Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How much fuel does ‘word of mouth’ give your business?

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  • #996893
    Lucy Kippist
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    Morning all,
    I was reading @neonelectrical’s thread yesterday about where to spend money to boost his business that’s largely ‘word of mouth’. What a great term! And what a great concept – that clearly benefits Brodie’s trade-based electrical business. It made me wonder how many of you out there in solo land are relying on this method of marketing to fuel your business?
    And if like [USER=93283]@neonelectrical[/USER], you use it quite a bit, it’d be great to hear your best advice for cultivating business this way. And of course, any traps to avoid.

    I’d also be really interested to hear from soloists who have decided to avoid it altogether, or just don’t find they need it…

    #1209405
    Greg_M
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    “Word of mouth” has been 99% of the “advertising” I’ve had in over 40 years of being self employed or in businesses, and I’m still here and paying the bills.

    I’d guess it’s best suited to service type businesses rather than selling widgets, but I’d say even retailers etc. benefit from same or there wouldn’t be the pressure on to get satisfaction feedback, testimonials and proof of loyalty, which as a consumer drives me nuts, deliver the “service” (most don’t) and I will refer you.

    With the exception of replying to a few ads in newspaper tender columns in the early days almost everything else I’ve done has come from direct referrals and that continues today. For some specialised services I have asked clients not to disclose who did the work, so I don’t get swamped by idiots and tyre kickers.

    If as a small business you deliver in spades, provide value for money and stand by your workmanship, product or service, I don’t think you’ll need to spend much on advertising.

    A website is a good idea in this day and age so people who’ve heard of you or your business can find you…but no amount of web development, SEO, digital marketing etc etc etc will help build a business, if what you deliver is crap.

    #1209406
    Lucy Kippist
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    Greg_M, post: 249807, member: 38207 wrote:
    “Word of mouth” has been 99% of the “advertising” I’ve had in over 40 years of being self employed or in businesses, and I’m still here and paying the bills.

    I’d guess it’s best suited to service type businesses rather than selling widgets, but I’d say even retailers etc. benefit from same or there wouldn’t be the pressure on to get satisfaction feedback, testimonials and proof of loyalty, which as a consumer drives me nuts, deliver the “service” (most don’t) and I will refer you.

    With the exception of replying to a few ads in newspaper tender columns in the early days almost everything else I’ve done has come from direct referrals and that continues today. For some specialised services I have asked clients not to disclose who did the work, so I don’t get swamped by idiots and tyre kickers.

    If as a small business you deliver in spades, provide value for money and stand by your workmanship, product or service, I don’t think you’ll need to spend much on advertising.

    A website is a good idea in this day and age so people who’ve heard of you or your business can find you…but no amount of web development, SEO, digital marketing etc etc etc will help build a business, if what you deliver is crap.
    Hi Greg,
    Thank you so much for such a considered response. Wow – 99% of your business is impressive. And I really agree with this comment: “If as a small business you deliver in spades, provide value for money and stand by your workmanship, product or service, I don’t think you’ll need to spend much on advertising.”

    #1209407
    Greg_M
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    There was nothing too original in my approach…my grandfather got in my ear in my early twenties ( a very long time ago) and impressed on me he’d never needed to advertise and why. My great grandfather apparently had the same theory and had taught him.

    Good old fashioned values, and value for money in business still goes a long way imo.

    #1209408
    Lucy Kippist
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    [USER=1315]@Greg M[/USER] sounds like going solo runs in your family? Great advice there that’s been passed down to you.

    #1209409
    bb1
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    Lucy Kippist, post: 249794, member: 98720 wrote:
    Morning all,
    I was reading @neonelectrical’s thread yesterday about where to spend money to boost his business that’s largely ‘word of mouth’. What a great term! And what a great concept – that clearly benefits Brodie’s trade-based electrical business. It made me wonder how many of you out there in solo land are relying on this method of marketing to fuel your business?
    And if like [USER=93283]@neonelectrical[/USER], you use it quite a bit, it’d be great to hear your best advice for cultivating business this way. And of course, any traps to avoid.

    I’d also be really interested to hear from soloists who have decided to avoid it altogether, or just don’t find they need it…

    Currently word of mouth is bringing in about 90% of my business. the cheapest advertising you can get (free last time I checked), and I find by far it brings in a far higher quality client.

    At the end of the day free advertising and quality clients is what most business’s would want I thought.

    #1209410
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi [USER=98720]@Lucy Kippist[/USER] , Marketers and Copywriters talk about engaging website visitors and turning them into paying customers.

    A lot of websites I see do not do that with the main problem being that they talk about themselves too much but not about the customer, or prospect.

