Help your clients help you

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You want your clients to provide you with testimonials, reviews, and referrals. Many are willing to do it but don’t do it because they don’t know what to write or how to do.

Help them. Teach them what to do and show them how to do it.

You can put instructions on a web page or in an email that goes out towards the end of the case or engagement.

You can provide them with checklists, sample language, and examples of what other clients have said or done.

You can teach them what a good referral looks like, what to say to their friend about you, and what to do to comfortably make the referral.

You can also create a review/testimonial template–something like this:

Testimonial/Review Template

  • I contacted [lawyer/firm] because. . .
  • I needed/wanted [desired outcome]
  • The result was. . .
  • One thing I liked best was his/her/their. . .
  • I will hire [them] again if I need [more legal work/updates/other]
  • I would recommend [lawyer/firm] to people who need. . .

You could also provide clients with a handful of good reviews (or testimonials) you’ve received. Not only will this give them ideas about what to say about you, it will also empower them to do it by providing social proof that this is what satisfied clients do.

Make it easier for your clients to provide reviews, testimonials, and referrals, and you’ll get more of them.

Get more referrals by teaching your clients how to make referrals

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How to get great testimonials from your clients

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There’s nothing better than getting a letter or email from a satisfied client, telling you how happy they are with what you’ve done for them, praising you and thanking you for your help.

It really makes your day, doesn’t it?

Testimonials also make your marketing much more effective.

The trouble is, you don’t get them very often.

Your clients may be happy, and willing to provide a testimonial or a positive review. They just don’t take the time to do it.

One solution is to send all of your clients a survey at the end of each case. The feedback you get can be turned into testimonials.

How? Provide a check box at the end of the survey where the client authorizes you to use their words (with or without their full name) on your website or elsewhere in your marketing.

When you receive the completed survey, contact the client, thank them, and send them an edited version you’d like to use. Don’t change their thoughts, just the presentation, and tell them to feel free to add or change anything.

Another option, when you speak to a client at the end of the matter, ask them if they’re happy with the way things worked out. If they are, write down what they tell you and ask them if you can use what they’ve said in your marketing.

Simple, huh?

The best testimonials address 3 subjects:

1) Before they hired you.

What was going on in their life that prompted them to seek you out. Problems, frustrations, results they wanted but weren’t getting.

2) During the case.

What was it like working with you? Did you explain everything? Keep them informed? Make them feel appreciated? Protected? Did you bill fairly and promptly?

3) After the case.

What changed about their situation? Was the problem resolved? Did they get the results they sought? Would they hire you again and/or refer others to you?

Your survey should prompt them to talk about these things, and ask them to be as specific as possible. You can also delve deeper when you speak to them.

But, if they only address one of these areas–if they’re thrilled with the way you kept them informed, for example–take the win. And then go get some more.

When a client is happy, they want you (and others) to know it. They’re willing to provide you with a testimonial. They just need a little nudge.

Ready to take a Quantum Leap in your marketing?

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I’m good, but don’t take my word for it

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You love getting positive reviews, don’t you? They’re worth their weight in Gold-Pressed Latinum. Same goes for testimonials.

Reviews and testimonials from clients, and endorsements (from other professionals, industry experts, and so on), are some of the most valuable tools you can use for marketing your practice.

If you get them, use them. Let your clients tell prospects how wonderful you are.

The easy way to get more reviews and testimonials is to ask clients to fill out a survey or evaluation form at end of the case. Allow room to “talk” about how they were treated, what they like about the results you got for them, and so on.

You’ll get something you can use.

What’s that? Your state or country or firm won’t let you use testimonials in your marketing?

Sounds like you better move.

No? Okay, don’t fret. You can use something that’s almost as good: success stories.

Write a story about a case or matter. Describe the problem, issues, and obstacles that were presented to you, what you did for the client and the outcome. 

“Recently, a client called me about [problem]. [Add details–costs, pain, obstacles–legal and factual–and, describe the client’s pain and/or frustration.]”

Describe what you did for the client and how happy they were as a result.

Simple.

Okay, sure, if you have to add “results not typical” or other crap you’re required to add, do it.

And then use the hell out of that story.

Prospective clients want to know what you do. They want to hear what it will be like to work with you. They want to know that you know what you’re doing and a success story is much better than you “telling” them that you do.

Success stories should be a staple in your marketing. Write one today and start using it tomorrow.

Next week, you can write a client horror story. You know, about that client who didn’t follow your advice and made things worse.

Good marketing starts with good ideas

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Reviews happen

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Positive reviews are important. Maybe even critical. I’ve heard that 84% of people trust an online review as much as if a friend had referred them.

So yeah, you want reviews.

I know, all you can think about is getting a stinker from some nutjob who thought you weren’t going to charge for [whatever] or who complains that you took 25 hours to get back to them instead of the 24 you promised.

