Who Else Wants More Reviews for Their Business?
“What you say about yourself is never as interesting as what someone else says about you.” —Somebody who knows what they’re talking about.
How To Get Reviews For Your Business
Every business on earth is a marketing business and there is no better marketing than word of mouth. Or word of mouse, as the case may be. So how many reviews do you have for your business? How many testimonials and endorsements do you have? How many case studies do you have? And how much courage do you have to ask for them?
I have over 2500 reviews, case studies and testimonials. I know how to get good reviews. And…I know how to get reviews for your business. Getting reviews is all in the asking. Because everyone loves getting reviews but not everyone loves to take the time to write them. And frankly, the purpose of your business is to get reviews.Now, that may be a controversial statement so let me be clear,
The purpose of your business is to get reviews.
It is much easier to get another enrollment or sale from an existing client than from a brand new one. Therefore to stay in business and grow you need to cultivate existing clients. Reviews is one of the more effective ways to do that. Ergo, the purpose of your business is to get reviews. It’s one of the best ways you can grow your business.
Loyalty Is Dead.
The fastest, easiest way to increase the lifetime value of a customer is through a review. Instead of spending time acquiring new customers, seek reviews from existing customers. Acquiring new customers is important of course, but spending more of your time asking for customer reviews is more important.
As we know customer loyalty is d-e-a-d. According this Hubspot Research report 55% of people no longer trust companies they buy from. 69% don’t trust advertising anymore. And 78% of customers are not loyal to any particular brand, according to a 2014 Nielsen report. That same report also stated that “81% of people trust their friends and family’s advice over the advice of a business.”
So it’s pretty obvious from these numbers that it’s better for your business to spend time cultivating existing customer relationships rather than throwing money at acquisition. But check in with your gut here. Don’t you typically go to a friend or family member and ask if they’ve used the product or service you’re interested in buying? Why? You’d rather hear it from the “horse’s mouth” rather than the company trying to sell you.
No one trusts advertising anymore. The other reason to prioritize cultivating existing customers is new customer acquisition is expensive. It costs less money to reach out to existing buyers than it does trying to find new ones. So stick with the one that brung ya.
Are You Afraid of Asking For Reviews?
Most of the people I write for and speak to as a trainer and coach are small business owners. They’re not highly automatized. They have intimate interactions with their customer/client base. So reaching out to that base one-on-one can be intimidating. Your buyers, clients, customers came to you asking for help. Now you have to go to them and ask for something. You may feel vulnerable doing that.
What if you ask, “Hey, will you take a moment to review the product you bought from me?” They could say, “no I won’t.” Or god forbid, “well, I’m glad you contacted me because I’m not happy at all with your product.” They may not respond at all to you. Or they may say, “F-off. I hate you and I hate your product. My biggest regret is buying your product.”
Owning a business is not for the faint of heart. An entrepreneur has to open him or herself up to rejection and vulnerability on a seemingly daily basis in order to get anywhere. Being an entrepreneur means risking every single day. And that’s hard. No question. It’s just damn hard. But here’s the thing, the life of your business is on the line. There is no shame in asking for the very thing that will help your business grow and prosper.
The health and growth of your business means you will survive. It means your family will eat. It means that your employees will have a job to go to tomorrow. So being afraid is just a part of the job description. And you may be afraid of asking for reviews but let’s look at some ways to make the process a little easier. I even have some templates so you don’t have to spend time figuring out what to say. So let’s look at some strategies for how to get good reviews for your business, painlessly and with maximum results.
Types of Reviews
So there are several types of review. You may not use or need every type but you definitely need basic reviews as well as one other specific type of review. And we’ll get in to why in a moment. Ok, so there’s:
- Review – an independent evaluation of a your product or service
- Endorsement – a public statement of approval for a person or product
- Testimonial – a statement about someone’s character or qualifications for their position
- Case Study – an in-depth statement of how a product or service has worked over time for a buyer and the results and transformation that the buyer has experienced
As we covered, you have to ask for reviews. It’s imperative for the growth of your business. But you also need case studies. Case studies show your future buyers what using your product or service can do for them over time.
This is an important distinction between a review and a case study. A good review will help prospects decide if they want to buy your product. A case study will show a prospect how long they need to stick with your product in order to see results. A case study is a story with a beginning, middle and end. It follows a specific template:
- What my life was like before your product or service
- What happened when I started using your product or service
- What my life is like now: the results of using your product or service over time
There is one major advantage to having case studies in addition to reviews. Case studies are a stick strategy. They help people see the value of sticking with your product or service over time. Because it’s over time that the biggest benefits will occur. Case studies are invaluable for entrepreneurs that are coaches and trainers. Because you want to illustrate how your service will bear out in the long run. So in addition to asking for reviews start to compile case studies.
How To Ask For A Review
Ok, it’s time. Now we know how important it is to ask for reviews for your business. So how do you do that? Let’s look at some tips to keep in mind when asking for a review.
Start with the Heart
When you win someone’s heart they will be more likely to follow up with a review.
So obviously this means you want to have a good product and great customer service. But it’s also important to win their heart through how you ask for a review.
So always be down to earth and unique when asking for a review. Don’t send a one-size-fits-all form letter or email. And if you do send a form letter speak directly to the person/people you’re sending it to. Use their name, the date they purchased your product or service and any personal interaction you had with them.
