Forbes reports that 88% of customers read reviews before buying a product or service. On today’s show, we discuss the power of obtaining objective reviews from past customers, online reputation management and much more
Brian J. Greenberg, aka The Salesman Who Doesn’t Sell, has founded businesses in e-commerce, marketing, and financial services. He has generated over 50 million in revenue from his businesses and collected over 10,000 reviews and testimonials from customers. Brian is the founder and president of True Blue Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest and helpful to their customers without ever bugging or pushing them. Brian also runs e-commerce websites at Touchfree Concepts and Wholesale Janitorial Supply. ThriveTime listeners can download Brian‘s audiobook for free.
To download the book for free go to https://www.brianjgreenberg.com/thrivetime
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On today’s show, we discussed why without reviews in today’s world, you will lose the power of obtaining objective reviews from past customers. Why? According to Forbes, 88 percent of customers read reviews before buying a product or service the power of online reputation management and much, much more.
All right. Thrive nation. Welcome back to another exciting edition of the thrive time show
on your radio and podcast download. And on today’s show we have the. We have the fortune shop. We are. We are blessed with an opportunity to interview the author of the book with the controversial title known as the salesman who doesn’t sell. Brian, how are you? I’m doing great guys. How are you? Well, I’m excited to have you on the show because the title of your book is so intriguing and before we get into the book, I’d really, I really want to allow you the opportunity to share with the listeners your background and really what inspired you to write this new book, the salesman who doesn’t sell.
Sure. I’ve been on the Internet just starting Internet businesses since 2002. All right, so I was one of the early guys. I started with some ecommerce websites and I grew it right. So I remember starting ecommerce websites and I was blown away by how much revenue we were doing and I thought there wasn’t more revenue to be made. Low and behold, our revenue kept going up and up later passed that. I started an internet marketing company, so I took on a lot of clients. I got really good at Internet marketing. I sold that in 2012 and since then I’ve been focusing on my insurance website, trueblue life insurance,
true blue life insurance. Check it out there. Is it true Blue Life Insurance Dotcom for anybody out there wants to go check it out?
Now your book could make somebody almost immediately skeptical and I think that’s part of the power of the title, but it says the salesman who doesn’t sell, could you share with the listeners about what this book is all about?
You know what, it’s, it’s a lot about information selling, right? So I love driving people to my website and closing a sale without having to jump on the phone with them. All right? Uh, you can build trust and credibility via your website, post reviews, social proof, a, guide them through what a is best for them, that price he’d everything and to be able to sell them without, uh, you know, going and wasting all your resources. And what’s wonderful thing, it’s a wonderful thing when people can go to your website and your business and purchase something while you’re sleeping. Hence the title.
Talk to me about reviews because we have a lot of listeners who attend our thrive time show a workshops who really just, uh, have never gathered reviews before they, even if you’re not familiar with the power of reviews and online reputation management, can you share with us about this?
Absolutely. Look, the first thing I like to do is put a value to reviews. I think people that have businesses, they just, it’s hard to measure Roi, right? So when I get a review and I get it on my own website, I value it at $100 a piece and it’s about $25 each additional year because they stay there. If I get a review on Google business, so the better business bureau, I value those at $250 each and maybe $50 each additional year. They are extremely persuasive. I would argue to say that they’re most their most. They’re the most persuasive buying trigger of anything else. Uh, Amazon does it. It’s becoming more and more, uh, beneficial to have positive reviews.
I’m going to give the listeners an example and proof of concept of what Brian Greenberg is saying. Brian, for the listeners out there that don’t know, I own a haircut, a chain called the elephant in the room, men’s grooming lounge. Um, I’m involved with a carpet cleaning franchise called Oxi fresh. And my partner who owns elephant in the room with me. Uh, he also owns oxi fresh. And so right now, if somebody were to do a google search for the phrase carpet cleaning quotes, we come up top in the world. Oxi fresh comes up top in the world, the number one website in the world in organic search engine results, no matter where in the world you’re searching from. And Chef, I believe as of right now, we have I think 142,000 reviews. We are to like 30 away from 143,000, 142,969 a google reviews. And we have $400, 385 locations out there. So there’s a lot of data points, but there’s gotta be somebody out there that doesn’t know how to get reviews from real customers. If somebody out there says, Brian, walk me through, okay, I believe this is valuable. H, what is the process for me to go get objective reviews from real people? How do I do it?
