Leads Not Converting? Here’s a Likely Reason Why

Are you driving a lot of qualified leads, but they don’t seem to be converting? One possible reason for this is that you may be using the same sales strategy with top and middle of funnel leads that you use with bottom of funnel leads.

Whereas bottom of funnel leads are typically ready to make a purchase decision, top and middle of funnel leads require more nurturing and more touches before making a purchase. Top of funnel leads are in the research phase. They’re still trying to figure out what exactly they want, and who to buy it from. They’re far from making a purchase decision. Middle of funnel leads are more informed than top of funnel leads, and have likely narrowed down their consideration set, but are still evaluating options before making a decision.

If someone finds you on Google because they searched for your offering specifically, they’re likely a bottom of funnel lead, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to close them fairly quickly. This is one of the reasons we love SEO and paid search advertising. It’s incredibly effective at driving motivated bottom of funnel leads. However, if someone finds you on Facebook because they stumble across your ad in their newsfeed, it’s likely they are a top or middle of funnel lead. Facebook advertising and social media advertising in general is also very effective, but more so for generating awareness and driving top of funnel traffic.

In the Google example, you may be able to close that lead on the first call, or at least advance them to the proposal stage. However, in the Facebook example, a completely different approach must be taken. Rather than trying to close the lead or advance them to the proposal stage on the first call, the goal should be to get as much information as possible about them, assess their needs, and determine how you can best serve them.

Then, have a follow-up process in place to help nurture the relationship, and ensure that you remain top of mind, while the prospect works their way through the funnel. Depending on your sales cycle, this process might take days, weeks, or even months. Certain marketing tactics, such as retargeting and email marketing, can help increase touch points and nurture the relationship. Combining these tactics with personalized email outreach and follow ups by phone can also be very effective.

Finally, it’s critical to understand that just because a lead isn’t ready to buy today, doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified. They just have to be nurtured. Mislabelling qualified leads as unqualified because they weren’t ready to convert after the first touch is a huge mistake, and can cost your business opportunities. If you have enough of these leads in your pipeline, and they’re nurtured effectively, a percentage of them will convert, adding another source of new business in addition to the bottom of funnel leads you’re accustomed to working with.

No PPP Loan? Here’s What You Should Do Next

Most of you know by now that the PPP program loan funding has been exhausted. Unfortunately, there are a lot of you out there that applied for the PPP loan and didn’t get it. Your application may not have even finished processing before the program ran out of money. 

There’s a lot of us in the same boat, so don’t feel that you’re alone.

Don’t Rely On Unreliable Entities

There are a lot of creative ways to continue driving revenue for your business. You shouldn’t be reliant on loans from banks or the government. Quite frankly, the banks and the government aren’t reliable. They have good intentions, but they are not reliable. You cannot count on that. 

What you can count on though is your perseverance and your ability to adapt, innovate, and come up with creative ways to continue driving revenue for your business. That is the one thing you can count on. 

That is what we are doing here at LEVERAGE. 

How to Find Creative Solutions

We are finding creative ways to continue servicing our clients as best we possibly can. We’re not relying on our bank or local state or federal governments to bail us out. 

One way that a lot of you can benefit and continue driving revenue is by simply updating your website to let your customers know that you guys are still open for business. For any of you out there who haven’t updated your website yet, look at your home page. At the very top, front and center, it should say “We Are Open For Business.” 

Make sure to have a very clear message to your customers confirming that you are open. Don’t assume your clientele knows that you’re open because they might not. 

Consider Adding a COVID-19 Resources Section

Also, if you haven’t already added a COVID-19 resources section to your website, keep your customers apprised of what your business is doing during COVID-19 to keep operating and servicing them. They need to know you are up and running and are able to service their needs. So if you guys haven’t done that, go do it now.

The Importance For Brands to Convey Empathy & Compassion During This Crisis

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of creating content and serving as a resource for your clientele during this time, but something I have not touched on yet is the importance of conveying empathy and compassion and letting your clientele know that you understand what they’re going through. 

You understand exactly what they’re going through, and you are there for them during this difficult period. There are ways that you can help your clientele that they would find great value in. It is up to you to look at your business and figure out the best ways to accomplish that.

