Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 3

Posted by michelep

In the last post we discussed how putting a system in place to help your customers shorten their purchase decision time can increase your profits immensely.

Today we’re going to talk about the nine levels of word of mouth to give you a tool to measure the word of mouth circulating around your company, products and services. This will determine where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word of mouth-it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative and the positive levels are positive. 

We’ll start with the negatives, so we can finish on a positive note 

Minus 4

This is the worst level to be on, your product is creating a scandal. Remember, when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Paracetamol, were deemed unsafe? This is the word of mouth you want to avoid!

Minus 3

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. Your customers are boycotting you.

Minus 2

While, not going out of their way to boycott, when customers are asked about you they will give a negative response. 

Minus 1

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. However, they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings, this can be a little confusing. 

Level 0

This is a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a bit of a slippery slope, because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. In fact, you should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1

At this level we are working our way into the positive word of mouth about your company, products and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products.

Plus 3

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company and their shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

Plus 4

Your product is the talk of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

That wraps up todays post, I hope it gives you some insight to the kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where we are going to talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 2

Posted by michelep

Last post we began our series on ‘word of mouth’ and discussed ways to keep your customers purchase experience short and sweet. Today we’re going to talk about the power of word of mouth and how to use it to your advantage.

The reality is, sometimes we need an advisor to guide us when making purchase decisions. We rely on the expertise of others to give us confidence that we have made the right decision when making a purchase. When you take the time to understand exactly how word of mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you.

Traditional advertising draws approximately one response per every thousand ads and most of those responses are wanting more information before even considering making a purchase. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and take action. On average customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.

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 customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an established level of trust.

Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer where they have not established relationship with you or 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 now let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:

  • The information is custom tailored to the potential customer because of the friendly relationship of the referrer.
  • It’s more personal, relevant and believable.
  • It’s customer driven.
  • It’s self generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information age of the Internet.
  • It becomes part of the product’s description.
  • The source of word of mouth can be important and more effective when coming from an expert.
  • Word of mouth saves you time and money.

To fully utilize word of mouth you need to understand:

  1. Where is your word of mouth coming from?
  2. What products are being affected by word of mouth?
  3. How is your word of mouth traveling?

Once you have an understanding of this, you can put a plan in place to trigger more word of mouth for your business. This wraps up todays post, if you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can positively impact your business, try our GUIDED TOUR to access a wealth of resources and tools.

Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 1

Posted by michelep

Today is the start of a new series, where we will be talking all about ‘Word of Mouth’ and how it can make or break a business in a very short period of time. In today’s post we will cover exactly what ‘Word of Mouth’ is.

Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and the best part is it’s absolutely free. People like to talk about the ads they see, experiences they have and the products they purchase. If you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will help sustain your business for a long time.

As positive as word of mouth can be for your business, it can also be extremely negative. Bad news seems to travel faster than good news and if you have a less than high-quality product or a poor customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know to not buy your products and services.

Technology proves to have amazing benefits for word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking and all the other online mediums readily available, it makes it easier for consumers to share their experiences – remember this is all free advertising for you.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the importance of shortening the customer decision cycle to help customers/client choose more quickly and easily. There are three great ways to increase sales by shortening the decision cycle. These are:

  • Increasing the overall dollar amount customers spend at each purchase
  • Increasing your number of customers
  • Increasing the frequency of purchases

Now let’s take a closer look at decision speed. Offer a simplistic, easy and fun purchasing atmosphere to encourage your customers to make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens your customers will purchase from you more frequently, spend more money than usual and refer friends/family. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.

It’s important to note that the time it takes your customer to make a purchase decision far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a good look at your companies image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees and product quality.

To wrap up this week’s blog, we’ll cover how to minimize the friction, or stress, involved with decision making. No matter how easily people find decision making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase decision, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.

