Doren Aldana | How to Get Great Reviews & Testimonials

Episode 143:

Doren Aldana | How to Get Great Reviews & Testimonials

Doren Aldana is the CEO and president of MortgageMarketingCoach.com and the founder of the Testimonial Engine — the #1 software for helping local businesses collect and share client reviews on autopilot.

As a result of his clients’ extraordinary success, he has won the prestigious “Best Industry Service Provider” award three years in a row at 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Doren Aldana is also the host of the Local Domination Podcast – where local business owners learn how to get local clients FAST. Since 2005, he has been dedicated to helping business owners attract more clients with less effort, regardless of market conditions.

Doren Aldana’s life mission is to inspire and equip people to create an extraordinary life — full of passion, purpose, and prosperity.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why it’s vital to get reviews & testimonials
  • The power of leveraging reviews
  • The best way to go about getting reviews
  • An example of a highly effective review capture page
  • The importance of handling negative reviews quickly & the best way to overcome them
  • The top review sites that you should be on in your local market
  • The best way to get referrals from reviews
  • What the “magic wand” letter is and how it can help you get referrals
  • A principle that, when applied to your business, could be a game changer
  • Why you should take a close look at how you’re generating leads




Mitch: This is Mitch, and welcome to the Real Estate Investors Summit podcast. My guest today is Doren Aldana, and he’s going to talk to us about how to dominate reviews. Reviews are important. We live in a world where everyone can see us and write about us if they want to, and we’ve got to make sure that what they’re saying doesn’t hurt our businesses and, in fact, can help our businesses if we do it right. So we’re going to talk about how to dominate reviews in just a minute after a few words from my sponsors. We’ll be right back with Doren Aldana, don’t move.

Mitch: Alright, this is Mitch, and we’re back with Doren Aldana. Doren, how you doing today?

Doren Aldana: Better than good, better than most, my man. Thank you so much for having me today.

Mitch: Alright, so you’ve been around the world a few times here and become an expert, and you’re the founder of Testimonial Engine, and you’re the number one software for helping local businesses collect and share client reviews online and autopilot. So, tell us a little bit more about your background and where you’re from. I see here that you won a prestigious award in 2012, 2013, and 2014 for Best Industry Service Provider, which I think is quite an accomplishment, so congratulations my friend.

Doren Aldana: Thank you very much. All that bribery finally paid off.

Mitch: Right, did you write enough of your own reviews you won the award? You won the award.

Doren Aldana: Right? Just had to shell out the right amount of paper to the right people, you know? No, that was a real … Definitely a gust of wind in my sails, and it was a huge honor to win those awards. And I think a big reason why we won them is exactly that, we had a lot of rave reviews, testimonials. Dud to stud, zero to hero, breakthrough case studies, and success stories. That plays a part even in submissions for awards, believe it or not. So yeah, I’ve been in the software, the service for getting reviews business for about 3 years now, and prior to that I was a mortgage marketing coach. Still am, actually. I have another sister company where we provide marketing solutions to mortgage professionals. But I’ve been self-employed since I was 19. I’ve always considered myself not really mentally fit to work for anybody. Certified, bonafide, qualified unemployable. Some people call it a mental illness, but in my case I just don’t like other people telling me when to come, when to go, and how much I’m worth. I imagine there’s probably a few peeps listening to your podcast that can relate to that, you know. If you’re in business for yourself, you’re in real estate, that’s one of the upsides. You can create your own future, and there’s unlimited upside potential.

So yeah, I’m a family man, I’ve got 4 beautiful kids and a beautiful wife, no refund request yet, so I’m happy. Been married 14 years. 4 budgies … 2 budgies, 4 kids and a puppy and 2 businesses, so needless to say, it’s a full life.

Mitch: So what’s a budgie? Thought they were kids.

Doren Aldana: A budgie is kind of like a little tropical bird.

Mitch: Oh, okay.

Doren Aldana: It’s not as big as a parrot. It’s probably about one fifth the size of a parrot. Just a wee little colorful tropical bird that chirps away. So we’ve got 2 of those, the 4 kids, the puppy, the wife and the 2 businesses. So yeah, it’s enough to almost keep me out of trouble most of the time.

