The real truth about getting customers by “Word of Mouth”

Posted by jasoneconomides

“How do you get the majority of your business?” The answer to that question for 99% of the people I meet is: “Word of mouth” or “Referrals”

Well that’s great. You may well be getting most of your business via word of mouth and referrals. But that’s not really the critical question.

The question is – Are you getting the volume of business that you actually NEED in order to afford to buy your cat that expensive food it loves, the volume of business you need to pay for your next car service or perhaps even pay for your next mortgage payment.

Here is the truth about the statement “I get most of my business from referrals” – It’s just an EGO BOOST. You know it’s true. It makes you feel good that people recommend you. Don’t get me wrong, it IS good that people recommend you, but EGO BOOSTS don’t pay the bills.

Do you have an army of people actually promoting your product or service  for you, at no cost to you? Do you actually have a pro-active referral system?

Have you put in place formal joint ventures with people with a similar target audience to yourself, but who don’t compete with you? Can you put an offer together that a complementary firm can send out along with their next

For example, let’s say you are real estate agent. Why not put together a campaign to identify all of the local reputable home remodellers/building contractors, and ask them to email to all of their current clients and past
clients, a free market valuation along with a free report on how to sell their home in 60 days or less using your tried and tested methods?

Or perhaps you are a business consultant. How about getting in touch with business brokers, to offer their sellers and indeed their buyers, a free business plan session with you?

Or perhaps you are a guitar teacher. Get in touch with local music shops to have them offer their customers a free 30 minute lesson with every set of strings they sell?

Maybe you run your own Virtual Assistant business. Have you partnered with a business or marketing coach, to offer their customers an exclusive deal for one of your market dominating services in return for you sending a
message to your database an offer from the coach to offer your clients a free marketing audit?

Look you can’t afford to wait for referrals to happen. You have to MAKE them happen, and sell THROUGH people strategically, not accidentally. Look at the above examples – and inverse and/or reciprocal arrangement is also possible – e.g. A music shop offering guitar teachers the opportunity for students to get an exclusive 20% discount off of strings. (The idea here is not to sell guitar strings, it’s to get a new customer through the door and profit  from the LIFETIME value of that student.  They’ll soon want to upgrade their guitar, or even have it repaired and may become a customer of yours for YEARS to come)

Home remodellers can offer real estate agents to pass on to all of their clients a 10% discount on some work.

Don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring – build strategic JVs to get your phone ringing for you. (We have a 30 minute instructional video on this one strategy in our E-Learning marketing system

If you can’t quite envision how exactly this strategy will work for your business just get in touch with us, and we’ll give you some ideas….

One Response to “The real truth about getting customers by “Word of Mouth””

  1. Is Everything You Thought You Knew About Marketing and Advertising Wrong? (Part I) said...

    [...] I always say to business owners to speak with their best clients, and ask them why they started doing business with them and then get them to spread the word to their friends, colleagues or associates about how great their experience was and why they should get in touch with them. A lot of businesses boast that the majority of their business comes in through referrals, but actually don’t have a pro-active referral generating strategy.  I wrote about this in my latest blog post entitled The Real Truth About Getting Business by Word of Mouth. [...]

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