Great web pages, social media, blogs, smart phones and I-pads appear to be the dominant marketing tools for the small business. These tools cost money and to develop the right uses for the tools will cost you another small fortune. True, they are very powerful tools and should be used and implemented as time and funds allow. I have been an advocate of these tools for years and encourage all my clients to use the latest “tech marketing” tools as part of their overall marketing arsenal. But, in many ways I am old fashioned, and believe that person to person, or word of mouth marketing is still useful and very powerful and should be in every marketing arsenal.
When marketing funds are an issue or when a quicker cash flow is critical, a word of mouth marketing process needs to be developed and implemented. The following is an outline that I suggest in the development of such a plan. (As always, don’t be your own doctor, work with your coach or business consultant to develop a plan specifically for your service/product)
- Your enthusiasm and visible excitement about your business is the foundation for the plan.
- Write a short story about yourself and your products/services that you offer. The key to the story is the differentiation that you have over anything else on the market. (yes, there is always something that is better and different. Work with your coach to “dig it out”.
- If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you have created a data base composed of friends, current and past clients, relatives, etc. The participants in this process can come from any of your sub categories in your data base. Identify the people that talk the most, those who have and are active in a wide circle of people activities and who will support you. Start with your top 10 or 15 people that fit this description.
- Next, meet with your Word of Mouth Marketing Group, one on one. Tell them why you have selected them and how they can help you. Share your story, your benefits and your “difference”. Keep the story and their participation explanation as simple as possible.
- Now, if possible, give them a physical tool (cards, a free something from your firm, a brochure, a secret sealed envelope, or???? ) to use for themselves or possibly share with others. Explain how you would like to receive a referral.
- Establish a follow-up system with your marketing group; it could be over coffee, lunch, etc. The purpose of this visit is to continue the education process about your company and to find out what type of reaction they had when they shared your story.
- Referrals will come your way and an immediate “thank you” should be delivered to your referral source.
Like anything else that is worthwhile, work is involved. The benefit with this system is the low cost, and possible faster results. The challenge is, will you do this?
Do what you say you’re going to do – what you say to others, and what you say to yourself
Helping you succeed is our only business. Visit www.strategicduck.com and contact Nick Petra. Our coaching is second to none, discover for yourself that success is possible.
Nick J. Petra CFP
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