Prospective clients (usually) first ‘meet’ you on a Google search. That means you’ve got to be visible and impressive.
Google reviews are one of the best ways to impress prospects in a search results page:
- If the prospect has run a brand search (one for you or your business) your reviews will appear in your Google My Business listing (the box at the top right-hand corner of the search results page).
- If they run a service-based search (for example: “financial planner near me”) the reviews will appear in the Google Places section.
Either way, firms who have reviews are more impressive compared to those who don’t have them.
The good news is that there’s never been a better time to ask your clients for Google reviews.
1. Google reviews are being advertised on prime-time TV
Google recently started running adverts featuring Anthony Joshua and Sheridan Smith highlighting why reviews are important to small businesses.
If your clients have seen these adverts, they’ll understand why reviews are important to you and your business. Consequently, they will be more likely to leave a review if they get asked for one now, while the adverts are running.
2. Your competitors and peers (probably) aren’t collecting Google reviews
If you need proof, here’s our research. Alternatively, run a search now on Google for “financial adviser near me” or “financial planner <insert location>” and see for yourself how few firms have Google reviews.
By building reviews your business will become more impressive and stand out from the crowd.
3. Lockdown is still with us
Lockdown means we’re all spending more time at home and online. In the middle of the year, Ofcom found that adults were spending a record four hours a day online on average.
When lockdown (hopefully) ends in the new year we’ll probably start to spend less time online as ‘normal’ life resumes. So, by sending requests now you will be able to take advantage of your clients spending more time online.
A limited window to collect Google reviews
It’s clear to us that these three things have come together to mean that there’s never a better time to collect Google reviews:
Awareness: Google’s TV campaign means that more of your clients will become aware of Google reviews and why they are important.
Competition: Currently, very few planners/advisers have woken up to the power of Google reviews. That means, if you do, you’ll get ahead of the game.
Capacity: The surge in the amount of time we spend online won’t last forever. Now’s the time to take advantage of it.
A three-step process to Google review success
Collecting Google reviews really isn’t hard. If you ask, many clients will be very happy to write a review.
All the excuses we hear from some advisers and planners are just that. Excuses. So, if like us you’re convinced that now’s the perfect time to collect Google reviews. Here’s our tried and tested three-step process.
Before you start, if you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing yet, click here to do so. Then, make sure you complete your new (or existing) listing with photos, information about your business, opening hours, and regular updates.
Step 1: Produce a database of clients you will ask for a review. Don’t exclude clients who don’t obviously have a Google account. They might have an account you don’t know about or set one up to leave a review.
Step 2: Write and send an email to all your clients requesting a Google review (and if you use VouchedFor, we’ve had great success with this tactic as it gives the client a second option if they won’t, or can’t, leave you a Google review). If you have a large client bank you might want to stagger the emails over a few weeks. To help, we’ve developed a free review request template. Click here to download it from our website.
Step 3: Add requesting Google reviews (and VouchedFor too) to your new business and review process:
- Get the adviser or planner to verbally request the review
- Then ensure someone in the support team follows up with an email giving the links the client needs
The email follow-up is vital:
- Most clients will forget the verbal request, so the email will act as a gentle nudge, which they will either have to action or delete (something they won’t want to do, remember – they like you!)
- Practically, it will make their life easier too because you should include the link they need to leave you the review.
Finally, make sure the email requesting the review doesn’t contain any other information. Don’t include the review request with other documents and certainly don’t add it to the end of a 12-page suitability report (which they probably won’t read).
Here to help
If you feel that now’s the time start impressing potential clients online with your Google reviews, we’re here to help.
Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.
Finally, we practise what we preach. If you find our blogs useful or you’re a client who has been pleased with our team’s work, please click here to leave us a Google review. Thanks in advance!