Sorry, Charlie, bad reviews are going to happen. In fact, clients are much more likely to leave a review when they’re not happy than when they are, so that risk will always exist.

Unhappy clients are emotionally driven. They’re going to tell the world how they feel just because that’s how they roll.

Your multitude of happy clients is less likely to leave reviews. They need to be prompted, reminded, and made to feel like their reviews are important.

The bottom line: ask clients for reviews. You’ll get a preponderance of positive ones and they’ll drown out the ones who reside in crazy town.

According to a recent study, more than 50% of the people you ask for a review will provide one. The numbers are probably less for legal clients who want to protect their privacy but if only one in five leaves a review you should be way ahead.

Tell them which site you prefer and give them the link. Tell them how reviews help other people who are looking for a lawyer choose the right one. Tell them how much you appreciate them for taking a few minutes to help you.

Just DON’T ask for Yelp reviews, however, because, I just learned, it is against their TOS and you don’t want the Yelp police coming after your azz.

While you’re at it, you should also ask clients for referrals. Here’s how

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How smart lawyers get better reviews

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I heard from a couple of smart lawyers who shared what they do to get better online reviews.

Sharon said, “I only ask clients for a review if I’m confident they were happy with my services. If they don’t get around to it, I do not repeat the request–I don’t wish to annoy people.”

Joshua said, “One thing we do at our office to control or screen for good reviews is that we do an in-office review first before asking for an online review. If someone had a great experience then we will ask for an online review and follow up with them a few times.”

A few takeaways and suggestions:

(1) Make sure the client is happy before you ask for an online review. 

If the designer I talked about yesterday had done that, she would have known not to ask me to post a review.

At the end of the case or matter, interview the client about their experience with your firm or ask them to fill out a form. Get their feedback and comments. Find out if they would recommend you to others.

If they’re happy, ask them to post their comments online.

If possible, while the client is still in the office, call up the review site of your liking on your computer. Help them register and post their review, or at least show them how to do it (and give them a copy of their in-house review), so they can do it when they get home or back to work.

(2) If the interview or in-house review reveals issues, fix them. And learn from them.

If you fix the problem quickly and completely, or the problem wasn’t your fault and you can make the client see that, it might be okay to ask for an online review. Do another in-office review first, however, before you decide to do that.

(3) It’s okay to remind clients to leave an online review. Remind but don’t push.

At the time they complete the in-office review or interview and agree to post an online review, ask for permission to remind them. “I know you’re busy, I’ll have my secretary send an email reminder, okay?”

Thank them again for their positive review and point out that posting that review online is important. It will help other people who are looking for an attorney, and it will help you.

If you want to get more reviews, and better reviews, this is how you do it.

Earn more without working more. Here’s how 

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Don’t push people to leave a review

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I hired a graphic artist recently to do a book cover but she didn’t do a good job. Frankly, her first effort was abominable. After many revisions, I accepted the work but I wasn’t crazy about it.

The designer asked me to leave a review. I usually do that but in this case, I knew the review would be negative and I thought I would give her a break. No, I wasn’t happy with her work, and no I won’t use her again, but life is too short to dwell on negative things. Move on, I told myself. And I did.

But she persisted. Emailed again, asking me to post my review. And again. “Still waiting. . .” she said.

She obviously didn’t know what I was thinking. So I told her.

I said, “If I leave a review, I will say that the work is adequate, but nothing special.” I then pointed out several of her shortcomings that I would address: lack of basic design skills, laziness (copying and pasting the copy I supplied, instead of designing), blatantly ignoring instructions, being argumentative, and more.

Yeah, I beat the crap out of her. And asked if she still wanted me to leave a review.

I was more upset about repeatedly being pushed to leave a review than I was at the work itself. Note to self: don’t push people to leave a review.

I felt bad about blowing my top but (don’t tell anyone) I also felt good telling her off.

Life is complicated.

I didn’t think I’d hear from her but I did. She said I was ungrateful after all of the revisions she’d done (aka, “you’re a jerk”), and said, “go ahead and post the review if it will make you fell better”.

It won’t make me feel better. I should have followed my original plan and kept my mouth shut.

On the other hand, maybe she needs to hear some of the things I said. I didn’t have to be so mean about it, but if she listens to the substance of my complaints and changes her ways, she would be better for it.

Am I right or am I rationalizing?

Well, this morning, the other shoe dropped. I got an email from Amazon telling me that there are technical problems with the cover and I might not be able to use it. Karma, for me being a jerk? Or further evidence that this gal doesn’t know what she’s doing?

I don’t know. All I know is I’m not going to let it bother me. If I have to hire someone else to fix it, or start from scratch and have a new cover done, that’s what I’ll do. End of story.