There are a few secrets to accelerate the customers decision making progress:

  • Your features, benefits, claims and promises must be obvious, clear and concise.
  • The information you offer must be easy to understand, credible and balanced.
  • Use comparisons that show a distinct difference.
  • Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
  • Make trial periods easy.
  • You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
  • Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
  • Your customer support, delivery and other operational systems must be perfect.

Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information, you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.

This wraps up the first post of this series. If you need assistance with identifying your target market and improving your customers purchasing experience, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our coaches to come up with the best way to enhance your purchasing experience.

Multiply Your Profits – Part 4

Posted by michelep

Over the last few posts we have discussed how to multiply your profits, using the resources you currently have within your business. So far we’ve covered the following areas:

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients
  4. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  5. Open Water Fishing
  6. Call for Back-Up
  7. Go Big Online
  8. Bartering with the Best
  9. Give Away the Farm

Today we’ll finish up this series with the last three tips. We’ll cover:

  1. Finding Your Pot of Gold
  2. Stay at the Top of Your Game
  3. Wealth from the Inside Out

These are key areas to focus on, to help you maintain momentum within your business.

Finding Your Pot of Gold

It’s important to always have a goal that you’re working towards in order to stay on course and keep moving forward. Your goal needs to be something you can achieve and utilize to your full potential. Don’t be afraid to aim high, just make sure you are clear on what your goal is and exactly what you need to do to get there. Continue to hold yourself accountable and raise the bar as you accomplish the steps towards your goal.

Stay at the Top of Your Game

Once you’ve mastered these areas, you need to make sure you are staying competitive and constantly coming up with new ways to use your new tools. Don’t become complacent when there is always more on the horizon. In order to stay successful, your business must continue to evolve.

Wealth from the Inside Out

Wealth and riches are defined within yourself, not by your profits alone. You can use these strategies in both your business and personal life. When you naturally reflect your genuine self and values, you will automatically attract like-minded people to you. This will happen in life and in business.

You are capable of reaching your goals as long as they are well-defined with a paved road in – sight.

Throughout the last seven posts we have covered; making the most out of the resources you currently have within your business, and finding ways to increase your profits with these resources.

If you need help with any of these areas, steps or processes, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our resources and tools to help you succeed.

Multiply Your Profits – Part 3

Posted by michelep

Over the last few posts we’ve discussed how to increase your profits by using the resources you already have within your business. So far we’ve covered:

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients
  4. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  5. Open Water Fishing
  6. Call for Back-Up

Today we’ll cover the next three:

  1. Go Big Online
  2. Bartering with the Best
  3. Give Away the Farm

Go Big Online

There are businesses who solely operate online, there are those who operate out of a  physical address only and there are those who do both. Those who do both have a higher chance in being successful than the previous two. When you take the time to establish an online presence you open up your business to the entire world, through a few clicks of the mouse.

To successfully sell products online, you need to ensure that you:

  1. Offer high-quality products/services that people want.
  2. Build an attractive, effective website that’s user-friendly.
  3. Generate high-quality traffic at a low cost.
  4. With all of these things in place you can find success with you online exposure.

Bartering with the Best

If you’ve ever gone to a garage sale and paid the sticker price, then it’s time to up your bartering game! You will realize that most things are negotiable when you take the time to barter with your suppliers. Companies are always open to bartering and when all is said and done you could find yourself saving significantly on the things your business needs to operate smoothly.

Give Away the Farm

Ok, so not literally, but you have to be willing to stay in contact with prospective clients and offer them products and services they are going to need. You don’t know what they need until you offer them everything you’ve got then work with them to put together the perfect package the fit their needs.

When you take the time to put yourself at the front of their minds, they are more likely to work with you going forward. You can do this by offering free newsletters, a free consulting session or other valuable tools.

This wraps up these three areas of maximizing your profits using your current resources.

If you’re unsure where to start, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our amazing business coaches who can help you navigate your next steps.

Stay tuned for next week where we will cover the final 3 tips.