Word of mouth marketing or evangelism marketing is a very very cost effective method of promoting your company or service. With some refinements and a few of our helpful tips peppered in you will be a marketing wonder child!
1: Time it properly
So many people don’t realize that one of the best times to request a referral is right after you have converted a prospective customer. Too many people forget to jump into that window of opportunity and ask a newly on boarded client for a referral. Make sure you did a good job though otherwise the client might tell there friends about a bad experience. Just remember that bad word spreads a LOT faster than a positive review.
2: Ask nicely
Remember that the person you are asking has no reason to recommend you to their friends. Unless your service is that good it inspires them to tell their friends (This is called product evangelism). Don’t just blurt it out like “Do you know anyone I can approach who might be interested in our products?”. Instead ask tactfully “if you think of anyone else who I might be able to assist, please let us know and we will look after them”.
3: Give a referral
When you refer people to your clients. They will automatically be inclined to do the same in return. I remember one occasion I was working with a gentlemen from PayPal integration and he referred someone within PayPal to our company for some lanyards and security passes. From that I still remember him and I still refer other businesses to him now for their merchant needs, the same goes for you. Tip: Careful who you refer to though, if pass clients or people you know onto someone and that someone doesn’t perform a good service, I guarantee it will come back on you and this creates bad association between you and your potential clients.
4: Use LinkedIn
Check out the connections of people you are networked with. LinkedIn has some real weight with business people these days and the chances are that people you have a professional relationship with, will have some valuable connections. Reach out to who you know and see if those people can give you an introduction rather than just cold calling their connections or randomly adding people, I don’t just add anyone I like to keep my group tightly knit with only people who I have met IRL (in real life).
5: Say thank you with a gift
Definitely show your appreciation with a gift. Even if a client didn’t refer anyone to your company, I bet they will after receiving a corporate gift with your information and thank you message. Maybe even include a discount voucher or special offer message to your customers. There is a reason the promotional item industry is a billion dollar one. Because corporate gift items work.
Some awesome corporate gifts include compendiums, tote bags or even a sports backpack with your logo embroidered. People use these all the time, even a nice metal pen or a lanyard can help get your message across. Hampers are old fashioned but still a favorite too so don’t overlook this old classic.
6: Join a network and make friends
Even if you don’t gain any direct business from someone within a group. Chances are that they will know someone who wants to engage your company or services. Get friendly with the locals, just don’t scream about your business every 5 minutes or they will probably stop inviting you to the neighborhood barbecues.
This closely follows number 6 above. Do some community work and not only will it improve your public image you will no doubt make friends in the process which will boost your social rankings in the local area, this equals more work for you. However, you should start how you mean to finish and remember you are probably in for the long haul. People don’t forget a good helper and if you get some business and start declining to volunteer people will see straight through your false charity. You should be volunteering because you want to, and not solely to grab business.
8: Create quality online content.
Setup a blog, they are pretty easy to do. You could use blogger or one of the other big free hosted blog services. Try to do some writing about your area of expertise and also try to offer people who might read your blog some useful information that helps them to out. Heck, if you are feeling adventurous sign up for some web hosting and make a blog of your own. Be sure they use a 1 click installer though.
9: This one is VERY important
Be excellent in your field. Offer people friendly service that they can’t get anywhere else and pretty soon people will begin contacting you to engage your business. I can’t stress the importance enough of working hard for your customer, it is the essence of running a successful business and being an expert is not limited to just your trade & skills. It entails being an excellent person to person negotiator and communicating in a friendly and inviting manor.
So what now? Get out and market yourself! Below are some handy products our clients use to get their name out from our Lanyards range.