Mitch: I like you already, man. You’re quick and you’re funny. This is good. That always helps to have a sense of humor, because business is sometimes not so funny and you’ve got to take all of it with a grain of salt till you get on top.

Doren: Oh, dude. You’ve got to ignore the [inaudible 00:06:12], right?

Mitch: A sense of humor … Yeah, yeah.

So, you’re into helping people and their businesses get these rave reviews. Why bother with getting reviews and testimonials in the first place?

Doren Aldana: Well, most people listening, they would already have answered that saying, “Well, I already do this stuff. I already go to a restaurant because of the Yelp reviews, I already go to a resort, 5 star resort, because of the TripAdvisor reviews. I pull the trigger on products on Amazon because it’s got the best reviews.” So intuitively, we already do it. Why do we do it? We do it because us humans hate making the wrong choice, don’t we? We have buyers remorse, we hate buying a lemon, we hate the embarrassment and the ridicule that comes with making a bad choice. Sometimes the embarrassment is self-imposed, and self-inflicted, where we just feel bad within ourselves. Sometimes it’s impacting other people. Our family, our spouses, our friends, and it makes us look bad when we make the wrong choice. When the wife is unhappy because you went to the wrong resort, and everyone got sick, and the elevators didn’t work, and then people say, “Well you should have checked the reviews! Well, duh.” So now, we mitigate and eliminate that risk by checking reviews first, and that actually applies in pretty much any business, every business. Certainly local businesses, but also in the real estate game.

If you’re trying to get a product or service across, if you’re trying to create a funnel where you’re generating leads, whether it be leads to get tenants for a property, or whether it be leads for buyers, buyers wanting to look at your property, whatever the case may be, if you have third-party endorsement based on not what you say, but what other people are saying about how awesome you are, or how great you are, or how you do top-notch service, or how you are legit and how you honor your word, or whatever it is that you’re wanting to get across as real, you do it by leveraging reviews. There’s actually a study that showed that consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than descriptions published by the marketer. Let that marinate in your mind for a moment. 12 times more.

Mitch: I have no doubt about that. I have no doubt, because if you start thinking about this, I think we do it so second nature that we don’t even give it the weight that it needs to have. I know that people buy my books because of the reviews, because I’m not famous and there’s no reason in the world anyone would buy my books except for the fantastic reviews that my books have. I’m so grateful for the reviews that I have, because that’s the only reason I sell one book. It’s because of that. Nobody knows who Mitch Steven is.

Doren Aldana: Right?

Mitch: It really helps. I’ll tell you one day how I helped, I don’t know, assist in that. I will also tell you straight up front, I’m always full transparency, the first 10 reviews on anything I own is me and my family, okay? I’m just telling you all right now. The first 10 reviews are me and my family, or my friends.

Doren Aldana: Absolutely.

Mitch: After that, it gets legit. But you can’t start off with zero, right? You have to start off with something.

Doren Aldana: Exactly, that’s one of the benefits of paying your kids allowance. You can get them to write reviews for you.

Mitch: Yeah. So what’s the best way to go about getting reviews?

Doren Aldana: Well, the first step is to make it a priority, so see it as a mission-critical component of your business. It’s not the be-all and end-all. Obviously there are other components to your marketing and your business that are critical as well, but it needs to be seen as a priority, and obviously it’s becoming more and more of a priority as the population is becoming more and more tech-savvy, more and more Google-savvy, and they’re on social media and they’re checking all these review sites. It’s the first thing they do. It’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction. So, because of that, and frankly, there’s another survey where they found that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. That’s almost 8 out of 10 people who deem online reviews as just as influential in their buying criteria and decision-making process as a recommendation from someone they know, a friend or family member.

So when you get that it’s mission-critical, then the next step is to make it a must. Put it on the front burner as a priority in your business, and build a system around it. Most people, they just buy by the seat of their pants willy-nilly and hope that they’re going to get some positive reviews. That’s not how you do it, in case you didn’t know. But if you look at restaurants, a lot of them you’ll see that. When’s the last time you went to a restaurant and they proactively, systematically asked you for a review on Yelp or TripAdvisor? Chances are, it’s been eons. If you’re anything like me, it’s never happened. Not even once.

