Making people talk about your business

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You’ve heard the talk, you’ve heard the hype: word-of-mouth marketing  is the ‘in-thing.’ This method of marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective modes of creating awareness. But what exactly should you do to create a word-of –mouth marketing campaign that works for you and your business?

At the end of your word-of-mouth marketing campaign, the results should be evident. You should have more people talking about you, whi9ch will translate into increased sales volume. Sounds easy, right? But then, how do you begin?

My preferences could be your preferences

There are places that I frequent whenever I want to buy something- where I get my clothes, a preferred supermarket for my shopping and a joint where I hang out with my friends. As I write this article, the reason why I prefer these places to others dawns on me. In fact, in my opinion, no other place matches what I receive there. Well, at least for now until someone else tells me of a better option. I am a loyal customer because I know I will get what I want- quality product that will take care of my needs. Again, the service providers will be at hand to give me what I need. I gladly refer my friends to ‘my’ shops. After they experience the joy of a great service, they too will brag to their friends about ‘this place’ and the cycle will continue.

What customers want

Research shows that customers want basic things from a supplier. First they expect your product or service to do what you say it will do (quality core service). They also want friendly caring service; they want to be acknowledged, to feel that someone is interested in them as an individual and that they cared for.

 Usually, products on sale in our businesses are of a certain standard or quality and their performance is based on this. But then,  there is the issue of competition- there are other people providing similar goods and services. This makes it necessary to have something that differentiates your business. It calls for an ‘extra thing’ that needs to be added to the business and care in service provision. By offering more than just a good or service, you have a competitive edge that motivates people to get talking.

To add that little bit, you need to win the hearts of the people you are selling to and  everyone you interact with. Always remember that first impressions are vital. Pay attention to your image, make eye contact, smile and keep it professional and modulate your tone when you speak to someone on the phone.  You are the brand and it is all about how people feel about you when in contact with them. We all need to be around people who are warm and friendly. It will then be compelled to want to know you more, and what your line of business is.

When you make contact with people, pay attention to their names. We all love it when people refer to us by our names. It makes us have a feeling of belonging, that we are not just ‘another person’, we are recognized and known! it is  a wonderful feelings for anyone , including those customers you are eagerly aiming to inject with your talking virus. Let them know that you know them by name because this will not only build a sense of commitment to your business, but also loyalty to you.

When a customer brings up an issue, no matter how small it is, acknowledge it and take the appropriate action. It doesn’t matter how ‘irrelevant’ the matter is- simply show them you are interested, you are willing to listen and help . let people know that you easily accessible and they can reach you when they wish. Give them your phone number or email address.

Lasting impression

It is about leaving a lasting impression on people. It is about finding the right people, giving them something to talk on your behalf. Most people are social. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people among his friends , family, and associates. A person’s broader network may consist of hundreds or thousands of people, depending on his position in society. For instance, it would be a worthwhile venture to interact with a waitress who gets a chance to communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week.

According to research, individuals are more inclined to believe the word-of-mouth more than formal methods of promotions; the receiver of word-of-mouth referrals tends to believe that the communicator is speaking honestly and is unlikely to have an ulterior motive.

It is your job to share great experiences with people; it is your job to make sure that they do not keep quiet about it. Send them mails, give them free samples, call them to find out how they are doing, create a blog where you can interact, serve them like it was a first time each time they come to buy from you, the list is endless. Finally, just remember that ‘smart companies get people talking.’

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