Reviews are great, aren’t they? There’s no greater feeling than when a 5-star review lands in your inbox from a job well done, written by a well-meaning customer. Nice work!
Reviews should be one of the main things you seek from every single customer you have. In the Power Of The Thre Re’s article over on the Plan. Grow. Do. sales training website, we highlight the three opportunities you have for each of your customers to build your sales, reputation and authority.
Reviews and third party validation of your product or service are great and should most definitely be the priority for building your businesses reputation within your local market. But beyond this, what else can reviews do for your business? I want to help you understand how else reviews can be a huge marketing asset for your business, and I’ll start by asking a simple question…
Are people buying what it is you’re selling?
I ask this question more and more, and I think it needs a little more consideration when it comes to business planning. I have some examples to help emphasise the point. A lot of business owners and marketing teams will focus on their product, the commodity. I want to challenge this status quo and ask you if that is really what people are buying. Let me explain…
Plan. Grow. Do. Sales Training.
Plan. Grow. Do. is a sales training package designed to improve the sales of those who attend. It’s a collaborative project written and delivered by myself and my partner on the project, Steve Knapp, The Sales Mindset Coach.
You can see here 3 of the reviews the training has collected. The 5 gold stars are something we are very proud of, but as I refer back to my original question, are people buying what it is you’re selling? I want to dive in to the specifics here a little more.
I’m selling some sales training – do you want it?
Many of us phrase our marketing messaging in it’s most simplistic way. We are in effect walking about shouting at people to buy our stuff! The chances are, if I walked up to you and asked if you wanted to buy some sales training, your initial response would be ‘no’, ‘not yet’, I don’t have the time’…or one of the countless other reasons to fob me off. Yes, we might fall lucky, we might get the perfect storm and find that one business who’s timing and requirement is so perfect that they will jump at the chance to buy – and that’s great. But this is not a long term marketing strategy.
Instead, I want to look at the reviews and look for the clues that sit within them. What have these people really bought?
“…great balance between presentations, group discussions and breakout sessions…”
“…very relaxed and informal.”
“…much more natural and less intimidating”
“The support workbooks are also great”
Now, does this sound like just another sales training programme? Can you see here what clues are getting fed back in these reviews? Attendees on the course are highlighting the emotional aspects of the training (less intimidating) and the parts of the delivery that make the training remarkable that we just took for granted (the workbooks, the breakout sessions and group work).
This now brings to life the opportunity to harness this feedback and build from it a more robust and connected marketing campaign that connects to the emotional and remarkable parts of the sessions that we as business owners sometimes neglect or take for granted. If our customers have said this about us and found this is worth noting, then how important is this to our future customers?!
Big Boiler Shop – The regions’ most reviewed boiler installation company.
Big Boiler Shop is the Sheffield regions’ most reviewed boiler installation company. The pride themselves on delivering excellent customer service and believe in service way beyond just putting a white box on a wall.
So let’s consider here – are people buying what it is you’re selling?
Nobody wakes up in a morning wanting to buy a new boiler. It is not an impulsive purchase but is rather driven by a need.
“…even looked after my dog and left me a birthday present!”
“Every step of the process was simple, stress free and friendly”
“…not at all pushy”
If our marketing messaging here was all about ‘selling boilers‘ ‘we put boilers on walls – do you want one‘ or ‘buy my boiler!‘, we would be talking to nobody but those who focus more predominantly on prices conscious, commodity trading purchases.
Operate in the wow.
By stepping out of the absolute necessary delivery of the core product, we are building here a 5-star reputation that focusses on the wow! . Simply delivering the necessary – a boiler installation in this case – will not lend itself to a 5-star reputation. Not many people will be amazed by you simply delivering what the core transaction was for. A word of caution though – people will very quickly leave the dreaded 1-star review if you fail to deliver what is necessary.
Likewise, many businesses operate in what I call the expected zone. This is where the business owner is proud of their technical skill and their ability to do the work promised. I don’t think anything here can build your 5-star reputation or particularly leave any clues to your future marketing activity. The NEW model (image above) is what we use in our Built To Last training designed for the Plumbing & Heating industry, helping tradespeople deliver better customer service and build a business based on reputation, rather than one built on price comparison alone.
Are you operating in the N and E zones and hoping to build a game changing marketing position for your business? Or can you find an opportunity to look more in to your reviews and feedback and ask of them – what clues are these reviews leaving about my business?
What makes you remarkable?
In his excellent book, Contagious, Jonah Berger speaks about what makes you remarkable. I suggest you take a look at the video below and apply the ideas mentioned in this article to help form better marketing decisions for you moving forward.
Reviews leave clues and guides better marketing messaging
Let’s take the example of Plan. Grow. Do. and let me share with you how these pieces of feedback can guide our marketing messaging. Rather than speaking about selling our sales training, instead we can build a much more robust marketing campaign around the emotive drivers that we capture from our feedback.
The reviews allude to confidence, motivation, clarity, focus and ability. These are powerful descriptive words that go way above our potential messaging of ‘buy my stuff!’ . We can build much more impactful messaging and curate much better messaging based around the remarkable aspects of our feedback.
We can build in to our messaging the more remarkable pieces of feedback that discuss the product delivery; the workbooks, the breakout groups, the discussion and feedback.
Not only do reviews leave clues, but feedback helps us innovate, focus and deliver more on what matters to our customers. By putting the customer first, listening and adapting, we can build much more full marketing plans and ultimately deliver a product that works.
If we continue to operate solely in the N and E phases of the NEW model, we risk becoming insular and putting our head in the sand.
Reviews leave clues! The feedback from current and future customers really can guide a fantastic USP for your business!
What do your reviews really say about you? I challenge you to go find out!
Further reading from the 0114 Marketing blog supporting the power of customer reviews and how to go about getting them.
Mind the gap! Everything you have done to market your business so far has got you to where you are today.