Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Customer Referrals & Testimonials

Guests: Michelle Blakely
March 26, 2024
Play Video about Bb Epis17 Blakely

Episode 17
Tom and Curtis welcome a bona fide expert to the podcast to discuss the importance of referrals and testimonials in growing a business — and how to do it well! Michelle Blakely, a small business coach and expert in referral marketing, shares her insights on the secrets to asking for referrals and testimonials, including making it easy for customers. Among the “secrets” she generously reveals is the importance of (and best practices for) expressing gratitude. It’s all about working the middle of the funnel…then flipping the funnel! The episode concludes with a discussion on the culture of testimonials and the importance of celebrating success.

Learn more about Michelle and here training business at seejakeandjanetrain.com.
Among the classes offered:


  • Referrals and testimonials are the lifeblood of many businesses and should not be overlooked as a marketing strategy.
  • Asking for referrals and testimonials should be made easy for customers, with clear instructions and links provided.
  • Quality content, such as newsletters, can help keep businesses top of mind for customers and increase the likelihood of referrals.
  • Don’t forget online reviews! (They help SEO, did you know?)
  • Celebrating success and expressing gratitude to customers who provide referrals and testimonials can strengthen relationships and foster a culture of referrals in the overall business.

Tom Nixon (00:01.124)
Welcome back everyone to bull horns in bulls eyes. Curtis. I have a question for you.

Curtis Hays (00:07.05)
I’m ready to answer.

Tom Nixon (00:08.42)
Okay, so maybe a series of questions, but you and I often talk about insights. Sometimes we’re talking about client perspectives and thought leadership. Sometimes we’re talking about the insights you can get from data, but I’m looking at your handsome new vest, which is not officially sanctioned bull horns and bulls eyes merch. But I got to ask what is insight. I love the spelling.

Curtis Hays (00:31.146)
I know we don’t quite have sponsors yet. Maybe someday we will, but Insight is a good friend of mine who founded Insight Analytics about 10 plus years ago. And when I went out on my own, he was a great mentor, actually was one of my first customers. And he’s got a new CEO. She’s been in there about a year, Rita Brassler. She’d been with him for like the last 10 years.

Um, so insight does custom data analytics for big companies, like the big stuff. They don’t play in our sort of small medium business world. They’re working with fortune companies and doing some real fun stuff on the analytics side. Um, but it’s a great company to work for. They’re headquartered here in Michigan out of Farmington Hills, but they employ people all over the world. And, uh, I now have three people I’ve referred to them over the last seven years that have full -time jobs. Um, one of our colleagues, so I’ll leave nameless.

but their brother now just got hired. And so this was my commission for the talent acquisition. Was this awesome vest and I’ve been wearing it the last few days and I said, Hey, I’ll give you guys a little plug and I’ll wear it on the podcast. So Matt Griffin, Rita Brassler, you know, hats to you.

Michelle Blakely (01:35.056)
Ha ha.

Tom Nixon (01:36.932)
Thanks for watching.

Tom Nixon (01:44.484)

Tom Nixon (01:48.996)
Yes, hats on to you. Hats off for me. Alright, so we’re not allowed to bill this advertiser. Okay, I got you. Okay, good. Alright, well, that’s good. Well, let’s pivot now from insights to talk about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart as somebody who works with a lot of small businesses, medium sized businesses as well, but mostly in my world, B2B and even within B2B, it’s almost exclusively professional services. So, for them, the life

Curtis Hays (01:50.602)

Curtis Hays (01:55.018)
I cannot build on for this, no.

Tom Nixon (02:16.708)
lifeline, lifeblood of their business is referrals. And I think referrals are something that you should not either bank as a given or shy away from because it doesn’t feel like marketing. And sometimes I think my clients and others like them overlook this as, yes, we got plenty of referrals, but now let’s go do something else. And my question is, why don’t you just go grease the skids for more of what you got? So.

Curtis Hays (02:37.628)

Tom Nixon (02:43.684)
we are going to find out from today’s guest if I’m right or wrong. Usually, it’s not right, but who do we have on today, Curtis?

