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Marketing / Communication skills

5 ways to ensure customers are saying nice things behind your back

We all know word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. So how do you ensure people aren’t just talking about you, but they’re saying the right things?

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Nothing beat word-of-mouth when it comes to marketing. It has the potential to give you the most loyal customers and is, of course, one of the most cost-effective marketing methods available to us all.

Unfortunately, word-of-mouth can also be one of the slower forms of marketing – it can take a while before you’re generating reliable referrals from it.

As the ‘Rule of Seven’ explains, a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you. This also applies to word-of-mouth. They may hear about you from a variety of people before they decide to take action. This means it is vital that customers say nice things behind your back!

"People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care"

So how do you get people talking about you in a positive and constructive way?

1. Never trash talk your competitors

So, you’ve done a SWOT analysis and know both your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your competitors. It’s important that you never share the latter with your customers, however. Instead focus on your own strength, highlighting where you know your competitors won’t be able to match you without saying it. Always keep your conversations positive.

2. Never trash talk your customers

Seems obvious, right? Well you would be surprised how many times I’ve come across it. As you develop a relationship with your customer and start feeling familiar with them, it may be tempting to chat about other customers to them. Just don’t. Don’t talk about other customers in front of them and definitely not in a negative way. If you have something amazing to say, this may be appropriate, but consider your words carefully!

3. Publish something

Make it easier for customers to recommend you and your experience in the field by giving them something physical to talk about. Whether it’s a blog post, something in a local magazine or newspaper or even a whole book. Let your work do the talking for you.

4. Care about your customers

Building relationships, especially if you are in a service-based business, is vital to the success of your venture. Selling the product is far less important than developing the relationship and trust. People will talk positively about you if you have been able to solve their problem. They don’t care how much you know (or how great your product is) until they know how much you care. So spend time with them, find out what they are looking for and then offer a solution.

5. Express your passion

You started your solo career because you had an idea, passion and drive. Now, a few years in, that passion may not be as clear in your day-to-day running anymore. The constant pressure of replying to emails and keeping the cash flow healthy may have distracted you. Try to inject passion into what you do, even when you’re feeling tired. People are more inclined to recommend someone who loves what they do.

Do you have any sure-fire strategies for generating great word-of-mouth in your business? Share them below!

David Koetsier

is a South Australian based Chess Coach who offers chess coaching at schools. Chesslife's main focus is on the many benefits that follow from chess (namely increased concentration and strategic planning), and how these help promote the learning of our future generation. Connect with him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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