What You Want From a Testimonial

If your customers are willing to inconvenience themselves in order to do business with you, you’re doing something right.

Earlier this year, I wrote a radio commercial for a Portland dental practice around the recorded endorsement of a patient’s mother. She was willing to give her real name (huge in terms of establishing credibility) and talk about the fact that her daughter is terrified of dentists. She drives her daughter 300 miles from Eastern Oregon to Portland just to visit this particular doctor.

You can hear the mother’s own words here — the clip is labeled “Deana’s Testimonial”. Once I heard her speak, the rest of the commercial almost wrote itself.

We put the ad on the air (if you click on the link and decide to visit the practice, tell ’em you heard it on KPOJ) and it generated an almost immediate response — any dentist worth a 300-mile drive deserves to be on your shopping list. The ad pulled new patients for months, and when response began to die down we followed it with another ad using the doctor’s own personal story, which brought the patient count right back up.

I felt pretty darn good about the whole thing until Andy Sernovitz one-upped me with this woman who went out of her way to attend one of his speaking engagements.


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