So you’ve got to build a system around it where every time someone encounters or experiences the awesomeness of what you bring to the table, you ask them for a review. You can ask them for a review by a text message, or you can ask them by email, or both, but you need a system. You can’t be flying by the seat of your pants hoping. You’ve got to be known, and a system does that. The very acronym “system” stands for “Save Yourself Time, Energy and Money”. So when you put a system in place, then it works while you’re not working, as opposed to relying on whim, motivation and having your hopes up that someone’s just going to get spontaneously motivated and inspired to send you a review, which generally does not happen, unless they’re really disgruntled. They get really inspired to send you a review, but they’re pissed off, they’re torqued off, they don’t like the experience. That’s pretty much the only scenario where they’re really inspired.

So, we need to make it easy for them to give you a review. It’s another component. So, if you send them directly to Google, or Yelp, or TripAdvisor, or whatever it is, in the real estate game it’s probably going to be something more related to real estate. It might just be you want to publish them on your website, in which case, either way, you’re going to want to make it easy for people to give you a review. If you pigeonhole them to any of these review sites, whether it be Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc., they need an account in order to give you a review. That’s going to alienate a good number of them who do not have an account. They don’t have a Gmail, or a Facebook, or a Yelp account, and even if they love you and they think you’re the best thing since sliced bread and you can walk on water, chances are they’re not going to do backflips and create an account just to give you a review. So the part of the system needs to be, it’s easy breezy lemon squeezy for them to give you a review. No account needed.

So that’s some of the initial essentials of what you need to start getting positive reviews.

Mitch: So, give me examples of how you would post a review on a place that doesn’t need an account. How do you make that possible?

Doren Aldana: So, it would be as simple as, you know, you have a client, and you did a great job for them. You would have a system by which you would send them an email or a text message asking for a review. How did we do? Give them a link, then click the link, they go to what’s called a review capture page, and that review capture page makes it easy for them to give a review. It would have a field for their name, their email address, it would have the number of stars, which is a representation for their level of satisfaction, 5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest, and then it would have a text box for them to type in a testimonial describing their experience in working with you. Then there would be a consent section, which basically tells them that by submitting this testimonial, they’re giving you consent to publish this in their marketing, and then there’s a submit button.

So that’s the anatomy of a highly effective review capture page. When they press submit, that’s where if you want these reviews to be submitted on key review sites like Google, or Facebook, or Yelp, or whatever, we want to first find out if it’s positive. So, on the thank you page, if it’s positive, which means 4 stars and above, we’re going to ask them to share it with the world. “Thank you so much for giving us this positive review. We’re so happy that we’ve met or exceeded your expectations. If you’d be so kind as to copy and paste that review … Do you see below this video there? Go ahead and copy and paste that review on those other review sites below this video. That’d be much appreciated. Thank you so much.”

So that’s a positive review. But what if it’s a negative review? We don’t want them to share it with the world because if they do, it’s virtually impossible to remove it. That blemish sticks forever. So that’s where we want to quarantine it and make sure it’s 100% private and confidential for your own internal purposes, so that you can do damage control, you can empathize with them, you can send them to a damage control page that says, “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. How can we improve? How can we make this right?” When they submit that, then it’s 100% private. It acts like a firewall to prevent that from spewing on the web, tarnishing your reputation online forever, and you can be all over it like white on rice and hopefully turn them around. Studies show that 7 out of 10 consumers will return to a business and do repeat and referral business with that business, if their concern is resolved quickly. So speed is the name of the game, and the faster the feedback loop in getting feedback from your clients, and rectifying the negative, and sharing the positive, the more you create positive and mitigate, if not eliminate, the negative on your online reputation. Does that make sense?

Mitch: Yeah, absolutely. So what if you have a negative review on one of those, you know, Google, or Yelp or something? What’s the best way to handle that? You can’t whitewash it, you can’t get it back, it’s just kind of out there. What do you do then with the general public watching? I guess the only thing you can do is reply or not reply. If the answer is reply, how do you handle it?