Reach Out to Those Around You

Simply reaching out to your clients and letting them know that you know what they’re going through is enough. “Here are the ways we can help.” “We want you to know we’re there for you.” It’s gonna go a long way once this is all said and done. 

The brands that are not doing that — the brands that are still pushing the hard sells and trying to get the short term, quick transactions — are doing more harm than good to their long term brand equity.

Compassion Breeds Long Term Benefits

Long term, the companies that are going to be remembered or at least thought of fondly following this are the ones like the distilleries, who are no longer bottling alcohol but are bottling hand sanitizer, and the remote work technology companies like Zoom who are now offering their technology to schools and hospitals for free.

That is what’s going to be remembered after this. Those are the brands that are going to come out way ahead as a result of all of the good will they are building.

You can do the same. 

Look at the Big Picture

Take a step back and look at your business. Think about your customers and how you can help them right now.

It will pay off big time in the long run. Of course, that’s not why you are doing it. You’re doing it because we’re all in this together and we need to help each other out.

Gain More Attention And Position Yourself As An Authority

We’re all experiencing declines in new business.

Except for Amazon, Zoom, and Netflix, there aren’t many businesses right now generating significant levels of new business. 

The way I look at it is, now is the time to really focus on gaining your customers’ attention.

Gain More Attention

Your customers may not be buying right now. For example, you might be in health care and your patients have canceled their appointments. Maybe you do elective surgeries but are now unable to do so. Now is the time to position yourself as the authoritative resource for that clientele.

Using the health care example again, if you’re a physician, or maybe you manage a Healthcare Group, now is the time to post content to your website and your social media profiles regarding: 

  • COVID-19 
  • Medical implications regarding COVID-19 
  • The latest that’s coming out in terms of vaccines.

There’s a lot of opportunity right now for healthcare professionals, in particular, to distinguish themselves as the subject matter experts in their field and really garner attention from not only their existing patient base but also potential new patients down the road. 

This thing is going to end at some point. When the smoke clears, the companies that are going to thrive are the ones getting eyeballs and getting the attention through providing valuable content and information to their clientele. 

Another great example is legal professionals attorneys. 

Right now is a prime opportunity for attorneys to provide their clientele with resources regarding all federal, state, and local legislations being passed, in order to help individuals and small businesses. 

You should be out there publishing content to your website and your social media profiles regarding all this new legislation and serving as that trusted adviser that is an authoritative resource for your clientele. In addition to that, you can also be talking about how COVID-19 may impact your clientele specifically.

Position Yourself As An Authority

One example is a divorce attorney. I suspect that with spouses locked in the same house together for long periods of time you’re probably going to have some friction at some point. A divorce attorney can provide guidance and advice on how to make sure that you maintain positivity in a household when you’re locked in the same house for 30 days or more. 

Bankruptcy is on a lot of American’s minds right now. Maybe they’re not in the best position financially, and depending on how long this goes on for, it could lead to bankruptcy.

Pushing bankruptcy attorneys to discuss and produce content that serves as advice and guidance on how Americans can avoid bankruptcy would be very compelling and help position you as an authoritative resource and as that subject matter expert.

Once the economy rebounds and once things begin to normalize and people start hiring attorneys and going back to their physicians offices and so forth, they’re going to come to you, as opposed to your competition. 

Right now your competition is silent. They’re not doing anything!

If you’re the one putting content out there and helping them through this crisis, they are going to trust you. They’re going to want to come to you once all this is over.

How to Adapt and Thrive During Times of Uncertainty

As a business owner, you can adapt and thrive during times of uncertainty. 

One of the things I’ve noticed companies doing is that they’re taking their eye off the ball in terms of generating revenue. This is because they are so focused on cost-cutting and borrowing. 

The Time to Generate Revenue is Now

Both of these things are necessary at this time. Companies have to contract and reduce costs and, where necessary, borrow in order to remain cash flow positive. But that should not be in lieu of generating revenue. Revenue generation should be just as important now as it was prior to the pandemic. 

This is an issue that companies are failing to recognize. Just because times are tough and we are stuck in our home doesn’t mean we can’t still generate revenue. You just have to figure out how and pivot and look for those opportunities within your specific business.

