Today’s lesson will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.
There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:
- Expert to Expert
- Expert to Peer
- Peer to Peer
When experts are talking about your products or service you will usually receive an amazing rush of sales and new customers, so obviously this is one of the best things that can happen. You can also help to facilitate this by offering free products to experts for them to review.
Expert opinions can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services, and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.
There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:
- First impressions from an expert
- Organized trial of your products or services
- Pooling peer experiences
It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and service. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. While you may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will help take your products and services to the top.
- Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:
- Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
- Offer to video their testimonials
- Ask to interview them for feedback to improve with
- Offer them a premier customer membership
- Ask them to join a referral incentive program
There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services.
Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost a little of its luster over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:
- Expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
- Boring, lacking something fresh and new
- Too short of a time slot to offer enough information
While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective, it needs to be presented in the right sequence, come from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible, and be delivered at the right time in the medium.
We’re going to switch gears a little and talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need for your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts.
Without these results, you can’t fine-tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat and lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyze whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:
- Direct experience with the product
- Interaction with peers using the same product
- Experts’ experience
- Scientific journals and other resources
- Independent reviews and opinions
- You can accelerate this process by:
- Providing your own demo’s and free trials
- Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
- Offer a good true story that can be passed around
Once you have the ability and are able to work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much better. If you need help with any of this along the way, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our experienced business coaches.
Also, get my FREE Momentum Training to help you figure out your path to a bigger future.
Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision-making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision-making process.
- Give the product a chance and transitions from a “no” to a “maybe”.
- Check out the options and investigate the different products available.
- Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features and operations to see if there is a fit with their needs.
- Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will be discriminate with their first product as they form their opinion of you.
- Purchases again and starts spreading positive word of mouth as an advocate of your products.
So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
From “No” to “Maybe”
This stage is really important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees, and incentives.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage, they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit their life. This is where you need to make sure your hard information is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”
Make a Purchase
At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost-effective, and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage, a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”
Advocates for your Products
At this last stage of decision making the customer is immensely pleased with your product and often keeps using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day and have already (or will be) back to your establishment for more.
We talked a minute ago about the different types of purchasers. Now we are going to take a closer look at their characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision-making process.
- Wants to stand out from the crowd
- Know what’s hot and trendy
- Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
- Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it animatedly
- Driven by excellence
- More concerned with possibilities than realities
- Always looking to be a leader
- Always looking for a new vision
- Wants to be perceived as competent
- Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
- Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
- Wants products that meet the industry standard
- Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
- Needs to shop around for the best deal
- Needs a support system
- Wants what everyone else has
- Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
- Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
- Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
- Will search for loopholes and problems
- Wants to use it in the standard industry way
As you can see, each type of consumer wants something just a little different depending on their personality type. The key to successful word of mouth is to target and cater to each type of consumer. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, try our GUIDED TOUR for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.
Also check out our FREE training, the Momentum Series, that will help you get focused on what your goals are and where you are going in life.
Next time we’ll talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and what you can do to help facilitate that.
I first became aware of who Dr. Benjamin Hardy was when he was promoting his new book, Willpower Doesn’t Work. The fact that you had a chance to win Joe Polish’s Tesla if you bought a copy of the book may or may not have been part of the reason that book is now on my self. However, the Tesla isn’t in my garage. As I read more of his work on Medium and on other platforms, I began to gain a real appreciation for what he does. I love how he’s willing to be controversial on a topic, and then he backs it up from personal experience.
A couple of months ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcast shows, The Richie Norton Show, and Richie was interviewing Benjamin and talking about his upcoming book, Personality Isn’t Permanent. It was a great interview and it made me reflect back on my own life and how I’ve seen changes in my personality over the years.
A story that he shared on the podcast, and one he also talks about in his book, was when he was dating his wife, Lauren. They spent some time with some of his old high school friends. He said, “she saw a side of me she didn’t know existed and, frankly, didn’t like.” He explained how his present and former selves were two very different people and when he was with his old friends, he shifted back “into the role, identity, behavior, and even language patterns he exhibited in high school.”
The following day I noticed that Richie had posted something on Facebook talking about the interview. By this time I had already pre-ordered my copy of the book. But I was intrigued and wanted to hear what others had thought of the interview and started to read the comments on the post. I recall one individual who only had to read the title to know he was not going to agree with Benjamin. I don’t recall the full context of his comments, but he believed that in essence, you can have changes within yourself as an individual, but your personality is permanent and remains that way throughout your life.
I’m sure that there are a number of things in his book that he will get some opposition to and the fact that he argues that personality tests are about as scientific as horoscopes is sure to stir some emotions.
Personality Isn’t Permanent will be available on June 16. When I was given the opportunity to review it ahead of time, I jumped on it and I’m glad that I did. I’m the type of person that underlines, highlights, and writes notes in the margin when I read a book. This book is a mess with all my highlights, scribbles, and notes. I really enjoyed reading and absorbing this book. Though many of the things Benjamin talks about could be considered controversial, he backs them up with solid, logical evidence.