Doren Aldana: Yeah, some of them you can reply to, like Facebook and Yelp. You can reply to a negative review. Some you can’t. It’s just there and you’re stuck with it. So, if you can reply, by all means do, but do all you can not to blame the client and make yourself look bad by looking like you’re just attacking the client. Obviously, in some cases the client is a wingnut, and it’s really, really hard not to paint them as a wingnut, but you want to do all you can and own as much responsibility in the matter as possible so you look like you’re wearing your grown-up pants instead of sucking your soother, pointing the finger and saying, “It wasn’t me,” like Shaggy, right? It’s important that you position yourself as responsible.

Mitch: Yeah, the worst position though is when you know it’s your competitor that’s doing it.

Doren Aldana: Yeah, and if it’s a blatant fake review, you can actually contest those. You’d have to go through the proper channels for that, and you can actually contest them if they’re a real fake review. So, if they, for example, were never your customer, and they’re giving a review as if they’re a customer, you can contest that and in some cases, you can get those removed.

But the best way to overcome negative reviews is an avalanche of positive reviews. If you have one or two bad reviews, but then you have hundreds of 5-star rave reviews, people are going to overlook the blemish and just look at the overwhelmingly positive sentiment, and they’re still going to see you as legit, you know. I see that on Amazon, or whatever site.

Mitch: I find that amazing that … I have over 200 five star reviews on my books, and then I got one or two 2 stars or 1 stars or whatever, and they just … The hits for those one or two bad reviews is off the charts compared to … No one really hits or comments … I mean, the comments on the bad reviews, or the people that went and looked at it, is really high, and then I guess there are so many 5 star reviews that there’s no way to really keep pace with it. I’d like to share how I was able to get those reviews if you’d like to … Maybe you can help me improve on it.

Doren Aldana: Absolutely.

Mitch: The problem with it wasn’t that it was labor intensive, but I was giving away … Well, I still do. I give away the first hundred pages of my book, and the book is “My Life and 1000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom”, and I’m giving away the first hundred pages, and one of the reasons I did that was because I would obviously get this person’s email address, and possibly their phone number, if they would give me the correct phone number, and I found that 98% of the time they do give you the right phone number if I ask for it. But they’ve got to give you the email address so they can get the first hundred pages. You know, Amazon won’t give you the list of customers that bought your book, so you have to find some way in your book, or somehow, to find out who’s buying my book.

So I was giving away the first hundred pages, and they have to give me the email address and I asked for the phone number, and I get a text on my phone every single time someone downloads it. Now this doesn’t work if you’re a multi-million dollar best seller, right, because you can’t take a million texts, you know. But when you’re an independent self-published guy, it’s kind of nice to know when someone’s downloading the first hundred pages of your book for free. I get a text, and it says, “Somebody from this phone number right now is downloading the first 100 pages of your book.” And I’m able to call that guy, right then, and I can hear the printer printing out the pages of my book in the background. All I would say is, “Hey, this is Mitch Steven, author of the book ‘My Life and 1000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom’, and I was just calling to tell you thank you for downloading the first hundred pages of my book, and if you ever want to discuss it, you now have my phone number, and if you want to discuss my book, call me and we’ll discuss it.”

And that’s it, I don’t try to sell them anything. Half of them act like Brad Pitt’s called them, or Angelina Jolie or something. I mean, I don’t know, they just, they freak out. They’re like, “Wow, I can’t believe this!” I make sure that they have my number, and that’s the end of the deal. It’s very short, it’s very brief. And then the people that call me … And what I said was, “And if you ever read the entire book and you want to discuss it, please call me.” It was kind of a prompt to, you know … “If you read it, we can talk about it.” So, the people that read the book call me, the ones that call me … No one who hates my book calls me, you know?

Doren Aldana: Right.

Mitch: The only people that have ever called me love the book, and they want to talk about something, or ask a question, or didn’t understand this one thing, or were wondering what happened after this because you never said what happened, you know? They find all these little gaps and unanswered questions. We talk about it for just a second, we answer, talk about and say, “Look, I’m really busy, I’ve got to go, but say, if you want to do me a favor, please give me a 5 star review on Amazon. The only reason anyone buys my book is because of 5 star reviews from people just like you. It’s the only reason, if you don’t mind.” Every single one of them do it.

Doren Aldana: That’s brilliant.