Curtis Hays (02:49.898)
We have Michelle Blakely with us. Uh, this is going to be a great person to talk to you about this. We mentioned it briefly in a previous podcast, I think with Matt Loria, we talked that, uh, you know, sometimes your best business or your, you know, especially when starting out tapping into your current network is the best place to go. And this sort of kind of how do you branch out from that? But yeah, how do you continue to use that? That network. So Michelle Blakely, I met about 10 years ago when I first went out on my own, we met through the wonderful.

Tom Nixon (02:59.844)
Mm -hmm.

Curtis Hays (03:19.978)
Uh, Trisha Meyer, um, and, uh, she’s a great attorney in the Chicagoland area. And, uh, again, it’s been, that was a referral. Trisha introduced me and Michelle and I started helping Michelle with some SEO. So Michelle had a Blakely fit, Blakely fit where she was a trainer and, uh, uh, trained people in the fitness space. And then she took those insights and, you know, practices of building a business of her own into see Jake and Jane train.

to train other trainers on how to run their businesses and grow their businesses. So Michelle, it’s great to have you on the show today and excited about all the things we’re gonna talk about.

Michelle Blakely (04:02.576)
It’s wonderful to be here. So great to meet you, Tom. I’ve heard you a few times on the podcast and I have to laugh because as you’re describing, like my company journey, Curtis, I’m reminded of the challenge we were stuck with in trying to get the SEO right because right. I was a trainer to the trainers, but we weren’t looking for it right. So like just getting all of that. You had, you had a tough.

job ahead of you on that one. But yeah, I’m thrilled to be here. I love all of this stuff. So I’m delighted to talk about it.

Curtis Hays (04:29.226)

Tom Nixon (04:30.212)

Tom Nixon (04:37.476)
Well, cool. Well, you heard me at the outset say that I wanted to dive into this topic of referrals and testimonials before we get into because you offer two courses in this area, which we’ll get into. But before we do that, just if you would react to kind of what I said in terms of what I’ve experienced where a B2B company will hire a marketing agency because they want something completely other than the referrals that drive their business. And it’s almost like they.

Michelle Blakely (04:59.888)

Tom Nixon (05:02.884)
Like I said, they kind of that’s money in the bank. What else should we do? And not that they shouldn’t do other things, but it’s like I want to usually hit pause and say, wait, why are referrals the lifeblood of your business? How are you getting them now? Are you getting 100 % of those that are out there? If you’re already getting 100 % of those and yes, let’s move out or move on. But my sense is probably only getting 10 % of the available referrals. So what do you think? And what have you experienced in that realm?

Michelle Blakely (05:23.664)
I love that you brought that up. And one of the things that I encourage all of my small business owners to do, because I’m a small business coach, in addition to having courses, is audit their efforts, right? You guys had that episode on marketing attribution, is that right? And I got so excited when I heard that because you were talking about it in a very specific vein, but…

One of the things, Tom, I encourage them to do is to audit. I’m a data girl, right? I’m high, you know, empathy for things, high EQ, but I really care about, well, what are the numbers showing us? Right? And honestly, what I think happens, and I’d love to hear you guys disagree or agree with this, is business owners see some things that are working, but then they get very charmed by the power of what something else could do.

And it may or may not be true, but it’s a very enticing, you know, kind of pitch or commercial or something that they’ve seen. And they think, oh, well, we don’t want to miss out. We should be doing that too. And that’s fine. I’m okay. I green like that with all my small business owners, as long as they’ve audited has something like that worked for you in a past. Do you have things set up? So if that works, you’re actually going to sign, you know, sign the people on, you’re going to onboard them, right?

Um, so I think that what’s really important in the referral marketing space, if you’re, especially Tom, this is great. If you’re getting, if you have companies that are already getting a lot of referrals without necessarily a lot of effort, if that’s the case, I’m guessing, no, they are not getting 100 % of the referrals that are out there because it really is. There is really a.

nuanced way to do it well, in my opinion. And if it’s kind of on autopilot, you might not be capitalizing on all the great referrals you could be getting. And I absolutely would recommend you just pour more energy into that. What do you guys think?

Tom Nixon (07:37.412)
you’re sort of speaking Curtis’s language now in terms of analyzing data and tracking conversions and where that behavior goes. Curtis, I’m curious what you think. Same premise that I posed to Michelle, but in terms of data and analytics, you’ll hear or I’ll hear from clients. We got a bunch of new business in this month. It’s our best month ever. But all of its referrals, none of it’s from the marketing. I’m like, really? So.

