March 11, 2016 by Scott Howard
As I was reviewing the list of 17 Ways To Increase Your Business Profitability I noticed a theme in the last 4 items that has to do with something called Word Of Mouth. As I wrap up this series, I’ll show you how this applies and why it matters.
Word of mouth is simply one person telling another person about you. It’s been going on forever. Consider the story of Adam, Eve and the serpent in Genesis chapter 3. The serpent convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, then it is word of mouth that gets Adam to join in too.
13. Don’t Fall For Advertising Gimmicks to Build Your Business. The best advertising follows human relationship principles. The Word Of Mouth method is built on trust. Advertising gimmicks are cheap ways to try and bypass this trust factor and may actually hurt you in the long run.
14. Be Willing to Try Something Different. Don’t confuse strategy with tactics. I help business owners develop a marketing strategy that can be applied to all different kinds of tactics. If the tactics that you were using 20 years ago (phone book advertising) are not effective anymore, than simply be willing to try a different tactic, (display ads online), but don’t automatically abandon the strategy unless that needs changing too.
15. Be Honest and Truthful. Word of mouth works two ways. Screw someone over and they will let everyone about what a rotten person you are. Be honest and you will get authentic, positive word of mouth from those happy customers.
16. Provide Value. Meeting Expectations provides value. Exceeding those expectations provides opportunities to get people to really share with others what you did for them.
17. Ask Happy Customers to Tell Others About You. Sometimes you need to provide your customers a way to share this positive word of mouth. One of my advertising partners has every customer fill out an online review at the completion of each job they perform. Now with social media and a ton of review sites, you need to pay attention to what is being said about you online. And don’t be shy about asking your customers to submit an honest review.
I must also tell you that you need to monitor and respond to all of these comments and reviews in a timely manner. Last week I got feedback from a poor review I left on Yelp about a local restaurant. Good right? Not really, it was 18 months after my wife and I dined there.
By the way, managing all this online activity can be a full time job or at least something you might want to hire an outside company to do for you/with you. I can help. Contact me.