  • One way to continue generating revenue is by taking care of your existing customers. Make sure sure you’re continuing to provide them with value.
  • Another way is to reallocate your short-term marketing budgets you had set aside for tradeshows and conferences and apply that to digital marketing. 

Although demand for services has declined, it’s not like it’s nonexistent. People are still buying; where they were once buying in person, they’re now buying online. You have to be present when they are searching for your product or service offering.

Ramping Up Virtual Consultations

One of the things we’re having a lot of success with and seeing our clients have a lot of success with is consultations. Instead of doing in-person consultations onsite, they are doing virtual consultations using Zoom, UberConference, or GoToMeeting. We are also seeing seminars being conducted virtually. Where a seminar may have been conducted in-person, now they are being done virtually and with great success.

The opportunities are there. You just have to take a step back, assess your current situation, and think about the needs of your customers and how you can meet those needs even though you may not be able to physically be in front of them when you do.

How to Continue Driving Revenue During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a business owner, one of your primary goals right now should be to find ways to continue driving revenue during the pandemic. Your business needs cash flow, and while you can certainly borrow, you’ll have to pay that money back at some point. As we may be headed for a recession or already in the midst of one, finding ways to maintain positive cash flow through revenue instead of debt will put your business in a much better position now and in the future.

Here are a few ways to continue driving revenue during this uncertain time.

Focus on Your Best Customers

Depending on your line of business, your best customers may need you now more than ever. So, pick up the phone and call them to see how they’re doing and what you can do to help them. Our best customers are the reason we’re in business and you better believe we’re working harder than ever to make sure their businesses not only survive this crisis, but are well positioned to come out of it even stronger.

Increase Your Investment in Digital Marketing

If you’ve historically relied on in-person networking, trade shows, or conferences to drive revenue, you need digital marketing now more than ever to replace that lost revenue. We’ll likely see both the volume and duration of online usage achieve record breaking levels during the pandemic as people spend more time on Google, Facebook, Youtube, and other platforms as a result of being at home. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure your brand is front and center, and top of mind with potential customers. People will still need goods and services despite the pandemic.

Utilize Video Conferencing

If you typically meet with customers face-to-face, video conferencing can be a great alternative to canceled appointments. There are plenty of video conferencing options available, such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, and UberConference. Don’t settle for trying to replace in-person meetings with a phone call. Video conferencing is a much more effective alternative, because it mimics an in-person interaction more. With a phone call, you’re unable to see your customer’s facial expressions and body language, which may communicate more to you than what they’re saying verbally.

Serve New Segments

Consider serving new segments that can benefit from your offering. We already have clients pivoting to serve segments that they historically haven’t served to help diversify their clientele. For example, perhaps you typically focus on high ticket items, but may find there are fewer of those now, while there is still demand for lower ticket items. These lower ticket items will help keep the revenue coming in until demand for your more profitable higher ticket offering resumes.

Pivot Your Offering

Restaurants that typically rely on in-store dining are doing an excellent job of pivoting their offering right now by focusing on delivery and takeout. Gyms can pivot by offering virtual personal training sessions and classes. Physicians can pivot to virtual consultations. Attorneys can pivot to different practice areas that are in higher demand during a recession. Home service business can pivot from installs to repairs. These are just a few of many examples of how you can pivot, which ultimately depends on your business and unique circumstances.

Remember, this is a temporary event. So, focus on driving revenue not only to secure your business now, but to set it up for success once the pandemic ends and the economy rebounds.

5 Steps to Help Your Business Thrive in a Time of Economic Uncertainty

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you are not only responsible for your personal health and the health of your loved ones, but also for the health of your business. With the U.S. economy potentially headed for a recession, the country is in a severe state of economic uncertainty, and that is not good for business. However, it can be good for your business if you take certain steps to adapt. 

Consumers will continue spending, and someone has to be there to meet that demand. Just because there’s economic uncertainty, doesn’t mean that you still don’t have payroll and other financial obligations to meet, or sales goals to achieve. You must adapt in order to keep the train on the tracks, and potentially come out of this economic turmoil with an even stronger business.

Here are five ways you can take advantage of the current state of uncertainty.

