Transcript: Thanks a lot, Alan. This is David Brower with your 20 minute podcast. Our special guest today is Doren Aldana from beautiful downtown Canada. How are you this morning?
Doren Aldana: Better than good, better than most. Up to my knees in snow, but hey, that’s to be expected this time of year and we just had another white Christmas, so I can’t complain.
David Brower: Good for you, good for you. So since 2003, Doren’s been coaching thousands of business owners to success, earning more while working less, which is something we’re all interested in, and using the power of trust-based marketing. I’m just going to go into the world of reviews, because at the end of the day that’s really what we’re kind of talking about isn’t it, as far as when people are shopping, they’re looking more and more for reviews. Businesses are trying to figure out a way to increase their reviews. Is that kind of the nutshell of it?
Doren Aldana: Yeah, I mean it’s really about trust at the end of the day. Before all this technology with social media and review sites and Google and Yelp, what we had was word of mouth.
David Brower: Right.
Doren Aldana: You know, you wanted to buy a new horse-drawn carriage, what did you do? You talked to your family member or your friend or your neighbor or a farmer down the block, and you would talk to them. You didn’t even have blocks back then, you’d just have a dirt road, right?
David Brower: Oh, right.
Doren Aldana: You would get third-party endorsement. You would get the word on the street, or in this case, word on the dirt path. What we would do is we would try to get some degree of certainty before we laid out the money and invested. Now, back then it was a horse-drawn carriage. Today, it’s anything between pizza and a new car. A financial planner, a real estate agent, a mortgage professional, a chiropractor. You name it. We’re looking for a third-party endorsement to mitigate risk.
David Brower: Yeah.
Doren Aldana: Studies show that consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than descriptions published by the marketer. In other words, people believe what your happy clients say about you 12 times more than anything you can say about you. Here’s the kicker.
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Doren Aldana: You think that’s significant? Check this out. Studies show that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family members. So almost eight out of 10 people trust online reviews, people they don’t know from a hole in the wall, as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
David Brower: Right.
Doren Aldana: That’s awesome persuasive power when you start using it to your advantage.
David Brower: Well, and it makes you wonder, makes me wonder, if the other two are just older folks who aren’t into the internet.
Doren Aldana: Yeah, well that certainly may be. They might be over 65 and they’re still using that dinosaur method called the Yellow Pages. I don’t even know if that exists-
David Brower: Oh my God.
Doren Aldana: But if it does it’s there sitting on their kitchen counter.
David Brower: Yeah.
Doren Aldana: So there are certainly people that don’t use social media, don’t use review sites, they don’t have smartphones they have dumb phones. But those are few and far between.
David Brower: Absolutely.
Doren Aldana: Certainly becoming a dying breed.
David Brower: In this age of, I mean, it seems like everything is more competitive, more competitive, more competitive. What can I do to improve my business, what can I do to save money and improve my business, what can I do to get customers to trust me and all the things that you do help businesses do that.
Doren Aldana: Yeah, and you know, there are many different ways to skin the cat when it comes to growing a business, but if you look at the basics, the fundamentals, I’ve never heard of anyone buying anything due to lack of credibility, lack of trust, lack of certainty. There’s always a prerequisite of trust before any sale happens, and so the more trust you can inject into that experience, into that prerequisite process, the faster you’re able to attract clients, the faster you’re able to turn suspects into prospects, prospects into clients and clients into evangelists. That’s really the secret sauce that greases the chute and removes the razor wire to get people to not just know about you but do business with you, and obviously there’s a big difference between those two.
David Brower: Absolutely there is. Then the next step, I would think, would be the importance of referrals, right?
Doren Aldana: Who better to get a referral from than someone who just gave you a five star rave review? So a lot of people overlook the connection between referrals and reviews, and if you’re strategic about it, if you’re smart about it, you can engineer a system that not only attracts more five star rave reviews, which allows people to see you as the only logical choice, positions you as the preeminent advisor or preeminent trusted vendor in your particular marketplace, but also gives you the ability to strategically segment your clients, your customers, your patients, the people you serve, to be able to laser focus in on the people who love you, and those are the best people to send you referrals.
