Word of mouth is worth far more than many kinds of advertising.
Advertisements rarely have genuine endorsements – it’s a pay to play approach. Word of Mouth endorsements on the other hand come with a personal connection that far outweighs sponsored endorsements.
Think about your own life.
When you need something or when you are looking for a service provider, it is common to ask for recommendations from friends that you trust.
When you get those recommendations, you form your short list and virtually cut short your research time. The companies receiving those recommendations won big time because someone else is spreading the message about what they are offering at no cost to them.
There are many ways to activate the power of word of mouth marketing. Here are three starter ideas:
Make your offer remarkable
People will remark when they see something “remarkable.”
If your product is remarkable; e.g., an iPhone or an Xbox when first released, then half your problems are solved.
However, this might not be the case, so you have to think about packaging your product in the form of an offer that is remarkable.
It could be an innovative business model or an innovative pricing model.
Fedex did that with overnight shipping, guaranteed
Amazon did that with free shipping
Zappos did that with free shipping both ways
Tom’s Shoes did that by giving away of a pair of shoes for someone who needed it whenever someone buys a pair of shoes
You need to give people something awesome to talk about.
Walk the Extra Mile
YOU can make a difference by engaging with a mindset that your client’s projects have the same or higher priority than your own projects.
Your level of caring for what matters to them will set you apart.
There is no golden rule for WHAT constitutes an extra mile. It is all about raising the generally accepted standards by a margin so big that anyone witnessing it can readily acknowledge that you DID walk the extra mile.
Andy Sernovitz, recognized Guru of Word of Mouth Marketing says that the best tool to start word of mouth is the most obvious one: asking.
Andy says, “The first and foremost tool for creating word of mouth is the easiest and most obvious: asking nicely. Most people won’t talk until you ask them to. So ask often and ask everywhere. And once you do, you’ll find people are happy to talk.”
A couple of things to note when you are asking:
1. Timing is important and asking at the wrong time, your request might backfire. For example, if the client is dealing with a super urgent situation, asking for a referral won’t be a good idea.
2. Don’t ask if you don’t deserve it. Asking for the sake of asking will make the client mentally blacklist you or label you as “high maintenance.” Not worth taking that risk.
Architecting a word of mouth campaign is a marathon and not a sprint.
A part of the strategy happens automatically when you are doing something awesome. Once you get started and deliberately execute at the highest levels, word of mouth pays forward and customers will be attracted to you.
If you are interested in all the articles in the series so far, here they are:
A is for Alignment (title changed on Salesforce.com blog)
B is for Bonding
C is for Confidence
D is for Detachment
E is for Excellence in Small Things
F is for Follow Up (On Huffington Post)
G is for Grateful
H is for Hunger to Succeed
I is for Intent to Serve
J is for Judgment (On Huffington Post)
K is for Knowledgeable
L is for Likeable
M is for Margin
N is for Nurturing (On Huffington Post)
O is for Onward
P is for Please
Q is for Questions (On Huffington Post)
R is for Resourcefulness (On Huffington Post)
S is for Storytelling
T is for Teaching