Step 1: Ramp up marketing while your competitors sit on the sidelines

Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” With many of your competitors pulling back, this is the perfect opportunity to ramp up your sales and marketing activities, potentially at a lower cost. Advertising costs in general will decline, which means your marketing budget will go further than it did before. This presents a prime opportunity to gain market share from your competitors, and position your company to be even stronger and more dominant than it was before.

Step 2: Evaluate expenses, and trim the fat

Times like this present a great opportunity to evaluate your expenses and determine if there is any fat you can trim. Do you have any unnecessary expenditures that can be reduced? For example, we recently replaced K cups in our office with a 30oz can of Folgers. With this change, we went from spending roughly $80 per month on coffee to just $7 per month. This resulted in a savings of almost $900 over the course of a year. We also reduced the janitorial services for our office from twice a week to once a week. The office is just as clean as it was before, but for half the cost. We’re now saving over $1000 per month from those changes, and have since reallocated those funds to our own marketing efforts, where we typically see a 3x to 5x return. So, we’re not only saving $1000 per month, we’re actually earning an average of $4000 per month from those reductions in our office expenditures.

Step 3: Strengthen your team and encourage professional development

Use this opportunity to strengthen your team. Economic uncertainty impacts your employees just as much as it impacts you. It’s important to keep employee morale up during this time. Take a few minutes to check in with each of your employees and see how they’re doing. This also gives you an opportunity to provide your employees with feedback and encourage them to take advantage of professional development opportunities if business slows. If you have any employees who are underperforming, this is also a good time to address those issues. You can’t afford to have employees who aren’t significant contributors to the company’s bottom line during uncertain economic times.

Step 4: Reevaluate your business plan and be prepared to pivot

In the event business slows, use that time to reevaluate your business plan. There may be opportunities for growth that you haven’t thought of, or weren’t present before. For instance, you may be able to pivot to a different offering or serve a different audience. There may also be opportunities to improve your operations. For example, if and when things slow for your business, use this time to focus on building better systems and improving efficiencies. This can result in increased productivity and ultimately a more profitable business once things pick back up.

Step 5: Place more emphasis on digital marketing

Companies that typically rely on in-person networking, conferences, and tradeshows to drive new business will have to find alternative means of generating business. Sales quotas must still be met, but the traditional planes, trains, and automobiles method isn’t going to work as long as COVID-19 is an issue. There is a tremendous opportunity here for those that have historically relied on networking to create a digital marketing strategy to replace this lost revenue. Develop a digital marketing plan with a heavy emphasis on search engine optimization, social media marketing, and retargeting. Keep in mind that if people are stuck in their homes for long periods of time, they will be spending a lot of time on Google and Facebook.

Regardless of what the future holds, take this opportunity to evaluate your business and make the changes that are necessary to not only survive, but to continue to grow and thrive.


How to Win on Google in 2020

The end of the year is fast approaching. Hopefully, you have already started planning your marketing strategy for 2020 and Google is a significant component. If you haven’t, I suggest getting started so that you can begin the year strong. There are three key elements to winning on Google in 2020. 

  1. Convince Google that you’re the authority in your market by consistently publishing high quality content on the niche(s) you want to dominate.
  2. Make acquiring positive Google reviews a priority. This increases your credibility and the likelihood that a prospect will ultimately convert.
  3. Don’t rely solely on Google Ads. Diversify your strategy by incorporating SEO. Many of your competitors rely on paid search, which leaves the window wide open for you to dominate organic search.

Convince Google That You’re the Authority in Your Market

By this, I mean convince Google that you are the authority within your niche or market. How do you accomplish this? By producing high quality content that your clientele will engage with on your website. By producing that high quality content, not only are you feeding the Google monster with content to index (Google loves fresh, quality content), but you’re also providing your clientele with content that they engage with, which increases your website’s engagement metrics and, in return, increases your rankings. Google likes to see those engagement metrics go up as they crawl and re-crawl your site throughout the year. And because we’re focusing on a specific niche or theme, we are telling Google that we are the authority in that niche or particular topic. When it comes to that particular content, you are the subject matter expert. 

