Word of mouth isn’t a strategy

When asked about sales sources, most people respond with “word of mouth” as their top channel.

And that’s often the lowest-hanging fruit for generating more revenue for your organization.

But when I ask, “What are you doing to actively nurture these word-of-mouth opportunities,” I usually get blank stares.

See, “word of mouth” is often seen as a passive endeavor. Larry does some great work for Jill and then just guesses she’ll send him more when the opportunity arises.

Which certainly can happen.

But what if you had a system in place by which you stayed top of mind with your best partners, clients, and network and actively fueled referrals?

How could that change the narrative when it comes to your word-of-mouth business?

Here are three ideas you can use to turn word-of-mouth into a referral system that will help deliver a steady stream of new opportunities:

  1. Be proactive about asking for referrals and reviews. Instead of relying on “hope”, make sure you make it as easy as possible for your clients to refer you and write reviews. Brightlocal has a tool where you can grab a direct link to your Google Reviews. Share that and remember to always ask for referrals.
  2. Actively ask your network how YOU can refer THEM. When you offer assistance to others, the tendency is to reciprocate. Supercharge this by creating a “How do I introduce you?” questionnaire you can share that includes an example that uses how to introduce YOU as an example.
  3. Build a referral “pod” of symbiotic businesses. Grab information for a few other businesses that share customers/customer types and listen for opportunities to refer each other out when you hear about customer challenges. E.g. if your business is in Search Engine Optimization, you may hear about clients looking for Paid Search, Website Design, or even Business Coaching. Have people who perform these types of services in your pod and introduce them to one another so that even a small group creates real referral power.

Want to learn more? Drop us a line and we can talk about your referral system and other ways to get it running more effectively.