Action Plan Online, Part 9 of 12
When recovery is leaving you behind
by Lindsey Norris
Build your WOM
With the economy racing ahead at about the same speed as Potash Corp is eagerly racing towards a takeover by BHP (read: not at all) you’re probably looking for more customers. Why not use your current customers to spread the word? But generating word of mouth can be hard to do. Here, Lethbridge-based marketing consultant David Howse offers help. DAVID HOWSE’S WEBSITE: http://www.davidhowsemarketing.com/index2.htm
Don’t mistake passive WOM for the real deal
Unlike business-to-consumer situations, “where a plate of cookies can make customers talk about you,” business-to-business arrangements can take more work, Howse says. Too many managers at smaller enterprises neglect WOM because of time constraints, or take it for granted because they have anecdotal evidence that customers are recommending them. But to be truly effective, you have to build a WOM strategy they same way you would any other marketing campaign. Ask how new customers heard about you, try to “wow” them and keep in mind the caveat of WOM: bad WOM spreads much faster and wider than the good stuff does.
Go beyond the call of duty
If there are things you can do or things you see that you can implement to save your customer money or time, by all means, do it. Just make sure you keep track of it and the cost to report back. “Start implementing the lowest costing ones at first, track how sales are affected, and keep adding value if improved sales justify doing so,” Howse says. Nothing makes people talk like saving money does.
Feed your clients
Literally. “A free lunch in itself can be WOM worthy,” Howse says. While there, talk about WOM. Then take it a step further and connect two of your clients. Before you know it, you are networking, and on your way to the holy grail of WOM – evangelization, when clients talk about you everywhere they go.
If you feel like your company wasn’t invited to the recovery party, consider pork.
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