Make Acquiring Positive Google Reviews a Priority

Generating positive reviews helps tell the world that you are credible and trustworthy. Think about how many times you’ve researched a business that you might want to work with only to come across their Google My Business page and see that they have a few reviews here and there and are averaging a 2 or 3 star rating. This might cause you to think, “You know what, I’ll pass. I don’t want to take a chance on doing business with these people and not have a good experience. I don’t have time for that, and I don’t want to waste money.” So you move on to the company that has five star reviews, and lots of them. Well, your customers are doing the same exact thing. So, make sure you’re soliciting reviews from your happy customers and accumulating those super valuable 5-star ratings on your Google My Business page. 

Don’t Rely Solely on Google Ads

I still see tons of companies rely primarily on Google Ads, and they don’t really put any emphasis on organic search. This blows my mind because there’s so much opportunity there, but this is to your benefit. If your competitors are focused primarily on pay-per-click advertising then that’s good for you because that opens up the window for you to jump in and dominate organic search. You don’t have to compete with them because they aren’t even thinking about organic search. Take advantage of this opportunity to become the authority in your market and box out your competitors on organic search. 

If you want to win on Google in 2020, embracing organic search and reviews is vital.

How to Improve Your Google Reviews

Are you struggling to improve your business’s online rating despite providing exceptional service? Unsure of how to acquire Google reviews, or how to increase your Google rating? Maybe you need consumers to leave positive reviews? In our inaugural vlog, we will discuss: 

  1. Why it is important to pay attention to Google reviews 
  2. How to implement a positive review process 
  3. How to address negative reviews 

Pay Attention to Google Reviews

When it comes to online reviews, Google Reviews can have a drastic impact on your business. It’s the online review platform that everyone is paying attention to. There are other review platforms out there, such as Yelp, Health Grades for healthcare, or Avvo for legal, but at the end of the day, Google trumps them all. 

Consumers are making decisions every day regarding who to do business with based on the reviews of the providers that they are considering. If your business has less than four stars, you’re losing business. If you’re neglecting to respond to negative reviews, you are losing business. Even if you have satisfied customers — guess what — you’re losing business by not soliciting them to leave positive reviews. 

Implementing a Positive Review Process

Generating positive reviews doesn’t always have to require a complicated strategy. It can be as simple as asking a customer in person or by phone if they are satisfied with the service that you are providing. If they say “yes,” ask if they could take a minute to leave a review for your business on Google; it’s as simple as that. Ideally, you want to have a strategy or process in place to consistently solicit positive reviews from your clientele. But just getting started by asking for reviews is the best thing you can do right now so that you can begin accumulating those all-important four and five star reviews.

Address Negative Reviews

Your business should never have unaddressed negative Google reviews – this gives off the perception that your business does not care about satisfying its customers. If you have a negative review that has not been responded to, go ahead and address their concerns. Do not engage them in a negative manner. Just address the review and let them know that you hear their concerns and want to resolve the issue offline. This is ultimately the goal: take the conversation offline. 

In my past experience, I’ve seen instances where we respond to negative reviews on behalf of a client which in turn helps with public perception and lets people know that they care about what customers think. In the interim, our client is communicating with that unhappy customer offline, which ultimately leads to that once poor review being changed from a one star review into a five star review. This is done by simply asking the customer what they were unhappy with and helping them resolve the issue. Often, upon seeing that the client cared, the customer will change their negative review all on their own. 

In summary, if you’re not already managing Google reviews or even paying attention to them, start doing so because it is affecting your business. If you do not have a procedure in place to attain positive reviews, start one by simply asking satisfied customers to do so and build from that. Respond to any negative reviews you may have in a neutral fashion and take the conversation offline in the hope that they remove the review on their own or even change it to a higher rating.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty: How Attorneys Can Combat Negative Reviews

As an attorney, establishing a positive reputation on Google and Avvo is crucial for remaining competitive in your local market. If you have no reviews — or worse, negative reviews — you’re going to have a hard time capturing prospective clients who base all of their decisions on online reviews. That’s why we’re going to show you how to deal with negative reviews and protect your online reputation.

How Damaging Are Negative Reviews?

If you’ve ever received a negative review after serving a client, you understand how disheartening it can be to learn that your best efforts weren’t enough to garner positive feedback. Unfortunately, reviewers don’t always treat lawyers fairly, and there’s evidence to back it up. Clients that have a negative experience are ten times more likely to leave a review than those who had a positive experience. 

