.  And because that detail comes out, the testimonial is much more believable.

Not surprisingly, a three question testimonial consists of three questions.  You can ask these to a client in an e-mail.  But you will get even better results from these questions if you use the phone.

So what are the three questions?   Here’s the first one:

What would have prevented you from using us?

That may seem a strange question to ask first of all.  But it is an incredibly powerful question.  It raises an objection to buying from the printer.  But the client then gets rid of that objection.

Your potential customer is probably asking the same question that the testimonial raises.  Your prospect may be thinking “Can you meet my delivery deadlines?”  Or “Is the quality really as good as they claim?”

And that’s exactly what the testimonial will say.  “I wasn’t sure if XYZ printers could meet my delivery deadline.”  Or “I didn’t think that XYZ printers could really live up to what they said about quality on their website.”

The first question of the three question testimonial is designed to bring up objections.  And that’s because they will be dealt with in question 2.

What did you find as a result of using us?

This question will get rid of the objection in question one.  Let’s pick an answer that we used before.  “I didn’t think that XYZ printers could really live up to what they said about quality on their website.”

Now the second question will be asked.  And the reply might be along the lines of:

“I was delighted by the colours when we received our job.  In fact, they exceeded my expectations.”

So by using the first two questions together, you handle objections.  You raise issues that may be present in a potential print customer’s mind.  And you get rid of them through your current client’s experience.

So why do you need a third question.  Well this question is one that makes the testimonial even more believable.

What one thing do you like about our service?

This question achieves two things.  Firstly, it gives the potential customer some specifics.  They can start to actually picture the experience that they will have with your print company.  Secondly, it starts to make your print company stand out from the competition.

The third question may create a statement as follows:

“I was particularly impressed by the way XYZ printers discussed alternative specifications with me.”

A statement like this will make your company stand out from the many printers who don’t do this.  And it will also make the prospect wonder what alternatives XYZ Printers could offer them.

The third question will complete the testimonial.  And you will have a testimonial that will attract new customers.

Now you need to make sure that you start gathering these testimonials.

Here’s how to achieve the best three-question testimonials

  • Choose the customer from whom you want a testimonial
  • Contact them and set up a time to have an interview
  • Ask them if you can record the call.  (Never record without asking.)  If you are on a PC, this software allows to record easily from Skype
  • Ask them the three questions during the call
  • Transcribe the recording
  • Choose the right elements to make a really powerful testimonial
  • Make sure the customer approves what you have written

Here’s a reminder of the first three things you need to do

  1. Make a note of the three questions
  2. Highlight three customers that represent the customer you want
  3. Set up a time to interview

Getting believable testimonials is an essential sales step for printers

After all, you want your potential customers to believe you.  You don’t want them to think like I sometimes do about my daughter.  You don’t want them to think that you’re just saying what you want them to hear.

P.S.  Do you want more ideas on how to improve relations with your print customers?  Then you should subscribe to the Profitable Print Relationships newsletter.  You’ll also receive our free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”.  So sign up right now at


6 Responses to How three questions will get you great testimonials from your print customers

  • Andrew Grave says:

    Good advice. It’s also important to:
    1) Review after a year or so that the client’s still happy with the testimonial.
    2) Ascertain with the client the circumstances that the testimonial can be used in – on your website, in direct approaches to target companies, in brochures, in pitches, etc. Some clients may be reluctant to see their name and testimonial on your website but may be happy for it to be used in other ways.

  • Huangjin says:

    I think customer’s testimonial must come from our powerful manufature ability, high quality , competitive price , timely delivery,good after sales service etc…All in all every aspect meet custmoer’s requirements.

    • Matthew Parker says:

      You are absolutely right. A good testimonial can only be received after good service. Thank you for stopping by.


  • Richard Laws says:

    Some great advice. We are currently looking in to ways of getting reviews and testimonials for our ecommerce websites so I’ve picked up some handy tips here. Thanks

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