Mitch: That was my investment behind 200 five star reviews. But you know, when you write a book, it’s not, at least not for me, it was not work to spend few minutes with people who had read my book to discuss it. It was more of a privilege and an honor, and I felt humbled to talk to them about it, because it’s like a work of art, right? If someone’s admiring your art, who doesn’t want to stand in front of the statue and say, “Well, this is what it represents,” if you’re the one that carved that statue. So, that’s how I did it. I know that’s a little time-intensive. Is there a way to improve on that?

Doren: I think that’s a brilliant strategy. There might be some kind of a bonus you can give them that doesn’t require you physically talking to them, that you can dangle as a carrot. Or you can have a, you could say, “You know, I’ve seeded inside those pages, as a complimentary added value gift to you, a special surprise reward for reading the first hundred pages of my book, and I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I promise you, you’re going to love it. And when you get to that page, and you follow through with that call to action that’s seeded on that page, I would love it, love it, love it if you’d be so kind as to reciprocate once you get your surprise gift, if you’d reciprocate by giving me a review on my book.”

Mitch: Oh, okay.

Doren Aldana: “A 5 star review on my book.”

Mitch: Maybe a way to … I was always worried about actually putting my offer, or a bribe, in writing because I didn’t want anyone to say, “You know, the only reason he has these reviews is he pays people to do this, he gives away this, or he gives away that.” Is that a legitimate concern, or does that rarely happen?

Doren Aldana: Well, what it is is it’s a surprise gift that they get regardless of whether they give you a review.

Mitch: There you go.

Doren Aldana: So you’re giving the gift, but you’re not telling them what it is. You tell them by phone, or text, or email, or all of the above, “Hey, there’s a little surprise in there, so as you go through the book, look for it. It’s a reward for reading my first hundred pages, and I know you’re going to love it. If you don’t, don’t bother giving me a review, but if you do love it as much as I think you will, if you’d be so kind as to give a positive review on what you got from the first hundred pages of my book, that’d be much appreciated.” So it’s basically asking them, “Hey, I’m giving you this. Would you be willing to give me that?” Right?

Mitch: Yeah, but it’s like, you know, it’s after the fact. I like it, I like it a lot. See, this is one of the reasons why I do this podcast, Doren. It’s because I learn something every day from the people I talk to. Every single day. People say, “You know, you’re doing this podcast and, you know, you…” I don’t know, the tendency is to think we … “You think you’re an expert, and you’re this.” Well, I am an expert in a certain amount of things, not a whole lot of things, but a couple of things that I’ve been doing for 22 years, but there are way more reasons to give a podcast than for me to bless the world with my knowledge. All I want from this podcast, really, is to learn as much as I can. It’s a funny dynamic. I could ask some really successful people if I can take them to lunch and rake their brain. I hate that question. I hate that proposal.

Doren Aldana: Right? Pick your brain.

Mitch: My dollar’s worth 15… I mean, my brain’s worth 15 bucks because I can’t eat more than that at lunch, you know?

Doren Aldana: Right.

Mitch: If I ask someone if I can interview them, I always get the interview, and I get to talk to people that I wouldn’t really get to talk to, and I get to ask them the same questions. But I just want to point out, what you just told me, I’m going to go back and implement. I got a few twists on it, a few ideas, and you know that I’m not trying to make money selling the book. The book’s a lead-in to whatever else I’m doing, right? My coaching.

Doren Aldana: Right. Exactly.

Mitch: But it was a way … The phone call was a way to be human, you know?

Doren Aldana: Right.

Mitch: I realize now, as you get more followers, that you’ve got to dial back on the access to you personally because you start to run out of time. But in the beginning, when you’re just starting out, to make yourself human, or to make me human, I wanted them to hear my voice and actually think, “Wow, this guy actually called me. How cool is that? How cool is that?” You know?

Doren Aldana: Yeah, you’re making yourself approachable, available, they appreciate it, and that’s probably a big reason why you got so many rave reviews, aside from the fact that you got a kick-butt book, and they loved the content in the book.

Mitch: Yeah, everything helps, right? So, you deal with all kinds of businesses, I assume. Give us a case study of someone you recently helped overcome these problems of reviews.

