It's A Review World – You Better Adapt

I recently picked up 2 new clients and one of the first tasks is going back through all of the reviews for 2016.  Both of these clients had been ignoring reviews and it was on the top of my list due to the importance consumers have placed on reviews these days.  When I say consumers, I also mean me.  I can honestly say that 50% of the purchases I make through new companies are done after checking out their reviews.  For me reviews aren’t the “end all be all” but they do offer me a glance into how they operate their business over and above what was said about them. 

Online reviews are not going anywhere soon.  They are taking over the online world and there is one common thread many businesses have in common, THEY ARE IGNORING THEM!  

Consumers have a voice more than they ever have with the rise of Social Media.  This has opened up a whole new area that business owners need to focus on.  Out are the days of customers voicing their concern in your business to a manager, they skip that entirely and go online first.  WHY?  Intimidation in my opinion. Most people are not Type A personalities and are not comfortable complaining.  Plus, everyone can hide behind a keyboard and not worry about a confrontation.  Below are my tips on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

#1 – RESPOND!  Try your hardest to respond to every negative review, then respond to all of the positive reviews (more on that below).  When customers see negative reviews they look to see if you responded.  They are accustomed to not seeing businesses respond so if you respond you’re ahead of the game.  It shows that you care and that you’re paying attention.

#2 RESPOND to positive reviews as well.  I’ll admit I didn’t do this a few years ago until I heard this line at a seminar: “If you passed a person in the hallway at work and they complimented your tie would you ignore them and keep walking?”  Of course you wouldn’t, so when someone says nice things online say THANK YOU.

#3 Be nice.  I’ll admit it, over 50% of the reviews I see are way overblown and out of line.  I’m amazed by what I see people complain over, but guess what, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  There’s only one way to look worse than not reviewing and that’s by starting a fight.  Apologize and try to get the conversation offline.  If it’s on Facebook then ask them to private message the page.  Most people won’t respond to your answer or request, but no one else knows that.  They only see your apology and effort to fix the issue.

#4 If you can’t be nice, delegate this to someone less emotionally tied to the situation.  I get it, our businesses are our babies.  We’ve all worked out butts off to get where we are and HOW DARE someone tell me my baby is ugly.  Reviews can hurt sometimes, and some people are not cut out to answer negative reviews.  If this is the case, have someone else that’s not so close to the product answer them. 

#5 Follow through and make a peace offer.  I don’t care what business you’re in and how much your products cost, bad reviews cost WAY MORE.  Be prepared to make them an offer to make the situation right.  If you’re in the repair business and it was $500 ticket make it right.  If that ticket was $500 then there’s a GREAT chance there are 5-10 lost customers due to that negative review. I’d rather be out $500 than $5,000.  

#6 Prioritize the review platforms for your business.  Unfortunately there isn’t 1 main place to check.  In fact there are way too many.  Yelp, Facebook, Google and the list goes on.  I’d figure out where your biggest impact area is and start there.  For example, I have 7 clients that get hundreds of Facebook reviews, that’s our main focus. Up next are the smaller sites for them like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google.  

#7 Reviews are and will show you the light.  Guess what?  Every review isn’t by a crazy person and they are offering you a look into your business that you might not get otherwise.  I recently had a customer get 3 1-star reviews in a week.  They hadn’t gotten that many in 6 months. So I dug deeper into the reviews and through conversations OFF LINE I was able to get the employees name.  Guess what, all 3 had bad service from that same employee.  Houston I think we’ve found our problem.  Reviews can be great tools to find out things that are going wrong in your business that you might not realize. 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST – You’ll increase sales to these customers.  Customers that complain aren’t coming back, UNLESS you get them back.  What’s the worst that can happen, they don’t come back.  But the best case scenario is that you get them back, earn their trust and you have another paying customer. 

Good luck and get your butt to Google, Yelp and Facebook to see what you’ve been missing 🙂

Make 2016 Different & More Profitable

I have a saying I use frequently “advertising is easy, but marketing is HARD”.  Why is it hard?  Because marketing requires you to do the heavy lifting and thinking.  You’re not just hopelessly placing ads, you’re creating ideas that will drive revenue and profits.  

In this event you’ll get the tools and ideas to help make 2016 different from past years.  During this 3 hour seminar you’ll hear from 5 speakers who will help jumpstart your thinking and get you ready to market your business like never before.  

We’ll cover in depth the following topics:

1. Social Media Marketing – How to use Social Media to market your business and as a customer relation tool.

2.  Referral Relationships – You have a great group of satisfied customers, now lets make them a sales staff.

3.  Advanced Facebook, Instagram & Twitter Marketing Tactics – Create impactful ultra targeted ads to get in front of your best customers.

4.  Search Engine Optimization – Getting found online and what it takes to be on the top results in Google

5.  Newsworthy – Learn how to get the attention of the media and get your business in the headlines. 

6.  HOW TO SELL!  Many times this is one of the most over looked aspects of marketing.  

7.  Email Marketing – Learn the best practices for sending email and how to make this great marketing tool drive traffic and sales to your business.

8. Reviews – Stop worrying about bad reviews and HOPE you get some, then you can show everyone how you handle issues.

You’ll leave with a custom marketing plan and workbook that will help make 2016 even better than 2015!


You need to act 5 again to succeed


Many times while brainstorming with a client I’ll warn them that some of my ideas are going to be really off the wall.  Why, because I pride myself in thinking of ANYTHING that can help drive revenue.  I’ve found that many times when you are outside of someone else’s industry you have a completely different view.  There have been many times where my clients look at me like I’m on drugs, it’s kind of humorous.

Recently I was at a conference in Florida where I had the honor to hear Derek Daly speak.  Derek is a LEGEND in the auto racing world and he’s an amazing business speaker as well.  Derek covered this topic in a way that was new to me and it really hit home.  The picture attached is a slide from his presentation that referenced a research study about how we lose creativity as we age.

The graphic says it all, most of us have lost ALL creativity by the time we turn 30. At 5 you are 98% creative, because your ideas haven’t been shot down yet.  You’ve not been taught what you’re supposed to think. It drops to 20% by 10 years-old and all the way to 2% by the time you turn 30!!! That’s just crazy to me.   This goes back to the line that “no question is a stupid question.”  Many people say that, but very few practice it. They are scared to throw out an idea that’s too off the wall or ask a question that hasn’t been asked in a long time, if ever.

I’ve found that I’m somewhere between a 5 & 10 year-old.  I’m comfortable enough with where I am in my career and the results that I deliver that I’ll throw out ideas that make people look at me like when a dog slants its head to figure out what you’re doing. I’m been looked at like an idiot before, but it doesn’t bother me.  I can point to enough ideas that I was told wouldn’t work THAT DID!  

My point of this blog is to get you to start thinking differently.  What else could you be doing to drive sales.  What ideas have you had that you never put on paper or said out loud?  What’s the worse that could happen, you don’t gain anymore business?