Curtis Hays (08:00.842)

Tom Nixon (08:03.428)
there tricks to the analytics trade that you’re like, well, let’s do a better job of connecting those dots or maybe assigning some attribution.

Curtis Hays (08:11.338)
Yeah, exactly. I think at assigning some attribution is important. I think there’s some auto tracking or sort of auto tagging. If you’re using a CRM and some things that you might be able to do, I think specifically asking, which we have a client right now that’s actually doing, um, sort of a deeper dive. This is actually a law firm who has their sort of onboarding intake person who’s asking more than just.

Michelle Blakely (08:31.856)
Thank you.

Curtis Hays (08:41.034)
How did you hear about us? And they say, Google, he doesn’t stop it. Oh, you heard about us from Google. He says, you know, was it an ad? What, what did you search for? Um, when you came to the website, what moved you to, you know, want to reach out, right? So diving deeper and then that is data that they’re putting into their, I don’t know if you’d call it a case management system per se, but they do have a system that’s like a CRM to track and, um,

So now when we get a call on a call and we talk about marketing, we can talk more specifically about the things that might be working or not working and talking about the things that are resonating with people. Cause there’s actually this client in particular spent roughly $10 ,000 last year in some video content. You helped script, I think some of it, we had a film crew come out and record some of it. And it’s actually a couple, two specific videos and very specific messaging that’s in those visits.

videos that this person is finding is actually resonating with people, whether they come in through a referral or they come in, um, you know, organically or through one of our advertising, uh, that’s some insights that they then, uh, have some understanding of what’s really moving people to action. You know, a little bit more of that journey we talked about this last week, the storytelling.

Tom Nixon (09:57.7)
Right. Yep. Which which we may come back to if I have my way anyways. Alright. So Michelle, so you offer two courses in this area. I want to learn more about them. I’m on the website now, which we will link to in the show notes, but I want to read this line and says, discover the secret to referral marketing. So you’re probably not going to give us the secret for free, but what does this mean? Discover the secret.

Curtis Hays (10:01.61)

Michelle Blakely (10:19.76)
Sure, I will. You know what, I will, I will give you the secret for free. And I will because I don’t think I think the information is always out there. Isn’t it guys? Right? It’s implementing it. That’s the problem. And if you put some money down to buy a forest, you’re probably then going to implement it because you’re going to kick yourself if you didn’t do the thing. So honestly, one of there’s a few.

Tom Nixon (10:33.892)
Mm -hmm.

Michelle Blakely (10:46.608)
But I would say one of the secrets is how you ask for either of these things, right? Because it actually used to be two courses and I split it because they were slightly different and I didn’t want to overload people, right? So one’s testimonials and one’s referrals. But there was this great book I stumbled upon and it was called Exactly What to Say. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it. It’s a little bit off the radar, but it’s a sales book.

Tom Nixon (11:03.382)

Michelle Blakely (11:15.216)
And one of the things I’m sure it doesn’t appeal to everyone, but one of the awesome things he taught you was less is more. And like, don’t apologize for just asking for the thing. Another element in there was like, shut up, like stop talking. Like when you ask someone something, just wait, don’t get nervous, just let them answer. Right. So I would say one of the circuits secrets is to ask for it.

Tom Nixon (11:37.668)
Mm -hmm.

Michelle Blakely (11:42.864)
and to ask for it very directly and very succinctly. And then wait for the answer and then have a plan for how you’re going to make sure it happens, right? So let’s take, for example, and this relates to Tom, what you were saying to Curtis, right? Let’s take the, like referral marketing. I advise my clients, you don’t just want more clients.

You want more ideal clients. So I actually make them sit down and list like their last 10 favorite clients for the last six months, right? Cause I’m really, really on the microcosm here guys. Like maybe I have some companies that have teams of 10 people, but I’m doing, I’m dealing with a lot with solo entrepreneurs. So I don’t want them just to have more clients. I want them to have ideal clients so that I wanted to list, right? And then trace back exactly like you were saying, Curtis, exactly where did they come from? Right? So I won an award with my first company.

