Post a new topic
    8 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2008 4:05 AM by Iwrite

    Word of Mouth...

    designer Tracker
      How does a business owner actually get "word of mouth" to work? I have a feeling that 9 out of 10 people absorb something and then the buck stops there.

      Unfortunately, if you do something bad or have problems....word seems to travel real, real fast. For example, "Hey, Barb...did you hear Joe Smith down the block filed for divorce"? or another example: "Hi, Sarah....did you hear Mary got laid off yesterday?"

      But how do we get people to talk so fast about our Web sites and businesses? I hope we can share some really great ideas that we can use to spread like wildfire...What can we do to get people to TALK????
        • Re: Word of Mouth...
          berrycustom Newbie
          I agree with you. This is definitely a challenging task to accomplish.

          Have you tried advertising via a magnet on your car? You can get them for free right now at www.vistaprints.com.

          Just a thought.
          • Re: Word of Mouth...
            MRFINANCE Adventurer
            Money talks! Offer a cash referral for every valid sale referred.

            Hand out business cards to everyone!! I mean everyone. Leave a card at the grocery store post center, resaurant counter, with your tip. Everyone needs to know what you do.
            If its an interesting business, strike a conversation at every event you attend with everyone you meet

             

            Joe

             

            Richton Funding
            718-692-2274

            www.mybusinessadvance.net
            • Re: Word of Mouth...
              RealGa Newbie

              I hear what you are saying. Word of mouth is great, but it is one of the hardest thinks to generate.

               


              Most of my business now comes through word of mouth. I have started being much more pushy than I am naturally. I not only give 2 or 3 business cars to everyone I talk to, but I ask them for their friends phone numbers and promise to call them within the next 24 hours. I don't always get the number, but it makes an impression on the person I am talking to. I often return to my office and find a message on my machine from someone I have never seen or talked to.

               


              Another point, I sell Health and Life Insurance. My most common client is a self-employed woman. I find that women are much better at spreading the word. I find my-self going into business with several women employed in one manner or another. As I pass through I am introduced as the insurance guy. I pass cards and joke as I go through. This often stimulates a call or two later.

               

              Bottom Line. Just keep talking. "Word of Mouth ..." Starts with yours.
              • Re: Word of Mouth...
                Lighthouse24 Ranger

                There is a lot of research and psychology underlying the answer to your question.

                "News" and "gossip" (divorces, layoffs, etc.) are information-based. The "impact value" of the information being passed along is essentially the same (the first time someone hears it) whether that person hears it from an actual observer or from a friend of a friend of a friend. It spreads quickly because a sizable percentage of U.S. adults (30 to 65 percent, depending on the topic) have a psychological need to be the "first to know" something, and the "first to tell" someone else.

                Business "word of mouth" is a somewhat different dynamic because it's based on an experience, not a piece of information -- and for someone to be psychologically motivated to tell someone else, it has to be an unusual experience. The "impact value" of an unusual experience can be high if the person talking about it is the person who experienced it -- but unlike information, the value of an experience declines exponentially with each degree of separation between the person who experienced it and the person who is talking about it (most people don't care what a friend of a friend of a friend experienced, unless it is the stuff urban legends are made of).

                The more unusual a business experience is, the more likely the person is to share it. Unfortunately, "bad" unusual experiences happen to customers more often than "good" unusual experiences. Socially, many of our acquaintances respond to us better when we talk about bad experiences (they secretly like it when we have to struggle or encounter a problem -- only our loved ones want to hear about how great everything is going for us!). So people share their "bad" experiences more readily.

                There are at least three types of "good" unusual experiences that have a chance of spreading via word of mouth.

                The first is an experience that gives the customer an unusual sense of power or control (an example would be a car buyer who believes he totally nailed the negotiation and made the dealer give him everything he wanted -- he'll tell people about that).

                The second is an experience that entertains, amuses, inspires, or touches a customer to an unusual degree (Pike Place Fish in Seattle is often used as an example of this -- people tell other people about experiences like that, and those people often pass it along).