Doren Aldana: Sure. One gentleman, he’s a mortgage professional, he didn’t have a system for getting reviews. He had a database of past clients, but wasn’t really being consistent in asking for reviews, so he had a very anemic online reputation. He wasn’t even found on Google at all with a local search. Then he hopped on the train with the Testimonial Engine, and started getting reviews systematically. We just uploaded his database of past clients into the system. Within a week, he had an avalanche of rave reviews coming in, so no need to pop Prozac that day, that was a good week. That was a good day.

And then, what was really cool is, we got a whack load of reviews on Google for him. And that pushed him right to the top of Google for the local search, so when prospective clients are searching for a reputable mortgage provider in his area, he’s showing up top of the list on Google in the 3 pack. You know, the top 3 vendors on the map there? And he’s got like, 41 five star reviews, and his closest competitor has 4, so who do you think they’re deciding to work with? Obviously, they’re going with the champ instead of a chump, and he’s getting calls every single week through Google. People who are hot for what he’s got, who are pre-cooked, pre-tenderized, pre-sold, pre-disposed to buy because they’re reading all these positive reviews and they’re already convinced, after reading the reviews, he’s the real deal, he’s legit, he’s a go-to mortgage pro. And they call him up saying something like, “Hey, we did our research, you’ve got an amazing reputation, phenomenal reviews, we’ve decided to hire you, what’s next?”

Mitch: Wow, that’s difficult.

Doren Aldana: So that’s the power of reviews with a local search.

Mitch: I didn’t think about that, but the more reviews you get, the higher you score on the algorithm for these Google search engine pages and stuff, right? Google rankings.

Doren Aldana: Yeah, any of these review sites, whether it be Yelp, Google, in real estate they have Zillow, in the hospitality business it’s TripAdvisor. So there’s lots of different niche-specific review sites, but the 8,000 pound gorilla, certainly in the local business market, is Google. So you definitely want to be on Google. Yelp is another local one. They’re a bit of a tough animal to deal with because if you’re a first-time Yelp reviewer, they usually suppress your review so it doesn’t stick. So they’re a difficult one to deal with. One of those love-hate relationships dealing with Yelp. And then there’s the catch-all, the review section of Facebook. Almost everyone has Facebook, so that’s a good safety net. If people don’t have a Gmail account, or a Yelp account, or any of these other accounts, chances are they have at least a Facebook account. If nothing else, if you’re an online marketer, you can get reviews on your Facebook business page in the review section.

Mitch: Okay, Facebook business page reviews.

Doren Aldana: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mitch: Very good. So if I want … I have a company that can really use this. Personally, myself. So tell me, what’s the first step for me to get some kind of consultation with you? What do I do?

Doren Aldana: Well, we’re going to have a link in the show notes, as far as I understand, for this podcast. So anyone who’s listening can go and, you know, go to that link. In your case, Mitch, you can go to that link. It won’t be far from you, it’ll be close at hand. You’ll be able to get access to a $1 trial for 15 days, and then allow us to prove to you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we’re the real deal by getting you results in advance. So if you have a database of past customers or clients, just load it into the system. We’ll typically convert 20-40% of your database into rave reviews, unless you suck. Then obviously, there’s not much we can do to help you. But if you’re as good as I think you are, we should be able to get at least 20, 30, 40% plus of your peeps to give us a positive review within the first few days of uploading your list into the system.

The other really cool thing that happens is that any positive reviews, you can auto-share on your social media channels. So Facebook, Google and Twitter. So if you have any fans or followers on those channels, they’re going to see these positive reviews come through in the news feed, both as text as well as digital images, you know, visual depictions of the testimonial. Yet another reminder that you are legit, that you’re awesome, and that you do great work. Not because you say it, but because your happy clients are saying it. In addition to that, we also have an embed code feature that allows you to put embed code on your website, and all your positive reviews auto-feed right onto your website.

So let’s say we’re talking, and all of a sudden you get another positive review come in, boom, it shows up on your website instantly. Nothing else to do. How cool is that?

Mitch: Yeah, that’s great. How do you get referrals from reviews? Or what’s the best way to get referrals from reviews?