And every time that award came up again each year, all of a sudden I’d be like, why am I getting all these inquiries? And it was because my search went up, right? Because I had won that award. But you have to think that through and realize the value of it. So anyway, I make them list their ideal clients, understand where they came from, and then ask those clients. Because some clients we have are, let’s say, not ideal.

Curtis Hays (12:59.1)
. .

Michelle Blakely (13:10.768)
Is that the technical way to say it? And we don’t necessarily want more of those or we’re pivoting the company and we’re trying to obtain more. Like right now I specialize in fitness and wellness companies, but I’ve gotten a lot of requests from like salons and medical practices and things, which I am working with. So let’s say in a year I pivot to open it up more, then that would change that for me.

Tom Nixon (13:12.58)

Curtis Hays (13:14.89)

Michelle Blakely (13:36.816)
But when you add the key to what I was saying, you know, when you ask for that referral, if you take one nugget from anything I say today, I’m going to ask you to do something very counterintuitive. And I’m going to tell you to just ask for one. Don’t say, Hey, could you send me five people like you? Hey, could you, you know, I’ll give you a gift or an award for sending, you know, whoever sends the most referrals my way. No.

You just ask for one and then you have a clear plan for the follow -up. That would be definitely one of the secrets. And then a subsequent secret is the gratitude part, which we can talk about if we want.

Tom Nixon (14:23.268)
Yeah, absolutely. We talked about the marketing funnel in the prior episode, and we were talking specifically, I guess it was two episodes ago, but we’re talking specifically about messaging and how you align messaging with the traditional sales funnel. And if you don’t know what that is, go back and listen to that podcast and then come back and just bookmark your spot. But the reason I wanted to bring that up is because I feel like referral marketing and testimonial marketing lives in two places. The middle of the funnel.

Michelle Blakely (14:36.4)

Tom Nixon (14:51.94)
Right? So the people who are already in your funnel, there could be clients, it could be prospects. It just could be friends, associates, other people referred to you. So they’re moved well beyond awareness and they’ve probably even passed consideration. And now they’re in that preference, preference part of the funnel. So I’ll come back to that in a minute. And then there’s the flip the funnel concept. So have you read the book flip the funnel? If you take the sales funnel and all the people that went all the way to the bottom,

Curtis Hays (15:03.882)

Michelle Blakely (15:12.912)
I haven’t.

Tom Nixon (15:17.988)
right? And they converted and now they’re a client. And then you take another funnel and you tip it upside down and imagine that funnel being there is now you have advocates. And this is what you’re asking for. You’re asking for your advocates to go out and tell other people who should be aware, right? That this is the greatest company in the world. So I want to pick your brain on, um, aside from asking, because I think sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. So I’m not going to suggest you shouldn’t be asking. I love that. I don’t think clients ask enough, but

Are there other things that you could do in the middle of the funnel? And I’m thinking of something very traditional and boring, like a newsletter that once a month reminds people of why you’re smart, the problems that you solve. It keeps you top of mind for the people in that funnel. So that when somebody says, Hey, do you know of a good trainer who might be able to train my team on referrals? The first person I’m thinking of is the person who sent me a monthly email because like I can, I don’t even have to think about it. I don’t have to prove it. So do you, is part of your training.

Curtis Hays (16:02.666)
Thank you.

Tom Nixon (16:16.932)
Like the other things that you could do aside from asking, but maybe just validating that your referral worthy.

Michelle Blakely (16:24.048)
I think it absolutely could be that in this particular course, it’s very like, you know, it’s very, very simplified. It’s just the marrow of like how to get this done because so many aren’t getting it done. But I absolutely endorse that, you know, with my first company, I fumbled through newsletters, right? So this is back in 2001, fumbled through a newsletter. Oh my God, they were so big. They were too long. There was too much stuff, right? Like, you know, remember when you’d be in the middle of the edit process and you lose half your, half your.

Right? I ended up where that began. So yes, I agree with you, Tom. And I think the key is something that’s said all the time, quality content.

position yourself as a quality resource, right? And so for me, I had a newsletter, it was called Friday Quickies, came out every single Friday morning. And again, it was this big cumbersome thing at first. And then when I got to the point of titling that, I made myself, I was going to make myself give quality content every Friday morning. And yes, I was a personal trainer, but it touched on a lot of things that were very much related, right? So stress management and…

Curtis Hays (17:19.306)
Thank you.

