Word of mouth sales are the ‘holy grail’ that every business strives for, and why wouldn’t they? Consumers discuss specific brands casually around 90 times per week (source). 92 per cent of people will trust recommendations from people they know (source). This represents a gold mine of sales waiting for you!
When interviewed, 4 out of 5 businesses wondered why they aren’t attracting enough word of mouth sales (source).
So why do so many businesses fail in attracting word of mouth sales and what can you do about it? Read on.
Tip #1: They need to remember you for word of mouth sales to happen
You may have the perfect product, coupled with fantastic service and offered at a great price. But in order to refer you, your customers need to actually remember your business when a conversation arises. Sounds simple enough? But how do you do that? You create a strong brand. If your brand fundamentals are strong and consistent (logo, colour, fonts, etc.), it will be easier for people to remember you.
It’s common knowledge that consumers need to see a business multiple times before they can remember it. Unfortunately, the number of times they need to see your brand is exponentially increased if what you are showing them is inconsistent.
Tip #2: They need a way to tell people about you
This used to be simple. You would leave your business card or flyer with a client and they would pass it along to someone else. While this still works exceptionally well, you have many more avenues available to you now.
A lot of word of mouth sales are generated via online reviews (especially on social media) these days. So make sure that the process of leaving you a review is simple, easy and straightforward. Ensure your business has an official presence in the most common places where people leave reviews. For example, places like Google My Business, Facebook, WOMO, Yelp and so on.
If you send out regular advertising material such as email newsletters, make sure you include a prompt or a button that allows readers to easily forward it to others.
Tip #3: Give them something to talk about
Those ninety brands people talk about on a weekly basis normally have something happening that is worth talking about. Something like “Did you know Sandhurst Fine Foods has a new olive range that’s 100 per cent grown in Australia?” (which they do, and it’s fantastic) is something that can easily and organically come up in conversation. But it won’t unless you give your audience something to talk about and effectively get this news in front of them.
Tip #4: Reward them for sharing
‘Refer a friend and get…’ is incredibly common, because it works. People love freebies, discounts and bonuses and if you offer these to them as a reward for referring your business, they will be more inclined to do so.
If you aren’t receiving as many words of mouth referrals as you’d like, don’t automatically assume it’s a failure of your product, service or business. It means your marketing isn’t set up in a way that allows it to easily and organically happen.