Number one thing is you got to ask. You got to know the right time to ask the right time to ask is, you know, after you, after you delivered in, they’re happy, right? Um, I think a lot of people have a hard time asking for reviews. I get it. I make use of email. All right, so I use active campaign, which is an email marketing software and after I finish doing the service, I send them an email. I sent him an email on the third day, the seventh day and the 10th day. And the email includes stars and as soon as they click it, they go to my website, they enter in the stars, their name in a comment, right? That’s the wonderful thing. I highly recommend people get reduced on their own internal site. First, if they gave, gave me a five star review, turned it around and send them another email asking them to give me a review on Google or the better business bureau. I include the comment that they included and I give them a link to the exact page on the review site where they can enter the review, so don’t just send them to your google business page. That’s a mistake I think I sent. You can send them and use the url that sends them to the Google page. That gives them a pop up right then and there where they get into the review. Same with Yelp, same with the better business bureau. Make it extremely easy for the customer to do it.
Brian Greenberg, you said that you know you value your reviews when you propose a value on them and you mentioned, you know, Google better business bureau. Do you know in, in your experience, are there platforms that are more valuable than others or are you kind of go for all of them, the shotgun approach or what’s kind of your philosophy on that?
I chose Google in the better business bureau. We actually just recently ran a survey with a thousand people and we asked them what is the most, you know, valuable platform that they use to judge the credibility. Somebody overwhelmingly the better business bureau one. All right. It wasn’t even really close. He’s like 70 percent shows the better business bureau after that. It was google business. Uh, that’s the best for me. I don’t really run a local business. I serve a national clientele. You know, if you run a business where your local yelp, yelp is unbelievably persuasive. I know that. Especially restaurants, right? If restaurants boosts their star rating from four to five, they see an increase of over 10 percent of their restaurant.
True knowledge. Boy, I want to talk. There’s one particular listener I know out there that does a very, very successful and they have had the hardest time getting yelp reviews and in fact they even have, I think 20, they call them unverified reviews there, Brian, you know, where it’s like they have a lot of people who have left reviews, but the reviews are sort of being held and the purgatory of review world by, by Yelp. How does somebody go out there and get objective reviews? What are the rules surrounding that as it relates to yelp?
Number one, you have to ask, right? So everyone in my team, I incentivize them, you know, I told you that, you know, I value the reviews. I value very highly. So I bonus my employees when they get a review. All right? That’s an easy thing. Uh, after, you know, they’re done selling. I actually have, uh, the, the agents or your salespeople send an email to the customer saying that they’re in a contest, right? They get bonused on reviews. We already have the theory of reciprocity going here, right? We delivered a great service and we asked them something small and return, you know, overwhelmingly they do it. I think really what you need to do is ask.
You have to ask if you have not, because you ask not. Now I’m going to get really passionate and I would like for you Brian, you can try to call me down here. Real man. What Brian is saying is 100 percent true and it absolutely could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for you. I’m not exaggerating. There’s a rule for that. I worked with a couple of years back whose business he was top in Google. We could help our, our thrive time show coaching program. We can get you to the top of organic search results. We can do that. We can help you run the best ads ever, but according to Forbes, 88 percent of people check last year. According to Forbes, 88 percent of people read reviews before buying or filling out a form for trust them more than the recommendation. A friend or family. 80 eight percent of you won’t even fill out your form without reading reviews. And then an uptick this year and the new stat is 91 percent. Brian helped heal somebody out there, heal them from the disease that’s causing them to not ask for review
again. Yeah, they’re so valuable. And the other thing is, look, you can get reviews right on your own website or you can have all these help reviews or google business reviews. If they’re on your website, they’re not going to know about it, right? Make it very visible on your website. I put it on my checkout page. I put on every page of my website. I built a beautiful image of the better business bureau and Google and even my own testimonial page. Uh, I want them to click it, right? What we found is if people click it, I almost on every time they go to my website, it’s a huge buying trigger. Right? And we’ve also found, like you said, how persuasive it is. One of the last things customers do before they purchase something from you is they’ll do a search on Google and the search your name followed by reviews or complaints. That’s so huge, right? So if you have a yelp listing that usually comes up, you know, real, you know, number one, or at least towards the top, you know, then you got the sale.
That is so true. I want to pile on there and one of the main reasons that if you’re listening out there and you’re worried about asking for those reviews, think about yourself. Be empathetic with that person, right? Only people that are upset typically leave reviews, and if you leave it up to that, you’re going to have negative reviews all over yelp, on Google, on everywhere. So you’ve got to ask those customers when they’re happy, like, like Brian Greenberg said, you’ve got to ask him for that objective review.
