Word of Mouth
You may scratching your head saying what the heck are you drinking Kurt. I mean really. Now before you get all carried away here me out.
You can go way, way back many decades and think of successful businesses in any discipline, including but not limited to:
Specialty Health Stores
Tools – i.e. to utilize in your business
Recruiters – i.e. for securing new employment opportunities
A majority if not all of these businesses grew by word of mouth years ago and still do so today in spite of the digital age. Imagine that. The best marketing method for your business in this day and age is still word of mouth.
What are your thoughts?
How Does This Relate to Growing Your Online Business?
Simple my friend. You can grow your online business the same way.
Word of mouth.
Before we dive into how to do word of mouth marketing (WOMM)
Let’s look at some statistics on why it’s so effective.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. (Forbes)
The American Marketing Association (AMA) conducted a study of marketing executives to find out what brands were doing and found that 64% of said executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. (Forbes)
That’s amazing don’t you think? I mean in the internet era word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing.
Mind boggling if you ask me.
Since you are selling products and services to other entrepreneurs and business owners consider these statistics as well.
91% of B2B buyers are influenced by WOMM when making their decisions to buy. (USM)
56% of B2B purchasers look to offline WOMM as a source of information and advice, and this number jumps to 88% when online WOMM sources are included. (BaseOne)
*for clarification B2B stands for Business-to-Business
To illustrate the effectiveness of WOMM let me give you an example of it in action. In a previous sales role offline I sold a piece of diagnostic equipment that can detect diseases such as glaucoma 8 years before the onset of symptoms. If you do not know once you are diagnosed with glaucoma it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” you will lose your eyesight. Terrible disease.
Great piece of technology from a clinical standpoint, and highly profitable at the same time for the doctor. Average ROI per patient is $280 which is what the doctor receives from insurance reimbursement. The challenge is it costs $52,000. I don’t care what your ROI is it’s hard as hell to convince a doctor to sign on the dotted line for $52,000.
I went back and forth and back and forth with the doctor over the course of 5 months trying to get him to sign on the dotted line. I could’ve stood on my head and burped jelly beans and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I had one last trick up my sleeve.
I used one of my customers as a referral source. This customer is world-renowned in the treatment of glaucoma. Finally after my prospect spoke and met with said doctor multiple times he finally signed on the dotted line. Eureka! I did it!
This is an example of WOMM word of mouth marketing at it’s finest.
Do you have an example of how word of mouth marketing has worked for you? If so, l’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
Examples of Offline Businesses Built on WOMM
I have done business with my current accountant (CPA) for the last 8 years. Both in a business and personal aspect. I learned of this accountant through my cousin as he used him and so did his in-laws. I have to say and others have too he is one of the best in the business as they say. Definitely not the least expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Does my accountant have a website or blog? No.
Is my accountant on social media? Not a chance.
Has he advertised on the internet? Ah, No.
Are networking events part of his marketing efforts? Absolutely not.
So how did he build a very successful CPA firm?
Word of Mouth!
My financial advisor(s) who handle my investments, life insurance policies and advises on overall financial strategies were brought to my attention through a friend and former colleague. Mind you one of these individuals in particular has been nominated as a top wealth manager by the firm they represent. Also, I am one of the smallest clients he has as most of his clients he advises have assets well into the millions of dollars.
How has he built his business? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.
You’re absolutely right – word of mouth!
Internet is not even part of the conversation.
Are you seeing a trend here? I hope so.
I know. I know. You get it. Word of mouth is very effective and you should be incorporating it into your marketing efforts for your online business.
How do you do it online?
You need to make friends with fellow bloggers and business owners online.
Now you have to remember every blogger and business owner online offers a different type of product or service to their audience than you do.
The best way to start is by commenting on other blogger’s blogs and making friends by leaving genuine, thoughtful comments that add to the conversation CONSISTENTLY.
Let me repeat that last word – CONSISTENTLY.
What do I mean by consistently? Here is an example of commenting consistently.
As you can see I am the top commenter on my friend Enstine Muki’s blog.
Follow along as I am going to give you some examples of how this will work.
Let’s say your business is about showing entrepreneurs how they can make money blogging and you comment on another blog that is all about WordPress and is a soup to nuts resource on how to use WordPress and it’s features to the best of their capability .
