How do you get your clients and customers to sing out for you? And how important is that, anyway? One recent piece of research says that 15% of your customers will be “influencers.” These people can bring a fair amount of new work to you on a consistent basis. Makes you want to spend a little time thinking about who your “influencers” are, doesn't it?
We all already know that word-of-mouth marketing is 5 times more powerful in its effect than advertising. The statistics vary, but one article I read a few days ago stated that about a third of consumers try a brand due to a personal recommendation by someone they know. Even in the business-to-business (B2B) world this holds true. And here is a HUGE important point – the “influencers” who talk about your business have to know you but do not have to be an existing client. You can get a significant amount of business from someone who knows and likes your work even if they have never spent a dime with you! Don't forget that, it's important.
So, how can you get this “sing-your-praises” word of mouth buzz going?
- You can't beat starting your “sing-your-praises” marketing by making sure that you meet your customer's need each and every time. ASK if what you have provided has solved their problem, and if it has not then offer to change it now.
- Notice who naturally send others to you, and make sure to thank them each time with a note or phone call. Let them know you notice how they are helping you build business, and keep in mind that those who refer to you may not be buying from you. Treat them as if they ARE customers, for they are of great value to you.
- If you have customers who sing your praises to YOU but have not referred others, send them a carefully crafted note and ask them to consider referring their friends or business acquaintances who might need what you offer. If they follow through and you gain a new customer be sure to offer your thanks for the follow-through.
With consistent follow-through, you can thank those who sing your praises and create even more good will and good energy for your business. Set up a system to do this, delegate it to a trusty assistant, and watch your business grow.
(C) Sue Painter