Decisions, decisions, decisions...
This series (The Value of Word-of-Mouth) began describing how to make your customers purchasing experience a shorter, easier one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit-- We’re going to talk about the power of word-of-mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.
The reality is, everyone of us could use an advisor from time to time to offer additional perspectives to help us make a decision.
We rely on the expertise of others to fill in our knowledge gaps and to ensure that we make the right decisions as scenarios are presented to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word-of-mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember these aspects when working to understand word-of-mouth:
It helps to accelerate the decision-making process for increased profits.
You can accelerate product making decisions by making the process easier.
Instead of low-ball advertising and the used car salesman approach, try simply to deliver on your word-of-mouth promises.
Traditional, more passive advertising draws about one response for every thousand viewed ads and most of those result in the potential customer asking for more information before they consider purchasing from you.
When you get information from someone you ALREADY KNOW AND TRUST, you are more likely to take their word for it and act.
On average, customers purchase two out of every five recommendations that their trusted associates make. That’s a HUGE difference from the usual one in a thousand.
So, what exactly is word-of-mouth? Well, we know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word-of-mouth is a communication that happens between a current customer and a potential customer. Obviously, you want the conversation(s) to be in your business’ favor. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two or more people that already carries an established level of trust between them.
Now, compare this to everyday advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer where the audience has never established any type of relationship with you or garnered any level of trust-- Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!
We talked above about the benefits of word-of-mouth, however, now let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:
The information exchanged about your products is custom-tailored to the potential customer because of the established relationship of the referrer.
The information is more personal, relevant and believable.
The information is customer-driven.
The information is self-generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information being passed via the Internet.
The information becomes part of the product’s description within the perspective of the potential customer.
The source of word-of-mouth can be important and more effective when coming from an actual product expert.
Word-of-mouth opportunities simply saves you marketing time and money.
To fully utilize the sales benefits of word-of-mouth, you need to understand:
1. Where are your existing word-of-mouth opportunities coming from?
2. Which products in your portfolio are being positively (or negatively) affected by word-of-mouth?
3. How is your word-of-mouth information being transmitted to potential customers (media channels, BNI groups, etc.)?
Once you know these things you can work out a refined marketing plan on how to invoke more word-of-mouth sales opportunities. Our current, happy customers are some of our greatest ambassadors and influencers.