We’ve all worked jobs we hated. We were underpaid, underappreciated and bored out of our minds. We either quit these jobs or we were fired for poor performance because we just gave up. Instead of taking that approach, it’s best to consider every job as an opportunity to learn something new.
When you give people the tools they need to come up with unordinary solutions, you are unknowingly enhancing their lives for the long run. What if one of your terrible jobs had been one with no pay at all and you needed to come up with some ingenious ways of making money? I bet you could have found a diamond in that rough. This idea can also be used in your own business.
Now, I don’t recommend going into the next meeting declaring that no one will receive pay anymore, but you can tell them that their potential bonuses and other perks are now dependent on their creativity, in ways to enhance business.
Let’s talk about a great concept called financial literacy. This certainly isn’t something they taught you in school, but is still essential to know. So, what is financial literacy?
The old school way teaches people to be good employees and not employers. This mindset will never make you wealthy. You need to focus on becoming a good employer. You also need to learn how to not only attain wealth, but sustain wealth for generations. This is what financial literacy is all about.
So, how do you get out of the rat race and start working toward a wealthier future? You need to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. Take a look at your own life and you’ll probably find the following:
- Real Estate
- Intellectual Property
- Consumer Loans
- Credit Cards
You’ve probably been fooled into thinking things like your house, car and entertainment system are assets. They aren’t! Assets should be continuing to MAKE you money. When you continue to struggle, you are not building wealth. If your primary income is from wages and each time you make more money, you pay taxes-you’re not really creating wealth either, are you?
So, if buying a house isn’t an asset (and, it’s not because you spend about 30 years of your life paying it off), then what is? Here are some of the best assets to attain and when you can start to actually see wealth being created because of it:
Average time of holding on to an asset before selling it for a higher value:
- Stocks (Startups and small companies are good investments)
- Mutual funds
- Real estate
- Notes (IOUs)
- Royalties on intellectual property
- Valuables that produce income or appreciate
So, here are the steps to getting out of the rat race and onto your journey of creating wealth:
- Understand the difference between an asset and a liability.
- Concentrate your efforts on buying income-earning assets.
- Focus on keeping liabilities and expenses at a minimum.
If you need help adjusting your mindset to a wealthy one, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our experienced business coaches today.
In the last post I gave you a list of tips and tricks to use to make Word of Mouth (WOM) work for your business. Hopefully you found which ones are the best fit for your company, products and target customers, so you can put them to work in your Word of Mouth campaign.
Today we are going to wrap up this topic on Word of Mouth, and provide you with specific steps to create a WOM marketing campaign.
Let’s take a look at those steps:
- Seed the market. Find a way to get your product into the hands of key influencers.
- Provide a channel for the influencers to talk and get all fired up about your product.
- Offer lots of testimonials and other resources.
- Form an ongoing group that meets once a year in person and once a month by teleconference.
- Create fun events to bring users together and invite non-users.
- Develop videos for your website featuring product demos and enthusiastic customers talking with other enthusiastic customers.
- Hold engaging seminars and workshops.
- Create a club with membership benefits.
- Pass out flyers.
- Tell friends and family.
- Offer special incentives and discounts for friends who tell their friends.
- Put the Internet to work.
- Do at least one outrageous thing to generate WOM.
- Empower employees to go the extra mile.
- Encourage networking and brainstorm ideas.
- Run special promotions.
- Encourage referrals with the use of a strong referral program.
- Use a script to tell people exactly what to say in their WOM communication.
These are all great ways you can spread the word about your products and services. Before you can release your Word of Mouth campaign out into the world, you need to ensure that you’ve covered all the essentials.
Here’s your WOM campaign checklist:
- Are all of your communications sending the same simple message? If it doesn’t create word of mouth, it’s not a captivating story.
- Is your product positioned as part of a category?
- Are your examples miraculous enough to be shared?
- Do you enhance your materials with success stories from real people?
- Are you using experts effectively and in an objective manner?
- Have you created mechanisms so people can follow up on the WOM they hear, as well as simple ways of inquiring or ordering?
- Have you made the decision process easy for customers?
- Have you created events and mechanisms so that once a year your prospects hear about your product, and it is easier to try or buy?
These are all essential elements to take keep in mind when finalizing your word of mouth campaign. I hope you’ve found this series on WOM to be a helpful resource and are getting ready to put it into action for your own products and services.
