Do you know what Word-Of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is? Chances are you do, but have never heard it referred to in this way. WOMM or Word of Mouth Marketing is just good old fashioned ‘spreading the word’ and smart tradespeople have been using it forever to generate new business.
Most of us spend lots of time on social media sending messages of one sort or another across the internet. When you tell your Facebook followers just how good you are and they share your updates with others, you are engaging in WOMM. Pssst, pass it on… We’ve all been doing it since we were knee-high.
WOMM and construction
WOMM is a popular way of sourcing new clients within the construction industry. All you have to do is work hard on the referral process; when you finish a job, ask your client to spread the word. This should not be your only source of marketing; think of it more as a highly effective starting point.
Ways in which to boost your WOMM
- Customer service survey – this can be done via email or over the phone. Ask a few simple questions that can be answered quickly. You can also ask the client to rate you on a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being first rate. Satisfied customers are more likely to refer others to you. Provide links to your website and Facebook pages so that they can leave glowing testimonials.
- Ask for a referral – you can do this without seeming pushy. Consider including a note at the bottom of your invoices saying something like ‘Love us, then rate us!’ Add links to your website and Facebook page. You can add the same message to your business cards. If you like personally branded products, how about pens, mouse mats or calendars or diaries with our details on them? This will keep you firmly in the customer’s mind.
- Track your WOMM results – ask new clients where they heard about you. If it was via another client, you may want to think about getting in touch with them to say thank you and offer something like a discount off their next project order.
WOMM builds trust
Since WOMM is so powerful, ask yourself are you making the most of it in your business? If not, you should be. WOMM marketing is valuable because consumers tend to trust it more than other forms of persuasion. Research has shown that referrals are a great source of new business, so you should encourage satisfied customers to tell their friends.
It’s important that people are talking about you and taking an interest in what you do. Rather than trying to get more Twitter followers, you should focus on communicating with the ones you already have. By talking to them and sharing your goals, you can get them to care about what’s important to you.
Here are three areas you should focus on:
Engaging with your followers and really listening to them never fails to spark conversations online. Whatever communication you have with existing or prospective customers online and via social media, pay attention to it. Use good customer service to boost your image and show how good you are.
Provide people in your market with adequate information and good reasons to talk. If you have new products, services, special offers or funny stories to share, do so. Let them see you as a real person and not just a name on a van.
Your followers should be impressed with you so give them plenty of ways to see you shine. Show how important they are to you and encourage them to share ideas. By getting them actively involved, they will be struck by your approachability and want to do business with you rather than similar companies offering a similar service.
Talk to your target market
Years ago, word-of-mouth marketing was one of the few tools used by businesses to market themselves. Even today, some well-established, more traditional businesses still swear by this and only this method to tell the world how good they are. These days, your target market is more likely to be a global rather than a local one. No matter where in the world you are based or what sort of trade you are involved in, spreading the word should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy.
Whether at a networking event, on social media or chatting with clients informally, never forget the power of the personal exchange. In these days of non-stop online chatter, word-of-mouth recommendation is the best form of marketing there is.