This will help them recall the experience they had with you and it will show them that you remembered your experience with them as well.
Don’t ask, “Hey, hi, will you review my product?” Don’t ever ask that question. Why? It’s a general question and you will get a general answer, “I really liked working with Don. He’s great!” Who cares about that review? No one. It’s not specific.
In order for potential buyers to become engaged they need specificity. They need to know exactly why Don was so great to work with. So always be specific in your questions. The templates below will help you be specific which will also help your reviewer know exactly what to say in their review. Win-win.
Make sure you let the reviewer know you’re not looking for Moby Dick. You don’t need a 500 word essay about what it was like using your product or service. Ask 1 specific question to get 1 specific answer and that is usually enough for a great review. More on this in a moment.
When To Ask For A Review or Testimonial
Be like Socrates and ask, ask, ask.
It’s appropriate and reasonable to ask for a review during a follow-up with a client whether or not they’re having a good experience. A good experience will garner a good review. If they’re not having a good experience you can immediately address it and create greater intimacy with your customer.
In this case instead of a review you’ll end up with valuable feedback about how you can improve. Either way, you will get important information.
The other times to ask for a review is during a follow-up with a client; after a purchase or client session; after a personal or professional victory the client has had using your product or service. If you do online presentations like webinars or FB Live events ask for participants to leave a comment with their biggest takeaway or “Aha” moment. This is a great template for reviews.
And during live events, if you speak to groups of people, carry templates with you that people can fill out or ask for video reviews they can send to your email or post to social media. When you make yourself vulnerable and appeal to others for help most people respond with kindness and generosity. Give them a space to fill and they will fill it. Build it and they will…you get it.
Related Post: How To Overcome Fear: Why Scary Work Pays Well
Related Post: 4 New Ways To Sell Anything
Related Post: How To Attract Premium Clients: 3 Steps to Converting Premium Clients
3 Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not Using Case Studies In Your Business
I know I covered this but it bears pointing out that not using case studies is a big mistake. And it’s a missed marketing opportunity. It takes time but it is so worth it. It takes time because someone needs to use your product or service over time in order to write a case study.
A customer needs to use your product for weeks or months; sometimes even a year or longer. Then they have the confidence to state their results. Start today by reaching out to your oldest clients and work backwards. You can even set up a reviews calendar and note when to follow up with existing customers.
2. Not Being Specific In Your Request
Ask specific questions and you will get specific answers.
Don’t ask questions like, “how did you like using my product?” if you don’t want answers like, “it was ok.”
Lame and lame.
Which sounds better to you?
“A Malaysian student of mine got a $25,000 sponsorship.”
“A 29 year old, single pharmacist working out of her tiny apartment just got a $25,000 sponsorship for her small business using the principles I taught her in our last workshop together.”
The second is much more compelling and begs the question, hmmm what was that workshop about?
That’s a true story, btw. Today her business is thriving. Now the above illustrates how you can take what the person writes and embellish it. But you can also ask people to be specific by providing templates for them to follow when they write their review. I’ll provide those templates below.
3. Not Being Believable
The average person gets exposed to about 3500 marketing messages a day. That’s about 250,000 a week and 1.3 million a year.
Marketing is powerful but most of us go numb to you by the time we’re teenagers.
You’re not competing with everyone else in your niche. You’re competing for the mindshare of your prospect and customer.
And different types of reviews have greater or lesser believability. A testimonial or review has medium level of believability; an endorsement has a low level of believability; while a case study has a high level of believability. You can see why case studies are so powerful.
What breaks through the white noise of marketing?
Authenticity and believability.
So when you ask do it authentically. Don’t send a form letter. You know how you get an email from an Amazon marketer a few days after you order something on Amazon? Sometimes you haven’t even gotten the product yet and they’re asking you to review it. What do you do? Hit delete. As a small business you have the opportunity to reach out personally with an authentic and believable request. Take that risk, be vulnerable, make a request, ask for help. People will respond to that.
4 Heart-Centered Question Templates
So how do you ask?
Below I’ve laid out 4 question templates you can use and you can adapt them to a product or a service. You can change them up if you’re a coach, etc. They are flexible, authentic and specific.
These are proven templates that have worked for me for over 16 years. They will help you get good reviews for your business and increase the lifetime value of your clients.
1. What makes my product special or different than other similar products?
2. What were the roadblocks you needed help with and how did my product help with those?
3. What results did you get from using my product?
4. Why would you recommend my product to others?
Now if you’re a coach or trainer you can easily adapt these questions to fit your service.
1. What makes me, as your coach, different or special? Why do I stand out from other coaches or trainers?
2. What were the roadblocks I helped you overcome while working with me?
3. What were your results working with me as your coach?
4. Why would you recommend me as a coach or trainer to others?
The Wrap Up
Brand loyalty is dead.
You can no longer rely on that as a guarantor of growth for your company.
And new customer acquisition is expensive.
Asking for reviews is one of the pillars of success for small businesses. Start a reviews program, start collecting case studies and testimonials. Use reviews as a way to cultivate existing relationships and be authentic and heart-centered in your approach.
This is the single, biggest action you can take to increase the lifetime value of your customers and clients.
Click Here if you want more support, ideas and guidance with testimonials for your business. Do you already ask for reviews for your business? What’s the biggest takeaway you’ve ever gotten from a customer? What’s the worst feedback you’ve ever gotten? LMK below!