There are a lot of ways to get leads for your consulting company, but do you know about listing and review sites? Consultant reviews are a great way to spread the word about your business and to show prospective customers how great you are.

Reviews can make or break your business, and many people aren’t aware of how to maximize them. Read on to learn a few easy steps to make consultant reviews work in your favor.

What is a listing and review site?

A listing and review site does exactly what its name suggests: it offers a list of different businesses, with correlating reviews to help customers choose the right company for their needs. Along with providing basic information — a name, website, phone number, and address for the company — these sites also allow customers to leave honest reviews of the businesses based on their experiences.

Additionally, customers can leave the business a rating from one to five stars. Customers searching online will see companies’ average star ratings as well as consultancy reviews. For example, if you Google the phrase “burgers near me,” you’ll receive a list of restaurants, each with their correlating information (street address, web address, and phone number) as well as their average star rating and individual reviews.

How consultant reviews affect you

A lot of your consulting business is generated through internet searches and word of mouth. If you have a positive position on listing and review sites, you’ll be in good shape. But perusing customers can see every review — both good and bad.

An overwhelmingly negative review section full of low star ratings could deter potential customers from choosing your consultant business. Review listings are the internet equivalent of asking a friend their opinion about a company they used. If they give a poor review, then you’re personally less likely to use that company yourself.

What’s in a consultant review?

Arguably, the most important part of a review is the associated star rating. A high average rating gives customers a great first impression of your business, and in almost every case, the everyday searcher will pick a higher-rated company over a lower-rated one.

The body of the review is also important. Since the reviewer has a blank canvas, they can say anything they want about their experience with your company. If you’re looking to get more clients, then you’ll need positive reviews. A review that positively highlights your competency, professionalism, and pricing is great and can help direct fellow searchers to your company.

Creating your consultant listing

The consultant listing itself needs to include all of your business’s information. Visit a site like Yelp! or Google and you’ll see what’s important: you should include a phone number, street address, website, and any images that you have that best represent your company. As far as marketing ideas for consulting, this is a quick and easy idea that works.

Google My Business does a good job of walking you through the process of creating a listing and making sure you include all the right information. The data you input will show up as shortcuts on Google when someone searches your company, related terms, or businesses in your area.

Since your information is linked, the searcher will get immediate access to connect with you. This means more views on your site, more phone calls, and more potential customers utilizing your services.

Lastly, make sure that you “claim” the business as your own. Otherwise, you won’t be able to change any of the details. Not sure if it’s working? Google your business and see what information pops up. If you see a block of text and linked shortcuts, then it’s working!

consultant reviews show up in Google Search

Review listings show up high in search rankings, usually right on the first page.

Quick ways to boost reviews

consultant reviews star ratings can heavily influence a prospective client

Star ratings are an important factor for many customers when they’re comparing businesses on a review listings website.

The easiest way to boost the number of reviews on your site is to personally ask your customers to leave them. If you feel confident in your performance while working with a customer, don’t be afraid to ask them to write a review. Often they just need encouragement. Let them know that their opinion means a lot to you!

Another way to get more positive consultant reviews is to incorporate incentives. Some companies are tempted to pay people for reviews or to hire people to leave fake reviews. But searchers want to see an honest review and they’re quick to become skeptical if it looks like a paid review.

Instead, try offering a possible reward, like the chance to win a gift card. This can persuade happy customers to leave a high-star rating and well-worded review. Keep in mind, all you can do is ask your customers to leave a review and rating. You can’t ask for a five-star review. You’ll need to work hard to ensure that every customer has an experience worthy of a high rating! In many cases, good reviews and ratings work just as well as SEO for consultants.

How and when to respond to reviews

It’s perfectly normal to see a number of negative reviews from time to time. The trick is knowing how to respond to reviews. On Google, reviews can be answered one time by the person who claimed the business in Google My Business. Since you can only respond once, it’s important to choose your words carefully.

Responding to negative comments

If a review is really negative and you know it will deter future people from choosing your services, it’s especially important to respond appropriately. Answer the customer’s review directly and publicly. Address their concerns, explain anything, and correct them if they’re lying or are misinformed. Leave your name and contact information so that they can follow up with you. Reviewers can change their review and star rating after hitting “publish,” which means that you have an opportunity to make things right.

Responding to five-star ratings

Additionally, you should always respond to anyone who leaves a five-star rating. This is an easy way for you to get more clients fast! Use this opportunity to thank them for their patronage, tell them how grateful you are for their trust, and express how much you enjoyed working with them. Other viewers will see your genuine response and respect you even more.

Responding to falsehoods and competitors

In some unfortunate cases, you’ll get extremely harsh one-star consultant reviews. These messages could be left by competing companies or by someone who is angry at you personally. First, remain calm and read the review to see if it’s legitimate. If it’s a real review that happens to be negative, then address it accordingly.

If, however, the review was created to ruin your reputation and boost your competitors — address it. Let other readers know that you’ve never done business with this person and have no record of their name. Either way, make sure you deal with the issue promptly, as negative consultant reviews can hurt your business.

Get ready to get reviewed

Using consultant reviews is a great way to boost your internet presence. Get more business and create a more loyal customer base by developing a strong online rating and interacting with reviewers. Don’t forget to ask your customers to review their experiences! For more online marketing help, check out The Download — Constant Contact’s complete online guide to professional services marketing.