David Brower: It seems to me there is a science to it, for you to be able to laser in for these clients, because most of us don’t know what we don’t know about this, so we’re taking a shotgun approach and “Oh, maybe that worked, I don’t know.” But you really, I mean, you dive down. You dive deep and help them or in some cases I’m sure do this work for them, is that right?
Doren Aldana: Yeah, well the first step of course is helping people to understand that in order to get reviews you can’t leave it to happenstance. You can’t leave it to chance. Flying by the seat of your pants tends not to work so well, especially if you want a real business as opposed to a glorified job trading time for money. So having a system in place for that is a lot better than just throwing a bunch of yogurt at the fan and hoping something sticks. That’s why we have a software as a service called the testimonial engine. One of the key elements to getting reviews is having a system, so more than just sending out a manually deployed email asking for a review. There’s actually a lot of nuances that if you’re not aware of them will significantly suppress response, significantly lower your number of reviews you get and the number of reviews you get on strategic platforms like Google, Yelp, et cetera. So you gotta have the right system and you gotta be deploying it in the right way, or you’re going to leave a lot of money on the table.
David Brower: The thing I love about your testimonial engine is it’s very user friendly. I mean, not only do you have a couple of videos there to help people go, “Oh, this isn’t brain surgery like I thought it might be,” but you also get down into the nitty gritty about how to customize the communication, get social media involved, advance … I mean right there on that one homepage, if you will, mytestimonialengine.com, it really helps fill in the blanks for those of us who are going, “What? What did he say?”
Doren Aldana: Well yeah, and there’s one thing to understand how it works. There’s a whole other thing to have someone take you by the hand and give you that golden glove service because you know, let’s face it: software can be very confusing and convoluted, and not exactly user-friendly. Even if it is exceedingly user friendly, sometimes especially for us tech-tards who have a difficult time with technology like turning on our phone or turning on our computer and actually knowing how to use it, we need someone to take us by the hand. So we don’t actually think about it as a software service; we think about it as a coaching and customer service business that uses technology to deliver five star reviews for our clients, but at the end of the day, it’s all about coaching, guiding and mentoring our clients on how to use it powerfully. So it’s really a coaching and a customer service business, not a software business.
But would you like to dive deeper in terms of the components or the strategic steps in getting more reviews?
David Brower: Please, because there’s no question that the handholding, if you will, the excellent customer service, I mean they have … As their customers need to trust them more and more to put those ratings up, these businesses need to trust you more and more to be able to go, “Oh, well let’s do that,” you know?
Doren Aldana: Right? And obviously if we’re a fitness coach, we’d better dang be fit and have some bulging absolutely and some pikes, because if we’re not leading by example then why the heck would anyone want to follow us? So we take that really seriously, to be able to lead by example.
Now, in terms of getting reviews, the first thing we want to do is be able to have a system for asking for the review, and the best time to ask for a review, David, is right after someone gets a real positive experience with your company, with your service, with your product. I called it the MMS. The moment of maximum satisfaction. In the real estate game, which is an area we serve a lot, mortgage professionals, real estate agents, it tends to be right after the closing. Right after approval. Right after they move in. But usually it’s post-closing, so after the transaction closes and the mortgage goes firm and the deal is done, that’s generally the best time to ask for a review.
Now, if they’re in the restaurant business it might be right after they enjoy whatever food or experience they have on offer; for a chiropractor it might be after the chiropractor snaps their neck and cashes their check. I don’t know. You have to determine when it is for your business.
David Brower: Yeah, I hear you.
Doren Aldana: But you want to be able to ask for the review. Now, it needs to be very simple. Like, “What did you think?” Or, “How would you rate our service? Click here to review our service.” Something really simple, and then they click the link and it needs to go to what I would call a review capture page. The anatomy of a review capture page would look like a place for them to put in their name, their email address, the number of stars they would rate the service and then a box for them to type in their text based testimonial, and then a place for consent where they’re giving consent to use that in their marketing, then a submit button.
Now, a big mistake a lot of people make, David, is that they’re asking for reviews directly on Google or directly on Facebook or directly on Yelp. The problem with that is if they don’t have an account with that platform, even if they might love you and even though they think you’re the best thing since sliced bread, chances are they’re not going to do back flips and create an account just to give you a review.
