With 68 percent of small-business owners identifying word-of-mouth as the best way to acquire a new customer, you’re not alone in wanting to understand how to increase it for your business.
Unfortunately, it’s not something that can be bought. Word-of-mouth referrals require someone trusted by others to put their reputation on the line for your business. That’s why it’s such a desired source for new customers.
Wait. Don’t give up. This is, actually, a good thing in the long run. Just because you can’t buy it doesn’t mean you can’t get more of it. You just need to know where and how to invest.
The Components Behind Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Start by breaking down “word of mouth” into its components:
- “Words” — what you want people to share with others about you.
- “Mouths” — the people you have trusted relationships with who are willing to share your “Words” with others.
To get more word-of-mouth referrals for your business, start by investing in building relationships with influential people (people you deem influential for your specific business, goals and target customer) in your community and make it easy for them to share your words with others. Since other local business owners are a highly-trusted resource for people looking for answers, building relationships with other local business owners unlocks access to a wealth of word-of-mouth opportunities. But just like with your customers, these relationships take time to build and need to be nurtured to benefit your business.
Next, you need to regularly “feed your Mouths” with a consistent supply of the Words you want them to share with others. By regularly sharing information on any of the items below (and there are plenty more), you make it easy for word-of-mouth referrals to happen:
- Featured services you provide
- Products you offer
- Events you’re hosting
- Upcoming promotions
What Types of Words Should People Share about Your Business?
Ask yourself what types of information you like to share with others. Personally, I like to share things that teach, inform or show people new things. I share special promotions if there is some way to make them seem “exclusive” or “special” to my connections.
My personal favorite words to share come from my local wine store owner, and the tips he gives me about wine that I’m then able to share with my friends, teaching them something new. For instance, he tells me the history of the wine maker, the significance of the year, and other unique features of the wine. It’s one thing to walk into a dinner party with a great bottle of wine, but something totally different when I can do it with the inside scoop from my personal connection.
One Final Thought
Just like you, other business owners greatly appreciate when you take the time to share their story and/or business with others. The more you open yourself up to learning about what your network is doing and share it with others, the more others will do the same for you.
Eric Grovesis Co-Founder & CEO of Alignable