Okay, Brian Greenberg, here we go. We’re getting into the really dark evil part of the show here. You can hang up if you don’t like. These questions are pretty, pretty intense here. Now our men’s grooming lounge, elephant in the room, we have 604 reviews at our location in Tulsa. We have three in Tulsa, but one of them, but we have. It’s a four point nine, which means we’re not perfect. So I’m going into the reviews right now. Chip, I try not to do is very much just emotional and half to eight and I’m going to read the most recent ones. A couple of them here. I want looking for a bad review. Okay. We got fencer, gave us a good one. Spencer gives you A. Nathan gave us a good one, Jesse. We got a lot of good stuff. Van Hodges. Thank you. Van Nathan. Michael. Joshua. Okay. Got My first negative one here and the person said terrible service would never go back so that I don’t do process English super well.
Jeff, I sometimes need to look up the origin of words. Now that means there’s. Yeah, terrible service would never go back. How should somebody respond? Is a business owner. What should you do when someone leaves you a bad review on Google? One thing that you got to remember is you don’t want to argue, okay? You don’t want to try to have some kind of tit for tat or argument with somebody, so you simply reach out. You tell them, hey, please give us a call at this number. We’d love to fix any issue that you might’ve had or fix the communication or whatever the deal was you want to. How would you, how would you advise we deal with a good solid complaint?
Well, first of all, I totally agree. Do not react. Number one, do absolutely do not. Uh, don’t get into fight people that have just destroyed their businesses by doing that. The first thing I like to do is reach out to the customer. All right? I want to, I want them to take down the review. Number one. All right, so you know there’s a name on there. I’ll call my law firm a credit. I’ll find out what went wrong. See how I can make it right? If you call a customer and say, what can I do to make you happy? They’ll answer you. And if you do, they’ll take it down. A lot of times people put reviews on Yelp to get your attention, right? It’s an accountability factor. If you, there’s a dispute, they can go online and they know how important those reviews are.
Now, if you don’t get them to take it down, that’s where you can turn a negative review into a positive. Uh, if you respond in a way that says, look, this person had a bad experience, you know, you could apologize, say, you know, look, you know, we do our best. We’d love to give you a credit, right? Or We’d love to give you something back or anything of that sort. If you respond in a very nice way, that’s really what the customers want. They want to know if something does go wrong that the company is going to offer to fix it. So you know, a negative review without a response. It’s like a cockroach in the middle of the restaurant. If you respond correctly and Nice, you can turn it into a positive because most people, they’ll look at the negative reviews. You’ll find out how the company does respond. Right?
Well, I got another one here. Okay. I know because we will listen. We have thousands of customers. We have thousands. Okay, so you’ve got a guy up here. He says here, this way, he says, this is a good one. He says, at first it was great, good haircut, great environment. Then over the past year it’s really gone downhill quick and a year. I’ve had five different stylists. There’s no consistency in the turnover is outstanding. That’s astounding. What’s worse is blah, blah, blah, blah. Now I, our team, they have a way they respond. Um, but I want to get your take on this. The team looked at his review history and he leaves only negative reviews for people, right? Everything is negative and it’s very negative. It’s all very negative. Um, this person, our team wrote this, what they wrote, I’d like to, to see what your thoughts are on the team. Our team wrote, Sir, I’m, they heard his name, but he said, I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way. We’d love the opportunity to make it right. Regarding your account. I will gladly fix any errors included. If you’re billing membership and please give us a call. Uh, the person has not responded. What would you do then?
I don’t think you need them to respond. I think you did it well. You know, make sure that, uh, you know, you apologize, number one, you understand where they’re coming and I love that, you know, offer them a credit. Say, you know, we do our best to make customers happy. We’d love to give you a, you know, a free service to make it up to you. Alright? I think that’s all that needs to be done.
Okay, good. I just want to know emotionally, the Amygdala, you’re a guy who, uh, I think to be successful in business over an extended period of time, you’ve had to learn a little bit of stoicism or you can embrace the, the negative. You can just accept the negative and you know, it’s a trade off of doing a lot of things, you know. So in our, in our case, we have thousands of customers in this business, I mean thousands of customers per day at the business. And how do you emotionally deal with a bad review? You get a bad review and someone says, I went on to Brian Greenberg’s website. I just want you to know he doesn’t sell vacuums. And he sucks. Do you emotionally carry it with you all night? You let it go. How do you, how do you now process that brand?
I think those negative reviews, they’re going to get to anybody. All right. When somebody leaves me a bad review, it gets to me. It does. I don’t know if I could stop it, but that’s one of the things that will drive people to continue to offer the best service. So if somebody gives you a bad review and they say something bad, you know, it gives a great insight on what to fix. But yeah, I, you know, uh, luckily for me, I don’t get very many reviews and please know that I’m always willing to take a loss to get somebody to take it down. And my history is if somebody does give me a review, I’ll make it up to them. I’ll, I’ll give him a, I’ll take a loss. I’m willing to take up to a $500 loss. Agreed to get somebody to take down and review.