David Brower: It’s got to be easy, yeah.
Doren Aldana: So that’s going to significantly suppress response, right?
David Brower: Yep, absolutely.
Doren Aldana: So that’s why what we want to do is capture the review first. The other risk of sending them directly to Google, Yelp, Facebook or whatever is that if they’re a negative Nelly and they’re biting their lip, which tends to be certainly a proclivity for a lot of people because they don’t want to be rude and so they’ll just talk to their spouse or their friend about how bad the service was but you have no clue that they’re disgruntled. Then you go and ask them for a review, and the moment they post it on Yelp or Google or wherever, it’s virtually impossible to remove.
David Brower: Yeah.
Doren Aldana: And it tarnishes your reputation for years to come. So it’s much better to get the review first, without them needing an account, and if it’s positive we ask them to share it with the world on the thank you page. If it’s negative, we quarantine it. We put a firewall around it, and we send them to what we would call a damage control page where they’re able to vent. We empathize with them, we ask them for feedback on how this problem can be rectified and how we can improve. We can use that information to improve policy, procedure, protocol and to improve our systems and service in the future, and then we can go to work to rectify it, because studies show seven out of 10 consumers will return to a business if their problem is resolved quickly. So speed is the name of the game, and we need a system by which to share the good news with the world and to quarantine the bad news to use it internally and hopefully turn that customer around. Does that make sense?
David Brower: It makes perfect sense, because if they’ve come in because they’re feeling good about your business, they’ve talked to people, they’ve read the stars, they do whatever and they come in and have an experience that is less than what they hoped for and you have a chance to quarantine that and help gain that trust back, doing that quickly makes all the difference in the world.
Doren Aldana: Well, exactly, and that’s, of course, what the testimonial engine does. It automates that entire process plus auto feeds all your positive reviews on your social media channels so your fans and followers on Facebook, Google and Twitter can see all these rave reviews from your happy clients and customers come through in their news feed, just another reminder that you’re the bomb. That you are the best in your market, that you’re a trusted vendor. That you are legit. Also, we auto feed all those positive reviews on your website. So we’re talking on the phone and you get a positive review, boom, instantly it shows up on your website. Nothing else to do. How easy is that?
David Brower: Nice. So as far as the social media, do they have to be … I mean, do you encourage them to use certain types of social media? Are there some that work better than others? Do you need two, three or four? How do you decide what works best for a client?
Doren Aldana: Well, there’s two different types of social media in this context. One is the fans and followers who are following you based on what you offer, so for example if you’re someone who sells appliances, people might follow you to keep up on tips and tricks on how to maintain your appliances. You might do videos or instructions on things to maintain and take care of your appliances, and so they might follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Google. That’s really to build a following so you can nurture that following, build top of mind awareness. They can stay on top of whatever knowledge or education is pertinent and relevant for your particular category of business. That would be what I would call a social media channel. That’s where you’re building a herd of following, if you will.
David Brower: Okay, sure.
Doren Aldana: Then there’s review sites. That’s another form of social media. A review site, sometimes it’s confusing because they’re on the same platform. So for example Facebook allows you to build a following on a channel by having a business page where people can like it and follow you, but then there’s also a section on your Facebook business page where you can actually solicit reviews, where people can give you reviews. That’s what we would call a review site. It’s a section of that platform where people can give you reviews. Same thing with Google. You can build a following on Google, although most people don’t even check their feeds on their Google+ pages anymore. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t checked mine in a long, long time.
David Brower: That would be correct.
Doren Aldana: That’s gone the way of the dinosaur, but the review site section is where you set up a Google MyBusiness account, and for any local businesses this is mission-critical. To have a Google MyBusiness account verified through Google, it’s your own free profile, if you will, with Google, and that’s where you can get reviews from your customers or clients or patients. The other site that’s really important for local businesses is Yelp. So Yelp and Google, and then there’s niche review sites, depending on your area of business. So if you’re in the travel business, certainly having a TripAdvisor account is really important.
David Brower: Sure.
Doren Aldana: If you’re in the real estate business, Zillow is really important one. Same with mortgage. Zillow is a big one.
David Brower: Yep.