                The third is an experience that is radically better than the customer expected, and significantly better than anyone else is offering (for example, if someone started selling gasoline for $2.00 a gallon at lunch today and continued through the afternoon, the resulting word of mouth would probably get them on the evening news tonight -- lots of people would tell lots of other people quickly).

                Creating word of mouth is largely about creating an unusual positive experience for customers -- an experience they'll be motivated to talk about.
                  • Re: Word of Mouth...
                    Bemore Adventurer
                    We really rely on WOM Marketing. I am a member of several networking groups, but I don't run around handing our business cards. If I find a person I feel I can connect with or is a channel market for me, I suggest meeting for a cup of coffee or lunch to get to know them better, not to sell!. Building the relationship aand being specific as to what or who I am looking for helps a lot.

                    One of the networking organizations I am heavily involved in here in Central Indiana is Rainmakers. (www.gorainmakers.com) The core values of Rainmakers are Strategic Relationships, Hospitality, Accountability, Recruit and EnSpire/encourage. Referrals from this organization have steadily grown to the 6 - 10 referrals per week. A lot of the referrals are larger jobs. With the Strategic Relationship we are all finding new and better business opportunities. It is a great feeling to be talking with a client and be able to refer someone to help them in other areas of their business.

                    It does take time to sit down with people one on one and learn about them and their business, but it does pay off in the long run!
                  • Re: Word of Mouth...
                    Tygirrr Newbie
                    IMO, word-of-mouth is one of the easiest ways to generate business. Let me explain...my partner Emily and I started our mobile grooming business in December 2005. By July 2006, we had more clients than we could handle. The reason? WOM of course. I firmly believe in making our clients happy each and every time we do business. It's all about the service we give. I make it a point, EVERY TIME I speak to one of our clients, to make sure that they have a positive experience. I also ask for feedback every chance I get on how we're doing AND what we can do to make their experience and the experience of their pet better. Of course, in our line of work (we play with dogs and cats all day for goodness sake), our clients see how we interact with their animals and one of the biggest compliments we get is that the animals REALLY get excited when we come to groom them. Our business grew so fast because of the positive experiences our clients had. They are like family to us and we're available to answer their questions and concerns...even during our days off.

                    Of course like any business, there are always the PITA customers. The nice thing about our business is that we get to choose our clients now because we're so busy and don't have to deal with people like this.

                    In response to Designer's question, "How does a business owner actually get "word of mouth' to work?" I say this: Make it a point to give your clients genuine customer service EVERY time you do business and I guarantee that they'll start talking about you to their friends and anybody who'll listen...I would say that about 98% percent of our new clients heard about us from a friend or relative. The other 2% found us because they saw our grooming trailer somewhere in their neighborhood or while they were on their way somewhere. We spent quite a bit of money putting graphics on our trailer in order to generate business, but ironically, we don't get very many calls from our signage...go figure! But I'm not complaining!

                    Ty
                    • Re: Word of Mouth...
                      Iwrite Pioneer
                      Exceed the promise you are offering your customers. Wow, that sounds like some new age, self-help stuff, but it is really true. Give them more than they expect. There are a lot of great answers here but in the end, there is nothing like an excited customer, some call them brand evangelists, to get the word out.

                      Now, there has to be a component of "real" to this effort, if it is phony they will know and you will pay.

                      Designer, the way you talk about your jewelry reflects a passion for what you do, keep letting the passion out.

                      I advise my clients to "mean what they say," to be honest with the people they are interacting with. It is hard for others to be excited about your business when you aren't.

                      Let it out.

                      I can buy a pizza on every corner but I go to my favorite pizza parlor
                      because the owner loves making great pizza, he talks about how good the
                      dough is or how fresh the toppings are. He asks how your last pizza
                      was. He suggests that you try the new item because it is a family
                      favorite. They show the pizza to you before you leave. You better
                      believe I tell people about this place.

                      Word of mouth is about transferring your excitement, passion, love or drive or whatever it is to others. Sell the experience of doing business with you.