Doren Aldana: That’s a great question, Mitch, and frankly, most business owners in general, and certainly real estate investors in particular, the full spectrum of solo-preneurs, and solo professionals, self-employed individuals, never even conceive of the idea that it might be smart to ask for referrals, in particular of those who give a 5 star review. But if you think about it, who better to give you a referral than someone who gave you a rave review? I mean, that’s your raving fan, right?

Mitch: Yeah.

Doren Aldana: What you want to do, you want to launch a strategically dedicated referral attraction campaign targeting your raving fans, because those people have already sung your praises from the rooftop, so to speak, and those people are primed and ready to give you a referral if you make it easy for them to do so. So we developed a really cool letter that’s sent out by snail mail because email is hard … Email is easy to ignore. Direct mail is a lot harder to ignore, especially if you put something lumpy in the envelope. So inside the envelope, there’s going to be a lump, and that lump is a toy magic wand, okay? So we call this ‘The Magic Wand Letter’, and they get it, they feel the lump, they have to open it, their curiosity gets the best of them, they break it open, out comes the toy magic wand, and then the headline says, “I wish, I wish, POOF! I could have more clients like you.” I know, cheesy, right? But it’ll put more cheese in your wallet, so who cares?

The whole premise of the letter is that you think the client’s awesome, and you wish you could have other awesome clients just like them, and perhaps they could make your wish come true by sending you referrals. And then you simply follow up by phone a week later, and ask them if they’d be open to having a little brainstorm with you, brainstorming session with you over the phone, to see if you might be able to activate their mental Rolodex, and come up with a few people in their world who you can help. And I’ll tell you, if you do that, you’ll be absolutely amazed how many referrals you’ll get. You’ll get more referrals in a week than you got in an entire year if you do this the way we have set up and the way we’ve tested it to work. Case in point, we had a client. He just sent out 50 of these letters to his raving fans, he brought in 18 G’s worth of business within one month and it cost him $200. How’s that for an ROI?

Mitch: Wow, wow, wow. That’s ingenious. You’re making me excited about this, because I definitely have a couple companies that I need to do this with. So, go to 1000houses.com/reviews again, that’ll take you over to the show notes and you’ll have some links there. What else might our listeners find in the show notes over there?

Doren Aldana: Well, I’m glad you asked, Mitch. I actually put something together. I always like to reward people. I always like to reward people for showing up. Today’s no exception, so I put together a really cool resource called ‘The Ultimate Testimonial Tool Kit’. It’s jam-packed with templates, tools, swipe files for getting reviews and leveraging those reviews. Checklists, best practices, training, all kinds of good stuff. And inside there, I even put in a customizable Word document version of that really powerful referral request system called ‘The Magic Wand Letter’. So you get all of that, all complimentary, by going to that domain. Give it to them one more time, Mitch.

Mitch: It’s 1000houses.com/reviews. With an S. Plural. R-E-V-I-E-W-S.

Doren Aldana: That’s it. So we’ll hook you up with a link for that, you can grab that ‘Ultimate Testimonial Tool Kit’ for free. You’re welcome.

Mitch: I appreciate that, it’s always nice when people do great things for our listeners. Do you speak on this across the world? Or do you have calendar you can include? Are you talking on this anywhere?

Doren Aldana: I do, from time to time, get out and speak on stage, or at conferences, or on podcasts. I have my own podcast too. It’s funny, I forget my own podcast name. That’s hilarious.

Mitch: You know what, that’s a man who has a system right there, because he does not have [inaudible 00:35:58].

Doren Aldana: Right?

Mitch: Yeah.

Doren Aldana: It’s called ‘The Local Domination Podcast.’ So if you’re into local marketing, you definitely want to check that out. ‘The Local Domination Podcast.’

Mitch: Okay, so if I want to hire you, and I’m really serious, I’m asking this from the heart, I don’t know if you want to talk price on here or not, and if you don’t that’s fine. I’ll pretext it with this: if we talk price right now, the man is allowed to change his price, or to change whatever he wants to whenever he wants to, but we’re talking like right now on this date, this time. If I want to come over with you and get some help on one of my companies, what can I expect to spend? What’s your program like?

Doren Aldana: Well, as the good old saying goes, “Good ain’t cheap, and cheap ain’t good.”

Mitch: Absolutely.

