In the last post we started our series on word of mouth and talked about how to make your customers purchasing experience a painless one. We are going to continue with that theme today. We’re going to talk about the power of word of mouth and how to use it to your advantage.
People use advisors to guide them in their decision-making. We all rely on the expertise of others to help us make decisions – this is called social proof. Understand exactly what and how word of mouth works and you will see all the great advantages it has to offer you.

Word of mouth accelerates the decision-making process resulting in increased profits for your business. You can influence this acceleration by making the process easier. Social proof from the buyer’s friends and family generate trust in you and your product allowing the buyer to decide in your favour.
Traditional advertising draws as little as one response for every thousand impressions. Many of those responses are just to ask for more information before the customer even considers purchasing. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and act. On average customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.

So, what exactly is word of mouth? Well, we know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word of mouth is a communication that happens between an existing customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an already established level of trust.

Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer where they have not established relationship with you or level of trust. Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!

We talked above about the benefits of word of mouth now let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. 

Some of these are:

·      The information is custom tailored to the potential customer because of the relationship to the referrer.
·       It’s more personal, relevant and believable.
·       It’s customer-driven and thus more believable.
·       It’s self-generating and can take on a life of its own (go viral).
·       It becomes part of the product’s description.
·       The source of word of mouth can be important and more effective when coming from an expert.
·       Word of mouth saves you time and money.
To fully utilize word of mouth you need to understand:

  1. Where is your word of mouth coming from?
  2. What products are being affected by word of mouth?
  3. How is your word of mouth traveling?
Once you know these things you can work out a plan on how to trigger more word of mouth. This wraps up this lesson on word of mouth. If you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can impact your business, try our FREE test drive to access our wealth of resources and tools.
Next time we’re going to dive into the nine levels of word of mouth. These levels help you understand which word of mouth is positive and which is not.

Larry Earnhart
Alchemist Professors
April 15, 2014
Read our book: Transmutation: Taking Your Business From Lead to Gold
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