Michelle Blakely (17:35.28)
you know, easy, healthy eating and this new fad that’s coming out, how to really evaluate it and, you know, heart health and right. So there’s lots of things it never rarely, rarely ever asked for business. Right. It was the question. So I think that’s the key, right. It’s quality content because I’m continually positioning myself as someone you could trust someone that gets you and someone that wants to help. Right. So whatever industry you’re in.

Tom Nixon (17:35.414)

Michelle Blakely (18:05.168)
I think that’s valuable. Yes, of course there’s a link at the bottom, you know, to schedule a call with me or to sign up or whatnot, but the newsletter or the social media posts or what have you, if it’s all about you, which happens a lot in the fitness industry, or if it’s just pitching your stuff, I don’t think it’s going to function in the way that you’re recommending, Tom. So I would say I would put that caveat on it.

Tom Nixon (18:25.54)
Great. Yeah. Great point.

Curtis Hays (18:28.97)
. .

Michelle Blakely (18:33.52)
Right? It’s got to be about, you know, how can I help? How am I helping here? Take a look at this here. Try this. And then, no, sorry, really quickly, something I do with some of my clients is I see if they can overlap it into the existing client base. So like one client, of course, I receive her email newsletters, and she was talking about, there’s a specific kind of like kind of self massage, right? And so she has group classes every Saturday, and it’s like a

Saturday Squad, right? It’s this like group of women that are committed to coming to make time for themselves. So I was like, Jenna, bring little bottles of your favorite oil to all of them to like marry with that, you know, information. So there’s lots of ways you can make it, I think, fun and of high value to your people. And yes, you’re exactly right, Tom, then that plants you as someone that’s in their mind.

Curtis Hays (19:07.018)
Mm -hmm.

Michelle Blakely (19:30.992)
else is asking, oh hey do you know of a good website designer or a hairstylist or what have you?

Tom Nixon (19:34.116)
Yeah, it also makes the after those who are uncomfortable asking, I would think, you know, if you make four deposits before you make a withdrawal, which is somebody what people say, that makes the withdrawal a lot more comfortable because you’ve already demonstrated value and now you’re just, you know, you can see even from the analytics, right? Who is responding to your content? You could maybe ask Joe Blow. He keeps clicking on every article every month. Maybe Joe Blow knows somebody, right? He’s an ideal client.

Michelle Blakely (19:58.064)

Tom Nixon (20:02.724)
I want to change the subject real quickly, slightly to testimonials in your case, Curtis reviews, which are public testimonials like Google reviews. Can you talk a little bit about how Google reviews could move the needle from an SEO standpoint in a page rank visibility standpoint?

Curtis Hays (20:06.41)
Sure. Yeah, and I want to add what you said about the funnel is accurate. And we talked about that last week, this.

the race methodology, which I use, which at the bottom of the funnel is engaged. So after you convert a customer, that engagement is how do you turn those customers into repeat customers or loyal customers that refer business that leave testimonials that can support your brand in a number of ways. And so reviews on say Google or your social media, Facebook supports reviews, whether you’re

Michelle Blakely (20:27.92)

Curtis Hays (20:56.202)
professional services, whether you sell a product. Um, the data shows it’s, I think it’s well over 80 % of consumers before they make a purchase, research the brand. They want to make sure that this is a brand that they can trust. And so they’re going to look at reviews before they make a purchase decision somewhere through the funnel, whether it’s in the marketing funnel or the sales.

Michelle Blakely (21:19.088)
. . .

Curtis Hays (21:22.282)
So these reviews help you there, but Google and the platforms, whether it’s search,

Curtis Hays (21:37.834)
You know, you have Facebook and those types of things as well. They understand, and so it’s part of their algorithms, that this consumer behavior is important. And so the more reviews you have, the more likely than your position for your business when somebody just does a general search, attorneys, personal injury attorneys near me, right? The attorneys with more reviews,

Tom Nixon (21:52.388)
Mm -hmm.

Curtis Hays (22:06.282)
Are going to be at the top. Then somebody would just two or three. Uh, so we’ll use Mario as an example, who was on our first three episodes, home care business in the state of Connecticut. Five years ago, they had about 30 reviews, maybe a four and a half star rating. It was no proactive implementation. It wasn’t part of the process. Like you said, Michelle, they implemented a process in.