Doren Aldana: So there’s niche specific review sites that you’ll want to be on. How do you know which ones to be on? What you do is, you pretend you’re a prospective customer and you do searches on the web. So for example if you’re a chiropractor in Kamloops, which is where I reside, you type into Google, “chiropractor Kamloops” and see what comes up. What you’re going to see is the three pack on Google, that’s the verified Google MyBusiness account I was talking about, you’ll see sites like yellowpages.ca or .com. You’ll see Yelp.ca or .com, depending on where you reside. Just look at the local search and you’ll see what review sites are important. Does that make sense?
David Brower: That makes perfect sense. Absolutely. One last question, as the time is flying by, which I enjoy. How can a client leverage their testimonials to maximize their profits? How does that fit together?
Doren Aldana: So we talked about turning reviews into referrals, and one of the best ways to do that is launch a dedicated referral, a traction campaign, to your raving fans. Because again, think about it: who better to send you a referral than somebody who just gave you a five star review, right?
David Brower: Absolutely.
Doren Aldana: So for example we have a letter we give our clients that use our software called the magic wand letter. It’s designed to go out in the mail, snail mail, with a toy magic wand enclosed so it’s lumpy so the client or customer, you know, they get curious. Their curiosity gets the best of them, they have to open it, what is in this thing that’s so lumpy? They crack it open, out pops this magic wand, right?
David Brower: Yeah.
Doren Aldana: Yeah, it’s like, something interesting, something cool. They crack it open, they see the magic wand fall out, so their kids have something to fight over. You’re welcome. Then the headline says, “I wish, I wish, poof, I could have more clients like you.”
David Brower: Wow.
Doren Aldana: The whole premise of the letter is they’re awesome, you wish you could have other awesome clients just like them and perhaps they could make your wish come true by sending you referrals. As cheesy as it sounds, and as cheesy as it is, I tell you, it’ll put more cheese in your wallet so you know, who the heck cares? Would you rather be cool and broke or cheesy and rich? I don’t know about you but I much prefer the latter as opposed to the former.
David Brower: I’m on the cheese diet, now.
Doren Aldana: I have a client who sent out 50 of these letters. He brought in $18,000. It cost him $200. How is that for an ROI?
David Brower: Oh my gosh, I love that.
Doren Aldana: Right? So that’s what you call working smart.
David Brower: Absolutely. So people want to get with you, learn more about your white glove service, how this all works, how it can benefit them, what’s the best way for them to learn more about you and your company and reach out to you?
Doren Aldana: Sure, yeah. You can go to mytestimonialengine.com to learn more about our software, but if you want some tools, some tricks, some templates, some swipe and deploy proven best practices that you can deploy in your business whether you use the testimonial engine or not, I put together a special resource called the ultimate testimonial toolkit, and it’s got all kinds of training, checklists, tools, templates, swipe and deploy, battle tested weapons to help you build your business at the speed of trust. It’s all in one place, it’s absolutely complimentary. In fact, it comes with that magic wand letter we were talking about earlier, in a customizable Word document so you can literally just pop in your information and pull the trigger on it and see it work like magic in your business as well. No pun intended. You can get it by going to mytestimonialengine.com/brower. That’s mytestimonialengine.com/brower, so check it out, and there’s your complimentary hookup with everything you need to get started.
David Brower: Very cool, man. Really enjoyed the conversation. Glad you do what you do, and you’re obviously passionate about it, and that’s why everything works, right?
Doren Aldana: Well it certainly beats the alternative, right? Being boring.
David Brower: Right.
Doren Aldana: I’ve never heard of anyone thriving let alone surviving. Well, I’ve certainly heard a lot of survive being bored but I’ve never heard of anyone thriving being bored.
David Brower: Exactly right.
Doren Aldana: So you know, if you have the choice between one or the other, why settle for second best, right?
David Brower: Well, yeah. Grab the cheese and thrive.
Doren Aldana: I love it. Sounds like a book, let’s write it.
David Brower: Let’s write it. All right, man. Hey, it’s really been a pleasure, Doren. Thank you so much and enjoy that white new year.
Doren Aldana: Thanks so much, man. Thanks for having me.
Alan: Your 20 minute podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anyway podcasts can be found, include iheartradio, the Spotify mobile app and at davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.