Let’s run the numbers: if only one out of every ten positive experiences results in a positive review, and you receive a single one-star review, it could take up to 40 positive client experiences to offset your bad review. That’s a lot of work to overcome one negative opinion! And if you get targeted by review spam, you’re going to need more than luck to dig yourself out of the review badlands. This is part of the reason why law firm reputation management is so critical for lawyers that want to grow their practice.

Should You Manage Your Own Reviews?

Before you decide to manage your own reviews, you might want to consider how well you handle criticism. Many lawyers make the mistake of attempting to respond to reviews themselves. Despite their best efforts to remain professional, everyone has a boiling point, and you might later regret the response you penned in the heat of the moment. Negative reviews can attack more than your legal services. Reviewers might attack your character, insult your practice, and question your integrity; when this happens, you need to detach yourself from these critiques to maintain a high level of professionalism.

“Sometimes, facilitating some separation between yourself and your critics by allowing a third-party to manage your reviews is the best way to ensure that your responses are helpful, cordial, without emotion, and most of all, professional.”

If you do attempt to take on this task alone, you should always picture your reply attached to a bar counsel complaint. In this situation, would you be confident in the way you opted to handle your reply? Was your tone and content appropriate? Sometimes, facilitating some separation between yourself and your critics by allowing a third-party to manage your reviews is the best way to ensure that your responses are helpful, cordial, without emotion, and most of all, professional.

How to Address a Negative Review

You never want to be seen responding to client reviews in a manner that can be viewed as insulting, aggressive, or unprofessional; after all, your reviews and replies are public. Try to abide by the community guidelines of Avvo or other comparable sites whenever you respond to a negative review. For instance, Avvo’s community guidelines recommend that lawyers, avoid excessive self-promotion, draft original responses, and answer questions while maintaining client anonymity, among other things. 

Appropriate Response to a Negative Review

Here’s a good example of a response to a negative review that doesn’t disclose confidential or attorney-client privileged information: “Thank you for the feedback. It is our goal to serve every client’s legal needs. We are always looking to improve our services for our clients. Please contact our office at XXX-XXX-XXXX with any questions or concerns you may have.”

As you can see, this review didn’t “take the bait,” instead, it accepted the feedback and made a deliberate attempt to take the conversation offline. This is one of the fundamental principles of review management: Always take the conversation offline.

Inappropriate Response to a Negative Review

Now, let’s cover an unacceptable response to a negative review: “Thank you for the feedback. I’m personally sorry that I couldn’t get your husband’s DUI reduced to a reckless driving charge. However, there’s only so much that can be done when a DUI results in over $25,000 in property damage. As we discussed in our initial meeting, Mr. Smith’s criminal record played a significant role in the judge’s decision. I hope this justification is sufficient enough for you to remove this review.”

This response divulges too many details about the client’s case. Furthermore, it references past discussions that were conducted under attorney-client privilege. There’s more to be lost than gained here, so it’s better to tone it down.

Alternative Response to a Negative Review

If you absolutely have to get the last word, consider a response such as this: “Unfortunately, in your particular case the law didn’t support your suggested argument or strategy, we had to pivot in order to give you the best chance of achieving the best result possible.”

There’s some merit to responses like this. For one, you prove that you aren’t willing to fold, which is a great attribute for many attorneys. These types of replies also help you dismiss the negative review. However, you need to cut off communication after you leave a reply. You don’t have the time to be corresponding with past clients when your new clients need you.

Are You Having Trouble Keeping Up With Reviews?

Whether you’re unsure of how to respond or don’t have the time to engage every review, it’s important to realize that proper review responses can help you maintain relationships, attract new clients, and grow your practice.

At LEVERAGE, our reputation management services are designed to work in tandem with your SEO and social media marketing to ensure that your prominent online visibility is enhanced with an excellent online reputation. When you consult LEVERAGE for lawyer reputation management, your law firm’s reputation will soar with a comprehensive strategy that combines reviews management, solicitation, aggregation, and more. Best of all, you’ll no longer have to worry whether or not the time you spend managing reviews is paying dividends for your practice. Our experienced team puts in the necessary legwork to support your brand and position your firm as a responsive and respectable legal partner.