The followup after onboarding with clients, they now have over 330 reviews, a 4 .9 rating. They’re just asking. And they’ve made that ask as part of the process. And that feedback is used then in the organization. Like there’s a, it’s not just asking just to simply get better rankings. Yes, that is a benefit, but they’re replying to reviews. They’re actively engaging with those people. If they get a bad review.

They’re going to contact that customer and you’re going to do something about it. So, um, you know, those are all things that are, that are helping to support the brand and the culture of the brand and all those things.

Michelle Blakely (23:05.648)

Tom Nixon (23:15.716)
So, Michelle, if I’m assuming public reviews are part of your sort of ecosystem of testimonials and things like that. So, what are we know the secret to asking for referrals? What are the secrets to getting testimonials? Come on, give it all to us for free.

Michelle Blakely (23:27.184)
It’s a very similar secret, Tom. So I do think you really want to ask, right? And I think that’s a key part of it. I also think, and in the referrals, I actually advise in the course that you think it through first, but you actually have a gift.

Tom Nixon (23:47.844)

Michelle Blakely (23:53.616)
you actually have a thank you gift. So I had someone buy my $2 ,000 course today and I’m sending a gift because that was strictly a referral from an existing client, right? It was going to be a nice gift because you do want to do the math on that, right? But in terms of testimonials, right? What do I think is the number one secret? I think you have to make it as easy as possible for people, right? We’re all very busy.

So I use a cleaning service, you know, single working mom, I use a cleaning service, although everyone should use one if you can. And, you know, yeah, right, right. So, so many exponential benefits. They’re not, they’re not marketing, right guys? They’re not, they need to be marketing that. Save it, put it right there next to divorce attorney. But, you know, one of the things they do, and I understand it, right? They give me like a piece of paper that asks for my five -star review.

Curtis Hays (24:28.49)
Saved my marriage.

Tom Nixon (24:32.228)

Michelle Blakely (24:50.64)
Right. Great. And I did post the review because I love these women, right? Amy Poehler says every working mom needs a wife. So I, the problem though is they actually want me to update the review. Okay. Cause that helps them, but there’s nothing digital. There’s nothing easy about it. Right. I would have to take the piece of paper. Remember to log in. Right. Right. So you want to make it easy, right? If you’ve got a QR code at the.

exit of your gym or your spa or your car rental place or whatever it is. If you’re sending it in an email, make sure the link to exactly the Google My Business page you want them to do is there. Make sure it’s set up. Make sure your pictures are accurate. Make sure they don’t feel like all of a sudden, wait, is this the right place? And then exactly what we were saying in the referral marketing idea.

Curtis Hays (25:27.178)
Mm -hmm.

Michelle Blakely (25:49.072)
You want to make sure they know that you appreciate it, right? Because they took the time to do it. I even, to make it easy, you know, in the course, we kind of take you through day by day what to do. It’s just a little over a week. But I even have like the copy done for you for a reminder. Like, hey, Joe, thank you so much for saying you would write a testimonial. I know you haven’t been able to get to it yet. Here’s some sample copies that Jim wrote.

in case it helps, right? You just, you really want to, I would say, spoon feed it to people. I’ve also even had clients where they had an event, right? They have like, you know, a big fitness event at their facility or they’re doing something and they’ve set up a ring light and a camera and an intern who’s taking video testimonials right then and there.

Tom Nixon (26:36.804)

Tom Nixon (26:41.668)

Curtis Hays (26:44.682)
Mm -hmm.

Michelle Blakely (26:46.704)
People are already at the event. It’s only going to take them 60 seconds, right? So make it as easy as possible for people is one of the secrets.

Tom Nixon (26:53.412)
I agree. I’m still receiving emails that says, you know, they say something to the effect of your feedback is important to us. Please fill out the 15 minute survey. And as a what? I’m not going to do that. I think the smartest thing they ever did is instead of saying click here for a short survey, they put the little five stars and they made you think that if you click the fifth star, you were done. All it did was launch the same thing that the link did. But it’s like, all right, well, at least I’m here now. I might as well finish the job. Yeah.

Michelle Blakely (27:04.496)
Nope, nope.

Michelle Blakely (27:15.44)
They tricked, they tricked ya, they tricked ya, yeah.