    As a result, the content of the website does not meet the prospect’s requirements eg, can I trust what this business states?, will they do a good job? are the prices in my range etc, etc

    If those core questions in the customers head are not met, they will go back to search results and keep looking until they find what they are looking for.

    Here is a simple method of talking about the customer.

    1. Gather intel around what people do not like – go online and search for complaints and make a list.

    2. Use the words “so that you” or “because you”

    3. Flip the script and turn the complaint into a positive.

    Eg, complaint: tradie did not show up to quote.

    “We take our quoting process seriously so that you don’t have to worry if we will turn up on time”. Because you are busy and need a reliable tradesperson and don’t have the time to wait around for us, we even have a guarantee – we keep our appointment or we will give you $10 for your time.

    The guarantee further strengthens the claim and can be used especially by new businesses without a track record.

    The key is to think about what is important to the customer, not what is important to the business.

    Cheers

    #1209411
    Lucy Kippist
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    Hi Paul, thank you for your thoughts on this – I really like the way you have simplified talking to the customer with these steps. Definitely very achievable for most of us I’d say. And this is an excellent reminder; “The key is to think about what is important to the customer, not what is important to the business.”

    #1209412
    bb1
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    Lucy Kippist, post: 250000, member: 98720 wrote:
    “The key is to think about what is important to the customer, not what is important to the business.”

    All sounds good to the marketers, but in reality the number one thing to do is think about what is good for the business, then how we can make it good for the customer, if your only focus is on what is important to the customer, we will be giving product or services away for nothing. Sorry customers are very very important, but we need to think about how that will benefit the business. So many business’s fail because they try to meet every customers whim, and forget the end goal. You cant keep a customer happy if your business is failing.

    #1209413
    bb1
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    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 249923, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi [USER=98720]@Lucy Kippist[/USER] , Marketers and Copywriters talk about engaging website visitors and turning them into paying customers.

    A lot of websites I see do not do that with the main problem being that they talk about themselves too much but not about the customer, or prospect.

    As a result, the content of the website does not meet the prospect’s requirements eg, can I trust what this business states?, will they do a good job? are the prices in my range etc, etc

    If those core questions in the customers head are not met, they will go back to search results and keep looking until they find what they are looking for.

    Here is a simple method of talking about the customer.

    1. Gather intel around what people do not like – go online and search for complaints and make a list.

    2. Use the words “so that you” or “because you”

    3. Flip the script and turn the complaint into a positive.

    Eg, complaint: tradie did not show up to quote.

    “We take our quoting process seriously so that you don’t have to worry if we will turn up on time”. Because you are busy and need a reliable tradesperson and don’t have the time to wait around for us, we even have a guarantee – we keep our appointment or we will give you $10 for your time.

    The guarantee further strengthens the claim and can be used especially by new businesses without a track record.

    The key is to think about what is important to the customer, not what is important to the business.

    Cheers

    I thought the question here was about ”word of mouth” if you have word of mouth working your website or how you portray yourself via your website plays little or no part in it. Or have I missed something somewhere.

    #1209414
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi Bert.

    You are right.

    I didn’t realise until I finished the post that I was responding to the original thread. I thought the post worthy of reading anyway so I left it up.

    I have around 100 regular customers now and 3 or 4 have come from word of mouth although I do not push this angle. For some reason, I would feel more confident and centered asking for referral business in a b2C market than B2B. It is kind of weird why I feel that way – I can’t put my finger on why.

    #1209415
    bb1
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    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 250035, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi Bert.

    You are right.

    I didn’t realise until I finished the post that I was responding to the original thread. I thought the post worthy of reading anyway so I left it up.

    I have around 100 regular customers now and 3 or 4 have come from word of mouth although I do not push this angle. For some reason, I would feel more confident and centered asking for referral business in a b2C market than B2B. It is kind of weird why I feel that way – I can’t put my finger on why.

    Paul, I think a lot of people misunderstand ”word of mouth” or maybe I misunderstand it. it has never been a side of my business ”I have pushed”, and of my ”word of mouth” clients about half are B2c and half B2b (personally don’t like those terms as they are all clients), I have never asked a client to refer me to there friends or colleagues.

    Just my opinion, if you give good customer service ”word of mouth” just happens. Like I said above the cheapest advertising, and the best quality clients.

    #1209416
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    There are a lot of strategies that businesses can employ to push word of mouth – for example, I once had an Accountant that had a message on the back of his cover sheet that he put on all Tax Returns that requested the recipient to pass along his details if they felt his service was second to none.

    I agree that word of mouth that just happens naturally is very valuable and special.

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