Put it to Work!
In the last post we talked about how to conduct word of mouth research and then put that research to work. Today we’re going to give you some great tried and true ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.
We’ve done it in a list form, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman which you can find in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.
Here they are:
- Give them something worth talking about
- Cater to your initial customers shamelessly
- Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
- Ask them to tell their friends
- The customer is always right
- Always tell the truth
- Surprise the customers by giving them a little more than they expected
- Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
- Make eye contact, and smile, even through the telephone
- Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, extra matches, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, more selection.
- Never be annoyed when a customer asks you to change a large bill even if he doesn’t buy anything.
- The customer is your reason for being. Never take her for granted. If you do, she will never come back, and will go straight to your competition.
- Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
- Never embarrass a customer, especially by making him feel ignorant.
- Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
- Never shout across the store, “How much are these condoms?” or anything about the personal items a customer is buying.
- When you don’t know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
- Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
- Don’t allow known shoplifters into the store.
- Don’t ever let two sales staff talk when a customer is waiting. The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
- If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
- Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
- Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
- Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
- Hire a shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
- If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign “Under New Management” outside. Then sell it later based on the increased sales.
- One expert (in the drugstore’s case, a nurse or physician) who is convinced you are better brings hundreds of customers and their friends through word of mouth.
- Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
- People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, or see a smile, or be treated right.
- Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
- Use the best sign-maker you can find and pay him more than anybody else.
- If someone is mad at you, they will tell everyone who will listen for as long as they are angry, maybe even longer. So correct any dissatisfaction, and ask customers to send their friends.
- Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
- Have a zero error system. There may be terrible consequences for example, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other’s work for safety.
- Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
- Always measure your performance.
- Always ask a customer to “come back soon”
- If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
- Tell jokes.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so I we’re going to wrap up this lesson and leave you with the homework of going through and taking a look at the tips and tricks you like best. Also, look for tips that fit your company, products, services and target customers for the most effectiveness.
If you need help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR and get all the help you need from our experience business coaches.
How Well Do You Know Your Vendors?
It’s extremely important to build relationships with your vendors and those around you can bring in new customers/clients and increase awareness of your company branding.
The people you work directly with on your products and services are really the ones with the most to gain when you find success. By taking the time to get to know them, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities you didn’t realize were there.
Look for great ways to offer your vendors rewards for helping grow your business and everyone wins. One of ways you can do this is by offering performance based incentives that are much larger than their normal charges.
Here’s the step-by-step process to putting together a partnership with a vendor:
- Approach all the vendors you work with and offer an incentive based on performance.
- Put the generous incentive plan together from their perspective, even take suggestions.
- Develop a clear, concise and easy to track incentive plan, this will increase competition between vendors and therefore higher performance levels.
- Encourage subsequent sales instead of focusing only on the initial sale. By doing this you can give away more of the profit from the initial sale to your vendors and make higher profits off the backend products.
- Future sales
- Upsell better and more profitable products/services
- Cross-sell to additional products
- Create an incentive plan that’s irresistible to your vendors by offering generous, exclusive compensation.
Think of all the vendors you work with and the creative ways you can put together an incentive plan that entices them to be part of your business. Use their talents, capabilities and connections and you’ll both be winners.
Putting together an incentive plan doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Use our GUIDED TOUR to come up with some great ideas and put your incentive plan together for maximum results.
Telemarketing is NOT the Anti-Christ
Today you’ll learn how to use direct mail marketing and, yes, telemarketing to your full advantage. I know, the word “telemarketing” might as well be four letters, but there is a way to help customers feel like they are getting personal attention and keep them from blocking your number!
With the success direct mail marketing has had and the availability of computers, these can be used as a powerful marketing tool for your success. Telemarketing is best for high priced, high margin products/services.
Here are the key steps to putting together a highly effective direct mail marketing program:
1. List all benefits customers will get from the purchase of your products and services.
2. Pick the single most powerful benefit out of that list.
3. Build an attention-getting headline around that benefit. Remember to use emotion-fulfill the desire to be young, wealthy, desired, popular or successful.
4. Develop a sales letter using the headline you created to grab attention, provide information and motivate customers to act.
5. Put together supplementary items, such as a brochure, order form, reply envelope or note that encourages them to read the letter.
6. Rent or purchase a mailing list.
7. Compare cost of mailing vs. cost per order.
8. Continue to test and refine your direct mail marketing plan.
You can see how direct mail marketing can help you find a local or even country-wide target market to send letters or postcards to and draw in new clientele and customers. Fine-tuning your marketing campaign will bring better results and therefore lower the overall cost of the campaign.
To be successful in telemarketing you need to:
• Put together a plan, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish during the call.
• Develop a list of topics to discuss and the questions you want to present around these topics.
• Input verbiage checking to see if you are calling at a good time.
• Include enough questions to keep the conversation interesting, but not too many to sound like you are interrogating.
• Start with broad questions and narrow your focus as the conversation continues.
• Offer feedback to show them you are paying attention and appreciate their time.
• Don’t insult their intelligence or manipulate them.
• Listen first, talk second.
• Be relaxed and conversational.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be the trauma it’s made out to be. You can put together an honest, personal and effective telemarketing campaign that is endearing, informative and gets the job done. Think of how you would want to be treated on a marketing call. Ask your friends and family what they hate most about the telemarketing calls they get and work hard to craft your plan in a better way.
“When selling by telephone, you have approximately thirty seconds to convince the customer to listen to you. You need an opening statement that captures their attention, conveys who you are, what you want and why the prospect should listen.” Jay Abraham
It’s easy to see how direct mail marketing and telemarketing can positively affect your business by bringing in new customers and increasing the level of awareness about your products, services and company branding. Our GUIDED TOUR offers the resources and tools you need to work through these processes and put together the best marketing plan you can.
Make it Pop!
There are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)
- Command Attention
- Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
- Prove the Benefits
- Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
- Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:
- Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
- Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer.
- Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
- Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will enact your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads into the last component.
- Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something. Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. We can help you with this too. Try our GUIDED TOUR to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.