Curtis Hays (27:19.53)

Tom Nixon (27:21.892)
Curtis, are there techie ways to make it super easy? Because I have seen when you’re on a website where all you have to do is hit the star and they’ll stop bothering you. Or they might say, you know, your comments are appreciated. But are there things you’ve seen from a technology standpoint that facilitate it?

Curtis Hays (27:33.802)
Yeah, you’re 100 % accurate in the make it easy. So that’s that user journey, user experience that we’ve talked about. Make it easy. More likely, you’re going to get that conversion or engagement that you’re looking for. So like Michelle said, if you’re going to do your Google business listing, you can link directly to not the business listing, but the prompt to leave the review. So go into your Google business listing, grab that link. It’s very easy to get to that.

Um, and that’s what you’re going to add to your newsletter or if you’re sending a personalized email, like what Mario’s team does, that personalized somewhat template at the email, there’s a format to it, but that’s going to go to that new client 30 days after service. And yeah, there’s a specific link that everybody knows needs to be added there. Um, it’s not find us on Google.

Michelle Blakely (28:22.512)

Curtis Hays (28:29.354)
and leave a review. You’re not asking them to go back and do a search. Right? I know. Exactly.

Tom Nixon (28:29.7)
I’m laughing because you still see that. You still see that all the time. It’s like, yeah, leave us a review on Facebook and it’s the Facebook logo. That’s not even a link. It’s like, wait, what am I doing here?

Michelle Blakely (28:31.152)

Michelle Blakely (28:36.08)

Michelle Blakely (28:41.968)
And, and I think that’s missing the big picture. Like, yes, you have helped them. You have served them well. They are happy with the service you provide, but they paid you for it. You know, like that, like that was the contract. You’re asking them to help you. Right. Whenever you’re asking someone to help you, it’s a good idea to make it as easy as possible. Right.

Curtis Hays (28:49.546)
Mm -hmm

Curtis Hays (29:06.25)
I want to add one more thing that Michelle add, which ties back to the first thing we launched with was, was talking about my friend, Matt at Insight. Right? So this, this was a gift and the gift was, uh, uh, an appreciation for a referral, not of new business, but an employee. Right. So I think that’s so key that, you know, if somebody does take the time to either leave a review or to do a referral.

Tom Nixon (29:08.068)
So, go ahead.

Curtis Hays (29:36.01)
Even if it’s simply you picking up the phone and calling them and saying, thank you. Like that’s a hundred percent go that extra step and do that. Cause you went all that way. It’s the simplest, you know, it’s like the great, uh, Dave tier who’s a sales coach. He had told us like the most difficult thing is the ask. Cause you, cause you, what’s holding you back as fear, you know, fear of rejection. If I asked for that referral and they say, no, you don’t want to hear no. So.

Michelle Blakely (30:03.6)

Curtis Hays (30:05.45)
It’s that fear of rejection. So you did the hard part. The easy part is to say thank you. So I love what you said there about the gift. Yeah. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (30:12.644)
And look at you today, Curtis. You’ve you’ve flipped the funnel today, right? You’ve got a podcast with over 10 ,000 subscribers on YouTube, right? And now, Insight, you said I can’t bill this guy, so I won’t. No, but you did that because you wanted to. Yeah, I kid. I kid. I kid. No, but you did it because you want it. You actually asked me, can I do this? I’m like, of course you can do this, right? This is great. So, perfect example of why we’re here today. Before we let you go, I want to get

Curtis Hays (30:21.162)

Michelle Blakely (30:27.536)
Sounds like he’s a little hung up on that.

Curtis Hays (30:36.714)

Tom Nixon (30:42.244)
one last thought out of you for free, or maybe you could build me, Michelle. I don’t know. Day 10 of your course is called celebrate. What is celebrate? It’s beyond gratitude because there’s another step.

Michelle Blakely (30:46.704)

Michelle Blakely (30:51.12)

Michelle Blakely (30:54.96)
That’s right. That’s right. So I think it’s really, so it’s, that’s such a perfect last question. Cause this, I thought of this when you were talking about what you were talking about, Curtis, that the struggle is real as small business owners to continually put yourself out there, to move through fear, to do things we don’t entirely know how to do yet because we’re great practitioners. We’re not necessarily great business owners.

