In episode 79 of Small Business Big Marketing I asked a number of small business owners what their most effective marketing strategy was. All of them answered “word-of-mouth marketing, of course!”
But (and it’s a big BUT) you don’t just wake up one day and say I’m going to generate some word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth marketing requires work … and there are certain things you can do to ensure it actually happens.
That’s where long-time listener, first time emailer to the show Curtis Crawford from Alert Alarm Company stepped in with his 7 ways to generate word-of-mouth in business:
Hey Tim …
I noticed that the small business owners you interviewed all said ‘word of mouth’ but didn’t really know what or how to cultivate it (the photographer being the exception) I don’t think that this is well known and most business owners are ‘just waiting for rain’ so to speak.
- Be referable – do good work, show up and smell good (I added the last one from the episode) and be memorable for something (good).
- Stay in front of your customers – I send out a hard copy newsletter quarterly through the mail. while i don’t get very good intimidate response, it has really helped me connect with my customers, become more than just the ‘alarm guy’ but a trusted adviser that stays connected. I do know that 2 sales are directly because of the newsletter. The lifetime value of those 2 will pay the cost of the newsletter printing and postage for YEARS…
- Make sure your customers know what you do and why you are better – the newsletter helps a lot with spreading this message.
- Send small tokens of appreciation for the referral – I send a thank-you card with a scratch-off lottery ticket in them. The tickets are available in most states here in the US, cost $1-5 and add a little more to the thank you.
- Send a thank you for the sale – i send cash or gift certificates (not for my business, but for restaurants or movies, etc, unrelated to this business) to the referral source with a nice thank you card.
- Ask for referrals – if the product/service is good. then people are glad to tell their friends and contacts about you. all it takes is just a little question “do you know someone else who could use _____?”
- Make it a system and name it – it just makes it that much more real and if you have employees, then you can offload a lot of the legwork.
Anyhow, that has been eating at me since I listened to the episode and just wanted to make sure I got it out so maybe it can help others.
So, do you agree? How do you generate word-of-mouth for your business? Add your idea in the comments section below.