Word of Mouth Alone Will Let You Down
Professional salespeople know that if one relies on the spread of word of mouth promotion in either the business or domestic worlds – very little business will be written. And if business does come in from recommendation, this in general can amount to less than one tenth of the real business that should or could be written if the appropriate rules of marketing are followed.
This may surprise some people who claim that their business grew entirely by word of mouth. They forget however that they advertise in Daily Newspapers, The Yellow Pages Telephone Directory, do Leaflet drops, do special deals with clients for referrals and so on. But if one asks them, where the bulk of their business comes from, they invariably tell you – its word of mouth.
On the other hand, the seasoned professional is quick to tell you that his research indicates that the only time word of mouth works well, is when you least want it to.
Say if you are selling a product to a select industry group. If they are happy with your product or service, they usually won’t tell their business associates about it for fear of losing their competitive edge.
If they are unhappy they will make sure as many of their associates know about it as possible. Sad to say, but its true. So obviously there is some confusion as to what word of mouth can do and doesn’t do.
IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HENRY FORD – IT HAS TO BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU TOO
The late Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company learned this rule very early in his career. In fact, he always associated word of mouth advertising as only being an effective mechanism after people had their memories jogged first through other advertising.
Remember Henry Ford sold more cars in his time than all his other competitors put together. Ones perception would have to suggest his success was purely based on word of mouth advertising, yet he had this to say on the subject.
“I advertise not to procure new business, as I have all the business I can handle but I advertise to remind people I am still in business. If for whatever reason they didn’t know I was still in business, they wouldn’t buy my product. The more I advertise the bigger the public think I am. If only they knew I advertise to appear to be more than twice my size. That is the key to my success.”
That same success is available to the professional that works at creating the right word of mouth climate for any particular product or service … and the most effective word of mouth climate is always the referral. Not just any type of referral, but the type the professional can fully control.
Statistically, the quickest and most effective way to build a favourable word of mouth reputation, is to have others who have ALREADY BUILT THEIR REPUTATION help the professional build his reputation. In other words he works at getting others to put business his way by their personal recommendation. And that is what real word of mouth is all about.
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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