Now I want to ask you this. This is big. This is big because I know for the haircut business, so if we cut someone’s hair, the average haircuts, $42, we always will give you your haircut, will give you all your money back. We’ll give you 42 bucks back. Tell us about your, your current venture that you’re on now or maybe give us an example of. I’m not asking for a specific mistake you’ve made, but I mean, are you willing to refund up to thousands of dollars or a couple dozen dollars or how much money are you willing to refund to make it right?
I’m willing to go $500 if it’s, you know, boy, it gets a little tough, you know, also if you can just respond, well, you know, you can turn that into a positive, right? My limit right now is $500. I don’t want to bribe anybody for a thousand dollars. I think sometimes if you talk to them and you say, you know what’s fair, right? And that’s really what they want. Uh, you want want to make it up, make their time worth it. Right? So if they say a thousand dollars, you can say, look, the most I’m willing to do is, you know, you can throw out a number $200. I think that very rarely you’re going to see people extort you. That’s very bad Karma for them.
You, uh, you, you mentioned, uh, your newest venture. Is there a, a, a business that you’ve been involved in, you would encourage the listeners to check out so they can see the power of the reviews for that particular company or brand or maybe like a, an example of either your own business or a case study of someone you’ve worked with that the listeners could go check out?
You know, my business trueblue life insurance.com. I try to make my reviews as visible as possible. The other thing is my competitors have terrible reviews, so insurance agents, you know, they have a very bad stereotypical reputation and if they check out the reviews of my competitors, they’re going to find a lot of bad reviews. So I’m able to, uh, you know, get my company to stand at a level of, of my competition and I’ll have people call in saying, you know, that’s the reason why they chose to do business with us. All these great reviews. Now I will say on my review system, which I think helps tremendously. I display them on my own website, but I say a lot about the product that was being reviewed. Okay. So I’ll give the date of the review, the name, the city that the person was in, the company of the insurance company policy that they bought the plan. It could be, you know, 20 year term a alley and then I’ll say the agent that, the agent that served them. So I’m giving them all the information so that they know that if they bought a similar product, they’re going to have a similar experience.
Talk to me about the, the, the, just the culture right now of how you saw it happen. You, you’ve been ongoing the first tool to market on the internet, you know, when did you see reviews beginning to shape the narrative and impact how people were buying? When did you first see that trend occurring?
I think Amazon kind of lead the way, you know, their conversion rate. You know, boy, a while ago, I think it was up to 20 percent, uh, and people go to Amazon to do their research. Now it’s one of the most popular search engines. So as yelp. So as tripadvisor, uh, the power of the reviews, I think you guys said as well, you know, let’s say a friend of yours recommends, you know, uh, an Asian restaurants. They know I love it, right? But then you go online and you look at the reviews and you see 10 negative reviews. The food was terrible. I got sick. Who you gonna believe you’re gonna overwhelmingly believe the 10 reviews.
Let’s say somebody has negative reviews, the 10 negative reviews and they’re not actually from real customers. Okay. You know, was example elephant in the room. This is probably three, four weeks ago. We had a guy leave us a bad review and I noticed the only, the only the riverview he’d given his, he gave us competitor, our competitor a good review, you know, one of our call center reps pointed it out and after doing research we found out he’s actually an owner of the competitor company. How can somebody go about getting a review removed from Google if it’s nefarious? It’s not true. If it’s a. If it’s actually a competitor going after you or someone who’s never been a customer, what is there any procedure you would advise people to take to remove false reviews?
I know that you can report it, right? You can, you know, send a request into yelp and Google business, but the overwhelmingly fact is you can’t really get reviews down. You know, I’ve seen people that, you know, God I real negative review and they think that, well, I can just call google or I can sue the PR person. All right. You know, that’s going to waste a lot of time and money. It’s, you basically can’t get those reviews down. So again, I would just say respond to it. Right? Let’s say this is, this is the owner of a competing store and I think people are smarter than you. Give them credit for. I think that they can spot negative reviews. Went Brian. I’m sorry. Spot reviews that aren’t legitimate. Yeah,
false reviews are fake reviews. Yes. Gotcha, Gotcha. Um, and we go to hundreds of clients. Okay. And a lot of them, whenever we kind of explained this concept of getting reviews, they simply literally don’t know what to say. So how do you, or maybe I should say like, what exactly do you guys say when you ask for a review?