If you need help with anything in this series, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to the best resources, tools and business coaches you can find.
In the last post we covered how to put together a Word of Mouth campaign. Today we’re going to give you some great ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.
We’ve put together a list, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman, you can find these tips in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.
Here they are:
- Give them something worth talking about
- Cater to your original customers shamelessly
- Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
- Ask them to tell their friends and family
- Remember, the customer is always right
- Always be honest
- Surprise your customers by giving them a little more than they expected
- Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
- Make eye contact, and smile, even through the telephone
- Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, more selection.
- The customer is your reason for being. Never take her for granted.
- Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
- Never embarrass a customer, especially by making him feel ignorant.
- Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
- Never shout across the store about the personal items a customer is buying.
- When you don’t know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
- Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
- Don’t allow known shoplifters into the store.
- Never allow two sales staff to stand there talking when a customer is waiting.
- The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
- If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
- Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
- Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
- Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
- Hire a shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
- If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign “Under New Management” outside. Then sell it later based on the increased sales.
- Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
- People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, see a smile, or be treated right.
- Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
- Use the best sign-maker you can find.
- Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
- Have a zero error system in place. There may be terrible consequences for example, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other’s work for safety.
- Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
- Always measure your performance.
- Always ask a customer to “come back soon”
- If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
- Tell jokes.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so we’re going to end this post here and leave you with the task of going through and taking a look at the tips and tricks you like best. Also, it’s a good idea to focus on the tips that fit your company, products, services and target customers for the most effectiveness.
If you need any help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR and get all the help you need from our experience business coaches.
In this week’s post we discuss how to research and create a ‘Word of Mouth’ campaign. People tend to remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary.
As you’re researching, here are some questions you need to ask yourself along the way:
- What are your customers willing to tell prospective clients?
- Exactly how do your customers describe your product/service?
- What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
- What do they need to know, but are not wanting to ask?
- What happens when these issues are raised?
- Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger a purchase?
- Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and doubts of your prospects?
- How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
- How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
- What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
- Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
- What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?
The reason Word of Mouth research is so important is that it helps to spread genuine feedback from real customers.
Now we are going to discuss how to construct a Word of Mouth campaign. First we’ll take a look at the key things you need to put together a campaign. These are:
- A superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
- A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
- A large number of enthusiastic consumers
- A way of reaching the right prospects
- One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
- A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
- A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
- A way of reducing overall risk
Once you have these ready to go, you should consider the situations in which your company would benefit from a strong Word of Mouth program. Some of these situations are:
- When there are credibility problems
- When there are breakthroughs
- When there are marginal improvements
- Where the product has to be tested in large numbers or over a long period of time
- Where there is high risk in trying the product
- With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
- With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumors, or telling lies about your product
- When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly
This wraps up this week’s post on Word of Mouth research and how it can be used when creating your campaign. If you need help getting started, try our GUIDED TOUR where you’ll have access to an abundance of tools and resources.
In today’s post we will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.
There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:
- Expert to Expert
- Expert to Peer
- Peer to Peer
When experts are talking about your products or services you will usually receive an amazing influx of sales and new customers, this is one of the best things that can happen for your business. A way to help to facilitate this is by offering free products to experts for them to review.
Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.
There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:
- First impressions from an expert
- Organized trial of your products or services
- Pooling peer experiences
It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and services. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. You may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will continue praising your products and services.
Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:
- Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
- Offer to record their testimonials
- Ask to interview them for feedback on things you can improve
- Offer them a premier customer membership
- Ask them to join a referral incentive program
There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services.
Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost some of its luster over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:
- It’s often expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
- It can be boring – lacking something fresh, new and exciting
- Too short of a time slot to offer enough information
While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective it needs to be presented in the right sequence, come from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible and be delivered at the right time in the medium.
Now we’ll move on to talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need to your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts.
Without these results you can’t fine tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat, lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyze whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:
- Direct experience with the product
- Interaction with peers who are using the same product
- Experts’ experience
- Scientific journals and other resources
- Independent reviews and opinions
You can accelerate this process by:
- Providing your own demo’s and free trials
- Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
- Offer a good true story that can be passed around
Once you have the ability to work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much more effectively. If you need help with any of this along the way, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our experienced business coaches.