Doren Aldana: I’m no exception to that. My consulting fees are not cheap, but the ROI is exceptional if we’re the right fit. I always like to do a little consultation first to see what exactly you’re wanting to accomplish, where you’re at now, where you want to be. If I can help you get there, by all means, I’ll show you how and give you a proposal based on what you’re needing, and if not, I’ll of course be the first person to advise you to pass on my services. I always like to make sure we’re the right fit first before I even make any kind of proposal or offer or disclose price points.

Mitch: You know Doren, that makes a lot of sense because I suppose everyone’s situation is different, right?

Doren Aldana: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly, and frankly I’m in a place right now where I have the great fortune and blessing and opportunity to pick and choose my clients and be very selective with who I work with, and I only work with clients that I can create kick-ass, amazing breakthrough results for, and that I enjoy working with, and that I consider a friend, and they’re fun to work with, and we have the right synergy and the right chemistry. I always like to make sure we have that kind of synergy and that right kind of fit before we talk numbers.

Mitch: Man, I like you, because that’s exactly what I do. If it doesn’t sound like it’s fun, or it don’t sound like they have the aptitude, or it sounds like they’re in too stressful a point in their life right now, it’s like … I’m not taking the last dime you have, and I’m not going to set you up to go do something that i know works, but I know it’s not going to work in that market that you’re telling me about. I appreciate what you just said, and how you run your business and your life. I think it’s admirable, because there’s not enough of that.

Doren Aldana: Well, I’ll tell you what, I didn’t always do it that way, but somewhere along the way, I finally came to my senses and realized, you know, playing at the high level and soaring with the eagles, I need to learn from other eagles. So I finally got off my wallet and stopped being such a cheap-ass, and started to invest in my own education, and my own mentorship, and mind-set, and skill set, and my mentors got me on the right track. Helped me realize that, you know what? I need to be really crystal clear on who I can help the most, who I can serve at the highest level, and who I can help create breakthroughs. Transformational breakthroughs, not just minuscule, incremental upticks, but transformational, monumental, life-changing breakthroughs, and then charge them accordingly for that kind of value, but then be very selective with who you work with so that you’re having fun, you’re making great money, but you’re also creating amazing transformational impact for your clientele. So that’s been a game-changer for me. From what that’s worth to those who are listening, if you’re able to apply that principle to your business, I’m telling you. Game. Changer. Game-changer.

Mitch: Alright, again the link is 1000houses.com/reviews with an S. Anything else we should tell our listeners, or anything I forgot to ask, wasn’t smart enough to ask, or didn’t know to ask that we should fill on in before maybe we wrap up here today, Doren Aldana?

Doren Aldana: I would just say, look at how you’re generating leads into your pipeline, into your funnel, and look at how you can start to inject reviews. Third-party endorsement to build trust, to build your business at the speed of trust, because the more trust you can inject into that indoctrination period, in the initial stages when they’re coming to you, the more they like you, know you, and trust you, the more likely they’re going to do business with you, the more likely you’re going to be able to convert these leads into closed transactions and repeated referral business. So your goal is to take them from a suspect to a prospect, prospect to a client, client to an evangelist. The more trust you inject into that courting process, you more you can condense timeframes and literally turn decades into days, and accomplishing way more than you ever did before because you’ve got the power of trust working in your favor. So be intentional about injecting trust, and you’ll see your sales skyrocket.

Mitch: Wow, great advice. Great advice. I’d like to thank you so much, Doren Aldana, for being on the show today. You’ve been an inspiration, really. You’ve got me excited. You are going to be hearing about me, I hope I have your personal phone number on here. I do. And I would like to thank all the listeners for coming in and taking the time to get you some Doren Aldana, and learn about his fine art of mastering and getting great reviews, and plenty of them. That can help your business definitely. I know firsthand. You know, it’s been a good, good, good show. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to come on.

Doren Aldana: Thank you so much for having me, man. That was fun.

Mitch: Alright. This is Mitch Steven. Thanks for taking the time to get you some Doren Aldana, and thank you for being and listening to the Real Estate Investor Summit Podcast. Hope you have a great week, month, and I hope you achieve all your goals for this year. We’re out of here. Have a great one.


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