You know, we basically say, look, uh, review really helps our company. I’m also, you know, I get bonused on it or it’s a contest. I, my, uh, my employees loves sending texts and emails, uh, basically asking them, you know, and we give them great service. So, and, and give them the link, right? Just don’t ask them for a blind review, given the absolute direct link to do it.
All right, there it is. Now, Brian Greenberg, your newest book, your new book here, the salesman who doesn’t sell, if people were to pick up a copy of it, what, what can they expect to find within this book?
I’m teaching people actually to, you know, kind of almost based their business on getting positive reviews. I think that if you do that, you’re automatically gonna have a business that’s customer focused. All right? And you guys said something interesting. I’d like to say that I think it’s like a moral responsibility for those businesses that, you know, give a tremendous service to customers to actually ask for those reviews so that those are the companies that succeed. All right? I hate it when I see companies that offer great service that don’t ask for reviews and they’re not getting the business. I like to see the good guys win.
Amen. Now you’ve been successful as a result of doing a lot of things the right way. Can you walk us through your daily routine? What are the first four hours of your day look like?
I start with coffee gentlemen. I think a lot of people do. I read news feeds. Uh, I, you know, I try not to read too much of the news, I just go on a large scale of overhead view. I do USA Today. I meditate. Gentlemen, I do transcendental meditation every morning. I think that gets my head a little clear. I’ll go through email. Uh, I do like to read for about 20 minutes. I’m always reading, you know, either personal development or business books. I think that’s an important thing. Uh, then, you know, I can’t say I work out every day. I tried to, it depends, that’s usually my mornings
now. What, uh, what are one or two books that you’d recommend for all of our listeners?
You know, one of the first books I recommend people read is the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I think that’s one of my favorite books and it’s, it’s a short book too. It’s, I think it’s 100 pages for the four agreements book. What’s it about? It’s about, you know, how to, how to live your life. So they’re the four agreements. One is be impeccable with your word, right. So, and it kind of goes to, you know, be careful what you say, don’t gossip, right? The second is don’t take anything personal, personal, right? If someone leaves a bad review, it doesn’t really have anything to do with you. Something’s going on with that person. The third is make no assumptions. Just, you know, try to be clear with everybody. Make sure that they know exactly what you want them to do. And the fourth is, which is the most important, is always do your best. That’s all you can do.
Okay? Okay. Okay. Now. Okay. What’s one more book you’d recommend for, for all the listeners out there?
I loved outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It always sticks in my head. The one thing he taught was to become an expert. You, you put in 10,000 hours in something, you know, and that, that always stuck with me.
Brian, I appreciate you being on the show and I love to, anytime we have a guest that twin to take time out of their schedule to cop on the show and educate our hundreds of thousands of listeners, I always like to be able to give you the final word as it relates to recommending that the listeners take a specific action or or, or visit a website or buy a book. What’s the action step you’d recommend that all of our listeners take?
You know, I’d like to give my book for free to all your listeners. They can just go to Brian j.Greenburg.com/thrive time and please feel free to download the book a awesome. I hope it helps people.
Brian, I appreciate you so much for being on the show. We always like to end with a boom, which is essentially chubb. We say three, two, one. Then a little. So Brian Greenberg, are you psychologically ready to give us a boom? I’m ready. Okay. Chuck, are you ready? Let’s do this man. Am I ready? I’m ready. Here we go. Three, two, one. Boom. The game of life and in the game of business there are both cowboys and it’s where I tell you what, I don’t know who you’re talking about, but let’s go ahead and nip, listen to, but right now we’re on the first ample example now provided by you via sample was the phrase, nip it in the, but when you just said you wanted to nip in the bud, it made me question many, many things. One of which was why would you want to nip something in the blood?
Well, I’ll tell you this, brother, you just killed me to stones with Lundberg man, your toenail verenise and don’t know what you’re talking about. I unfortunately now rest my case to be a successful entrepreneur. We all know you have to be accountable, but you don’t want to be an idiot brother. You need to make a 360 degree left chart. She sounds so angry and according to Forbes, between 36 and 55, three percent of all small business owners are going to be in at least one piece of litigation in any given year will brought it. I’ll tell you this, I look at that as positivity because that ain’t ever business that’s making ensued. That’s just 36 percent, so I rebuke your negativity and so despite his Jack Assery, my challenge that I pose for you is to take the 32nd test, go to cowboys and idiots.com. Again, it’s cowboys and idiots.com to make sure that you, your family and your business is properly insured and this the pitches society that we’re in,
35 percent of small business owners will be soon this year. The good news is that includes everybody bought you. Rather. I already knew that. That’s why I’m not going to cowboys and idiots. Dotcom take the challenge and takes a 32nd [email protected]