On the other hand, she did tell me to go ahead and post the review. . .

Make your website bring in more clients

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Reviews are starting to come in

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The first review for my new book, The Easy Way to Write a Book is in and it’s a humdinger.

It points out the value of the “real world examples” in the book and says, “Anyone should be able to use this guide to whip out a book in a week or two. Delivers exactly what it promises.”

Nice.

And very much appreciated. Not just by me but by book buyers who are looking for a way to write a book quickly, but aren’t sure if my book delivers.

Reviews help sell books, just as testimonials help sell legal services. I’m not shy about asking for reviews and you shouldn’t be shy about asking your clients to provide a few words about their experience with you.

How do you ask? You just do. You tell them you would appreciate them for leaving a review on XYZ website, or filling out a survey form you provide. Or you wait until they say something nice about you and you ask them if you can post their kind words on your website.

But ask.

Your clients are willing to tell the world what they think about you, but they are busy and need a little prompting.

So prompt.

Anyway, here’s my prompt:

If you picked up a copy of “The Easy Way to Write a Book,” and you liked it, please leave a review. Even one sentence can help someone who is on the fence make a decision.

Here’s the link.

Okay, maybe you don’t want to write a book. No problem. Remember, you can use the ideas in the book to interview professionals you know (or want to know) for your blog or newsletter or podcast. Interviews aren’t just a great way to create content, they are the consummate networking tool.

Maybe you want to write a book but you don’t want to interview anyone, you want to tell your own story. Okay. I heard from a lawyer who is using the ideas in the book to do exactly that. He tells me his book is coming along nicely and he will post a review as soon as he’s done.

So there.

The Easy Way to Write a Book is still just .99 cents, but I will bump up the price soon. (You can read it free if you have Kindle Unlimited).

And if you’re still not sure, you can read the first chapter online here.

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Sell more legal services with better reviews and testimonials

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I got another five star review on one of my Kindle books (on network marketing). It was a great review:

“Probably the most valuable book on network marketing I have ever read. . . and that is saying a lot. If you are in direct sales or network marketing, you will find great benefit in this book. Buy it! Now.”

Nice, huh?

Yes. And very much appreciated. But as good as it is, it could have been better.

When a prospective buyer reads a positive review like this, they will want to know “why?” Why is it so good? How is it different? What will I learn? What will this help me to do? What has it helped you  to do?

They want specifics.

The same goes for reviews of your legal services.

When a client posts a positive review about you online, or sends you a testimonial, encourage them to provide details. If they say you treated them well, ask them to give an example. If they talk about the great job you did on their case, ask them to explain what they mean.

Did you get them a bigger settlement than they expected? Did you close the case quickly? Did you do something extra for them?

Were you nice to their kids? Did you regularly keep them informed about the progress of their case? If they had questions, did you answer them thoroughly? If you weren’t in when they called, did you call them back within 48 hours?

Specifics.

Specifics help prospective clients see the benefits of hiring you. They also make the review more believable.

Reviews that recommend you and your services will bring you more clients. Especially when those reviews explain why they are recommending you.

Want more referrals from other lawyers? Behold. . .

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What to do when you get a “one star” review

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It had to happen. I’ve been riding high on a unbroken string of five star reviews of my Kindle book, “Recruit and Grow Rich” (about network marketing) and comments like these

“The Best Network Marketing Book I’ve Ever Read!”
–Mitch Jackson

“By Far The Best & Most Complete Resource for Network Marketing!”
–Erik Christian

“Incredible Resource for Anyone in Network Marketing!”
–Marcia J. LeVoir

Donald Gravalec, an attorney, said, “This book is an absolute must read for any attorney considering a network marketing opportunity.”

Nice, huh?

Then, last week, I got a stinker. A one star review. The anonymous reviewer said, “No (sic) recommended. Not that good. Too basic.”

I don’t know what this guy is smoking. The book covers the basics, as a book like this must, but there is so much more. If anything, there is too much information, especially for newbies. My guess is Mr. Anonymous didn’t read past the introduction or first chapter.

Right or wrong, that’s his opinion. What can I do about it?

The same thing you do when you get a bad review or rating from a client on a review site or social media:

You bury it.

You reach out to your clients and ask them to post a review on the site. Most will leave you good reviews, right? As new reviews come in, the stinker will move down and eventually off the page. If a prospective client does see it, he will also see that it is one bad apple in a big barrel of satisfied clients.

Will you help me? If you read the book, would you please leave a review. Just a line or two is fine. I would appreciate it. You can do that on this page.

If you don’t have the book, you can check it out here.

One more thing. Amazon allows people to vote on which reviews are “helpful” and which are not. If you believe the book is good and not “too basic,” please vote down Mr. Antonymous’ review.

Thanks again for you help. I’m looking forward to reading your review.

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