This is the first that I’m actually writing about this book, but over the past couple of weeks, I have discussed it’s content and specific ideas in my podcast, Daily Success Strategies.
Who You Become Is A Choice
“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” – Daniel Gilbert, PhD
I’ve been involved in a number of leadership events where we’ve talked about personality tests. I’ve learned how they can help you to understand your team and how they can help you build a team by matching the right personalities together. But one thing always seemed to be an assumed fact. Once someone was given their results from their test. Once they were identified as Red, Square, Horse, or whatever the particular personality test used, that is what they were pegged for life.
From my own life, I know that I am a very different person than I was 20 years ago. All aspects of my life, including my personality, are different.
As I read, I wasn’t wondering if our personalities could change, because I know they can. I was more curious about the possibility of intentionally making that change yourself to become the person you want to be.
With these thoughts in my mind, I reflected on a story I heard Jeff Goins tell about how he strategically defined who he wanted to be. It wasn’t more than a few pages later that Benjamin shared that exact story!
Benjamin condenses Jeff’s story here:
“When done intentionally and strategically, defining yourself as a certain “type” of person, or giving yourself a specific label, may be useful. For instance, Jeff Goins had always wanted to be a writer but hadn’t done anything about it. Yet, when he labeled himself as a “writer,” that identification bolstered him to start writing, and, ultimately, to become a successful author.”
Create Your Future Self
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
You are not “caused” by your past
Benjamin emphasizes that your personality is an effect, not a cause and you primarily shape your personality by the goals that you have set for yourself. When you have set specific goals and are intentional about where you are going, he says you can become the person who you want to become.
He says that successful people start by figuring out who they want to become and use that as a filter for everything they do.
Explaining this, he uses the example of Matthew McConaughey’s hero speech when he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.
When I was fifteen years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who’s your hero?” And I said… “You know who it is? It’s me in ten years.” So I turned twenty-five. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and says, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “Not even close! No, no, no.” she said, “Why?” I said, “because my hero’s me at thirty-five.” So you see, every day, every week, every month, and every year of my life, my hero’s always ten years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me, because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.
“One day, you will become your future self. The question is: Who is your future self?”
This stresses the importance of setting specific goals and intentionally working towards who you want to become. You should think, focus, and act like the person you intend to become, not as who you are right now. If you are not doing this, who’s creating the future you? Are you going to leave that to chance? Leave it to your environment or what happens to you?
If you don’t have very specific and intentional goals set for yourself, start with my free Momentum Series training that will walk you through the process to get started.
Your personality can, should, and does change. It will change according to how you see yourself, how you act, and the environment you are in. You absolutely can become the person you want to be when you act intentionally and are aware of this.
“Life is a classroom. You’re here to grow. You’re here to live by faith and design. You’re here. You’re here to choose. The choice is yours. Who will you be?”
Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six-step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harness the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!
There are six steps to harassing word of mouth:
- Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would buy your products.
- Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters, and laggards.
- Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
- Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
- Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
- Create and implement your word of mouth campaign.
The Decision Maker Matrix is based on years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts to different concerns you may come across when working with different adopters and putting together a decision process for each one.
We are now going to move on to the 30 ways to harass the power of WOM:
Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:
- Experts’ roundtables
- Experts’ selling groups
Seminars, Workshops & Speeches
These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:
- Speakers program
- Group selling
- Dinner meetings
- Peer selling groups
- Teleconferenced experts’ panels
- Trade show events/opportunities
“Canned” Word of Mouth
The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:
- World Wide Web
As we’ve talked about before a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:
- Referral Selling Program
The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here’s some of the “new” media options:
- Faxback services
- Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
- Call centers
Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth
Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:
- Customer service
- Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
- Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
- Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
- Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)
Internal Word of Mouth
- Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others
- Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success
As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please try our GUIDED TOUR to access our exclusive resources that can help you put this whole thing together.
If you are looking for help and direction setting your goals and the path to achieving them, try our FREE Momentum Series.
Last time we talked about the second part of word of mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten the purchasing decision time of your customers which can increase your profits immensely.
Today we’re going to talk about the nine levels of word of mouth which gives you a tool to measure the word of mouth circulating around your company, products, and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.
So, launching into the nine levels of word of mouth-it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative and the positive levels are positive.
This is the worst of the worst and means your product is creating a scandal. Remember, when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.
Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you.
While not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you, they will give a negative response.
At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings, this can be a little confusing.
This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a bit of a slippery slope because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. In fact, you should work to make it a positive one.
At this level we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word of mouth about your company, products, and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.
When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products.
Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company, and their shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.
Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service, and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.
Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:
- Harley Davidson
- Saturn Cars
- Apple Computers
- Celestial Teas
We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get help from our experienced business coaches.
If you are a current entrepreneur and you are worried about your business and how you are going to survive in these uncertain times, or if you will survive, you need to register for my MARKETING ACCELERATED COURSE. In this five-module course, I’ll show you cost-free strategies that will increase your leads, conversions, and profits immediately.
Next time we’re going to talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.