To be clear you need to comment and engage with that other blog owner for an unspecified amount of time before you become friends, much like you do in the offline world. Not to say you can’t develop a friendship sooner, but it will take longer online as you will probably never meet in person. Why do I say that?
There is a certain degree of skepticism as you are not able to read one’s body language or truly judge their sincerity without sitting in front of them.
Let’s continue. Shall we.
Through your commenting you become friends with that blog owner who blogs about everything WordPress and WordPress Web Design, etc.
Now that you’re friends this is where word of mouth marketing comes into play.
Let’s say one of your readers leaves a WordPress specific question on your blog when commenting on a post (that you do not know the answer to), or asks a question on social media that comes across your feed, or you see that question anywhere online. You can refer them to your friend who is all about everything WordPress.
Now the same can hold true in reverse. If your WordPress buddy comes across someone either through them leaving a comment on their blog, asking a question on social media about how frustrating their journey has been trying to make money blogging, then your friend can refer them to you.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Good.
The 2 examples I just used are in fact actual business owners and I am going to recognize them right now.
If you want to learn how to make money blogging, you need to check out my friend Enstine Muki’s blog. If you do not know Enstine you’re doing yourself a disservice!
When it comes to WordPress and trying to figure out what plugins you should be using, or how to build your blog with WordPress, or better yet want someone to do it for you Ashley at madlemmings.com is your man.
Obviously your customers are an excellent source for you to grow your business by word of mouth. I know what you’re thinking of course they are. It’s common sense.
There are some tips you can use to ensure that your business grows this way. Also, think of why you have recommended other businesses to your friends, colleagues, peers, etc.
Was it strictly due to the problem they solved for you?
Their customer service?
When a prospect buys one of your products do the following.
Immediately send them an email thanking them for doing so and make sure you include an easy way for them to contact you.
Here is an example.
Subject Line: Thank you for purchasing [Insert Product Name]
I wanted to take a second to thank you for purchasing [insert product name].
If you have any questions whatsoever, please contact me directly by:
Email – Your email address
Phone/Text Message – Your phone number
Talk again soon.
Simple enough right?
You may be asking why give them your phone number?
How many businesses do not give their customers a phone number to call for customer service for whatever reason?
So make sure to include that.
Most bloggers and online entrepreneurs do not give out phone numbers in case a customer wants to get in touch with you.
That’s asinine if you ask me. You’re actually losing business by not doing this one little thing. Now does this mean if you give out your phone number to customers that your phone will start ringing off the hook?
Of course not. Customers just want to know if there is an issue or they need something they can get in touch with you.
In all my years of selling how many calls do I get personally a week from customers?
Not even one per week. It’s more like maybe and I mean maybe once per month.
And I have sold some complex pieces of medical equipment that have all kinds of moving pieces and parts.
In the online world you’re selling digital products more often than not.
How often does a digital product break or have problems?
Rarely. If ever.
Bottom line include a phone number.
Make sense? It better.
After you send that initial email to your new customer. Send them another one in 2 weeks.
Following up is the most critical component in any business and customers feel that they are loved when you do follow-up with them which is important to them.
Being attentive and providing impeccable customer service sets you apart and your business will explode by word of mouth when you do this.
Subject Line: Just Checking In
It’s been a couple weeks since you bought [insert product name].
If you would be so kind, please tell me about your experience so far.
We’d really love to hear it. We are always trying to improve and your
Input is very valuable.
Again shoot me an email or feel free to call/text.
My email is – your email address
My phone number is – your phone number
Have a great day!
Regardless of whether the customer needs anything or not they do appreciate the follow-up.
More importantly they REMEMBER these little things that you do.
Just yesterday I received an email from customer service about a doctor calling in to ask information on how to prescribe the product I am currently selling offline.
Additionally, I do not know this doctor in particular. So what did I do?
I personally went and visited him to introduce myself and explain further the benefits and how his peers are using my product.
This was within a two hour time frame. The doctor replied, “Wow what service. I just called this morning.”
That can make the difference in your word of mouth marketing efforts, especially if your product solves a problem for your customer.
That is a wrap on this blog post for this week.
Let The Conversation Begin. Ready…set…go!
What are your thoughts on what we have discussed today?
Did you find this information to be helpful to you? If so, what part?
I am anxiously awaiting your comments. So don’t be shy.