One of my Duct Tape Marketing colleagues, David Smith from Boise, ID and I were kicking around ideas on how to get and craft a good review — to support local marketing — a program David’s delivering to a group of Idaho business owners.

My input, while not the most academic, may be of some help to you as you consider the same issue:

Be Real . . . Be Counter-Intuitive . . . Start Off Negative
I find that ‘glowing’ reviews, i.e. overly positive are dismissed more quickly and easily than clients will like.  An idea I picked up from a friend and colleague, Sean D’Souza is:  “Lead with a negative”.  The CREDIBILITY of what follows is so much greater and it won’t seem like it was written by groupies on drugs stalking their favorite rock band.  e.g.
“When I first heard about ‘Duct Tape’ Marketing, I thought, “What The Heck?”  Then, I thought, “Oh boy, here we go again!  Just gonna be another BS way of saying what everyone else is saying we ought to do only they’ll charge a lot more for it.”

That’s real.  It’s what your prospects are probably thinking.  So JOIN the conversation in their heads and THEN . . . bring them to know something you know that they probably weren’t thinking about . . . eg. “Well, BOY, WAS I WRONG!  Dave Smith, the local Duct Tape Marketing consultant met with me and my team last week and I had to say, “Wow” . . .”  

See what a credible impact that makes vs. a sugar-coated, lop-sided but utterly bland compliment that doesn’t stand out in a meaningful way?

Be Specific!
The other thing I believe is important to include in a review is SPECIFICITY of a VALUED OUTCOME.  The luke-warm (i.e. ‘safe’) comments are useless because they sound like what everyone else is saying.  e.g. “ABC’s food tasted great and the service was good.” (Well, I’d sure hope so!)

You’d be better to focus on a specific ‘outcome’ enjoyed from using (consuming) your product or service –e.g.  “We used to have WWIII on our hands trying to get the kids up in the morning.  Now, thanks to Tasty Chew Cornflakes, our kids are waking US up to make sure we’re in the kitchen for breakfast!  Kind of refreshing, actually.”

Help People Give You a Great Review
It’s always helpful to end a review with a RATING and a CALL-TO-ACTION.  Let your reviewers be your promoters — e.g.  “Overall I’d give these guys a 9 out of 10 (and I never give anyone, anywhere a ’10’)  so the next time you’re hungry in the KC area and the family wants to go out for a bite, be sure and put Oklahoma Joe’s on your ‘short list’ of ‘must-know-gotta-go’ places and get yourself a REAL pulled pork sandwich for a change”.

NEVER ‘Write’ Someone’s Review  
You do, however, want to explain the ‘structure’ and provide an easy way to invite them to ‘bullet point’ their key points.

You may want to say, Hey, can I write-up what I think you just said to me . . . and see if you approve the copy or would like to make some edits?”  That’ll work every time!

KEY POINT:
People love being editors vs. writers.  If you make their ‘job’ easier, you’ll make your reviews even better.

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