If there is one common pushback that I see even as a new business coach, it is the oh-so-dreaded-yet-common “Google review” objection. If you are a business coach client reading this, please do not get offended and hate me. If you are a podcast listener, I ask that you have enough tenacity to read this without unsubscribing to our show. I have to be completely candid to point out the excuse that could be killing your business. Jack Welch says, “Lack of candor blocks smart ideas, fast action, and good people contributing all the stuff they’ve got. It’s a killer.”
With a big overwhelming optimistic momentum (boom) hope that you will appreciate my candor, I will continue. Although I truly empathize with these excuses, at the end of the day, they are still at face-value, excuses. Here are the top five excuses, or limiting factors if you will, on why clients have trouble getting or asking for Google reviews.
1. “I feel bad asking for reviews.”
My friend, if this is your objection, there could be a bigger, underlying problem than simply needing Google reviews and not being able to obtain them. If you have a product or service that other humans want, your customers OWE you. You can not feel bad asking for Google reviews. If you are truly providing quality while solving a problem to your ideal and likely buyers, why would you feel bad asking your customer to do you a favor in return while also letting others know of your incredible value to the world? To paraphrase Napoleon Hill, over-deliver and you will be overpaid.
“By performing more service and better service than that for which you are paid, you not only exercise your service-rendering qualities, and thereby develop skill and ability of an extraordinary sort, but you build a reputation that is valuable. If you form the habit of rendering such service you will become so adept in your work that you can command greater remuneration that those who do not perform such a service.” -Napoleon Hill
Now, on the contrary, there is only one viable reason you should ever feel bad asking for Google reviews; if you are a charlatan. If this is the case, stop asking for Google reviews and do the world a favor and stop selling your product or service altogether.
Action Step: Stop feeling bad. Ask for reviews, and for the sake of everything that is holy, NEVER STOP asking for Google reviews.
2. “My industry is different.”
I hear this a lot. For some unknown reason, some business owners truly believe their customers or potential customers do not go to the internet to seek answers before making a purchase. This is not the case. I don’t care who you are, you simply are not immune to the permanent platform imperative to the marketplace, that is Google.
A common reason many business owners believe this excuse to be true is because of the age demographic of their ideal and likely buyer (the older generation) and therefore they truly believe they are exempt from Google. This is not true. According to an article in USA Today, “Seventy-eight percent of Americans now own smartphones,”. This is precisely why your industry is not different. With information being in the palm of our business coach hands, you can bet that there is not a millennial, ‘gen Z-er’, ‘gen X-er’ or baby boomer who isn’t accessing the readily available former customer experience available to the world thanks to Google.
Action Step: Recognize that your buyers are humans and all humans access the internet for everything because that is simply the world we live in today. Like it or not, ASK FOR REVIEWS, one more review, two more reviews, so on and so forth.
3. “I want to respect their privacy.”
This is one excuse that I can completely empathize with. Let’s say, for example, you own a counseling agency, or maybe you are a plastic surgeon or a bail bondsman. It may feel awkward asking for Google reviews because you want to respect your patients’ or customers privacy. Again, this is the one excuse I can “sort of” empathize with.
However, if you aren’t asking for Google reviews, your competitors are. Asking for Google reviews is still respecting their privacy. You aren’t holding a gun to their head and forcing them to leave you a review. You are asking. Most of your customers would be happy to leave you a review because of the exceptional value you have provided them. Some won’t. And that is O.K.
When you ask for an objective Google review, you are asking them to do the world a favor by letting more people know they had a good experience and you or your business provided value to them. Your customers are contributing to other buyers. Your prospects can read how great you are, or they can get shafted by a competitor looking to rob them of their hard-earned money by providing little value. Would you rather risk them telling you no, or losing out on providing value to the rest of the world?
Action Step: Realize that asking for Google reviews is just asking. It is not forcing anyone to do anything they do not want to do. Ask for Google reviews. Don’t think twice about asking. Ask every time.
4. “I don’t have time to ask for reviews.”
Let me start by saying, there is not a single human on the entire planet who doesn’t have 30 extra seconds to do a single action item with every customer interaction that could make them hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars. If this is your excuse, I say to you, MAKE TIME. Make time as if your business depends on it. The hard truth is, your business DOES depend on this. Asking the Google review question should not be a long, drawn-out, 10-minute conversation. It can literally be a simple 15-30 second conversation. Here is a pro-tip on exactly how this conversation can go quickly, yet effectively.
You or a member of your staff: “How was everything today?” or “How did we do for you today?”
Customer: “Great. Thanks!”
You or a member of your staff: “Fantastic. Glad we could get you taken care of. Hey, would you be willing to leave me an objective Google review on how your overall service has been? It would mean a lot to our business and my team. Many customers also enjoy knowing what to expect before they come in.”
This can, literally, be a simple 20-second conversation. I have faith in you. I know you can take 20 seconds, two to three times per day to implement a game-changer for your business.
Action Step: Get good at asking for Google reviews quickly and incentivize your customers so they truly will want to leave an objective review to help your team. Once you find a quick, yet effective way to gain reviews, don’t ever stop asking for reviews.
5. “I don’t need reviews because I work from referrals.”
My friend, you are great at what you do! You work on referrals because you are exceptional in your trade. However, you are working from direct referrals because you aren’t asking for Google reviews and your ideal and likely buyer currently isn’t finding you online. You work on referrals because people are finding you the old school way of talking with one another. This is great! Never stop doing such a great job that other humans actually want to talk and speak to another human to tell them how awesome you are.
However, you could have double, triple, quadruple, or who knows how many more of your incredible ideal and likely buyer contributing to your business because the referral is then done quickly and effectively by the few taps of some buttons on a phone or computer. Google reviews are the new age of referrals. If you aren’t asking for referrals online, your competitor is. They will eventually beat you out of the marketplace because word-of-mouth will only take you so far.
Action Step: Transform your mentality to understand that digital referrals are more profitable, compelling and complimenting as word-of-mouth referrals. Get more referrals, called Google reviews. Get more. Keep getting more. Don’t stop getting Google reviews/referrals.
No matter what, it is imperative that you stop making excuses for your lack of reviews on Google and any other relevant platform that your ideal and likely buyer may be seeking your services or products. Whether the excuse is ridiculous, or somewhat justifiable, you simply can not afford to avoid this task if you want your business to grow and if you want more ideal and likely buyers committed to you. There is something profound in the peace of mind when engaging with a company for the first time. Give your new prospects peace of mind, accept the digital age that we live in today and go out, right now, and ask for a Google review and never, ever cease this task.