So in that celebrate day, I really want my business owners to take stock of what they did. Right? Oh, I’ve been telling myself I’m going to get more testimonials online if I really think about it for two years. Right? And I haven’t done it because it just gets pushed down the to -do list. Right? But that they really take time, whether it’s the referrals that they acquired or…

the start to referrals that they acquired or it’s the testimonials that are now things that they can use in their own marketing or things on third party sites that really lift us up when they’re searched online, that they really take stock in the fact that they made the time to do it. They got it done. It worked. And both of those categories in my mind are very uplifting to the small business owner, right?

When I have a small business owner that’s taken a lot of hits that’s outside of their control, one of the things we’ll do is I’m like, all right, let’s do it. Go dig in the box, go look in the computer. Let’s find all those compliments you’ve gotten in the last year. Let’s find all those changes and improvements that you’ve made in client lives to remind us of the value of what we do. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards one month or another. So I think taking stock.

is really important and that’s what that celebrate day is about. And if you are going through it with a team, because I do have people do that, right? They’ve got like five trainers that work for them or whatnot, that you take stock of what each other has done, you know? And you congratulate each other and you say thank you for like, oh my gosh, wow, you knocked it out of the park and got seven testimonials off or whatever it was.

Curtis Hays (32:46.73)
Mm -hmm.

Tom Nixon (33:07.876)
I think you make it part of the process, but what you’re describing makes it part of the culture. It was something’s part of the culture. It’s ingrained and it’s who you are. So getting to this point, this is why you gotta take this course. Everyone getting over this initial hump will get you ingrained. So this is part of your corporate culture while you’re small. And then when you’re big like Mario’s company is getting to be, then it’s just part of the everyday process. So thank you very much, Michelle, for coming on the website. Everyone is see Jake and Jane train .com. There’s all sorts of.

Co -courses, coaching, training available there. Curtis, thank you for bringing Michelle on. Do I need to send you something?

Curtis Hays (33:45.002)
No, you just need to commit to doing more episodes, that’s all. I’ll send you the contract.

Michelle Blakely (33:47.504)
Ha ha ha!

Tom Nixon (33:49.316)
Oh, jeez. That’s the easy part. Curtis actually did. I don’t know if you saw him take a sip of water. It was a one of those Stanley cups, right? That has our logo on it and he gifted that to me at the end of the year. I don’t know why just because he’s nice. It was kind of a holiday gift but that was that’s a thing that I use all the time now and people are asking about it. They’re like what’s bull horns and bulls eyes? So, again, he’s flipping the funnel in devious mysterious ways.

Michelle Blakely (33:51.408)
I’m sorry.

Curtis Hays (33:57.354)

Michelle Blakely (33:59.504)
Oh, move it.

Michelle Blakely (34:13.744)
Right, that’s right.

Curtis Hays (34:14.57)
And I’ll just add, like, that’s what I like about the gift thing sometimes is if you can personalize it, personalize it, it’s way more authentic. It means so much more to the person, you know, on the other end. So Michelle, like your favorite oils that you’re advising that other person, like something personal about that, because this means something to me. I don’t know if it’s going to mean something to you, but it creates an authenticity. It’s not just here’s a gift card. Thank you. Right. So.

Tom Nixon (34:44.068)
Yeah. Good point.

Curtis Hays (34:44.618)
I think if you can personalize it, it just, it goes so much further and it just strengthens relationships. So yeah.

Michelle Blakely (34:44.88)
Right, right.

Tom Nixon (34:52.516)
Yeah, cool. Alright, Michelle Blakely. Thank you once again for coming on. Come back again. You’ve got all these other courses we can talk about until next time. We’ll welcome or thank everyone for see I’m thinking perfect way to end. Thank you everyone for joining us on this week’s episode of Bullhorns and Bullseyes. We’ll see you next week.

Michelle Blakely (35:05.424)
There you go!

Michelle Blakely (35:11.568)
Thank you guys.


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Additional episodes:

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Episode 5: Aligning Sales and Marketing

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Episode 4: Going Meta on Bullhorns and Bullseyes

In a very "meta" episode, Curtis and Tom discuss the meaning behind "Bullhorns and Bullseyes." What are some examples of "bullhorn" tactics, and what are some examples of "bullseye" methodologies?

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