The Art of the Referral – Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 1

Today we’ll start a new series talking all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson we’ll get a feel for what exactly word of mouth is.

Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have
and the products they purchase. If you treat people right and spread the word about your new products or services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will sustain your business for a long time.

Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Bad news seems invariably to travel faster than good news and if you have a less than high-quality product or weak customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know to not buy your products and services.

Any complaint must be dealt with immediately giving the customer the benefit of the doubt if at all possible. Think about the harm you might do to your business by standing your ground on a $5, a $10 or even a $100 sale.

The age of technology has proved to be an amazing benefit in the world of word on mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking and all the other online mediums available and making it easier and easier for consumers to share their experiences. And, remember this is all free advertising for you.

There are four components that make up your revenues:

1)      # of Prospective Customers
2)      Conversion Rate of Prospects to Customers
3)      Product Price
4)      How Often Customers Buy

If you offer simplicity, ease and a fun purchasing atmosphere and you’ll influence #1 & #4. If people like their experience and feel they have received good value for their money they will come back and buy again. Better yet they will tell their friends what a great experience they had.

If you have enough people saying good things about you and your products you have a self-sustaining referral-based business. The nice thing about a referral-based business is that it does not have to cost a lot of money for marketing although a referral rewards program can be useful.

The next area I want to talk about quickly is how to minimize the friction, or stress, involved with decision making. No matter how easily people find decision making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money.

You may have felt this as Buyer’s Remorse after you bought a new car or home and started to second-guess your purchase. When you minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.

There are a few secrets to accelerate the customers decision making progress:

  • Your benefits, features, claims and promises must be obvious, clear and concise.
  • The information you offer must be complete, easy to understand, credible and balanced.
  • Use comparisons with competitors’ products that show a marked difference.
  • Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
  • Make trial periods easy.
  • You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
  • Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
  • Your support, delivery and other operational systems must be perfect.
Your website can reflect these features. Offer more than information. Offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.

This wraps up the first post in our series on word of mouth marketing. If you need help identifying your target market and the issues they are experience in their purchasing experience that is making their decision time long, try our FREE test drive and work with one of our coaches to come up with the best way to smooth out your purchasing experience.

Next time we’ll move forward with word of mouth and talk about the power of word of mouth and what exactly this powerful tool is and can be used for.

Larry Earnhart
Alchemist Professors
April 9, 2014
Read our book: Transmutation: Taking Your Business From Lead to Gold
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