Harness the Power of Word of Mouth

Today we’re going to discuss how to harness the power of Word of Mouth (WOM). This will include the six-step process to success and the 30+ (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harness the power of WOM. So now that I have your attention, let’s get started!

There are six steps to harnessing WOM:

  1. Understand your customers’ values and priorities so you can better understand why they would want to buy your products;
  2. Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters and laggards;
  3. Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted;
  4. Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording, and WOM tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll discuss this below);
  5. Put together the resources for the highest WOM impact;
  6. Create and implement your WOM campaign.


The Decision Maker Matrix is based off of years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts different concerns you may come across when working with different adopters and develops a decision process for each one.

We are now going to move on to the 30+ ways to harness the power of WOM:

Use Experts

Experts can come in many forms and all of their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts you could gather information from include:

  • Customers;
  • Suppliers;
  • Subject Matter Experts;
  • Salespeople;
  • Experts’ roundtables;
  • Experts’ selling groups;

 

Seminars, Workshops & Speeches

These venues are the perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend such events are used to providing feedback, so you can use a survey or some other method to gather information to review later. Some events to consider are:

  • Speakers program;
  • Seminars;
  • Webinars;
  • Group selling;
  • Dinner meetings;
  • Peer selling groups;
  • Video conference experts’ panels;
  • Trade show events/opportunities.

 

Referral Selling

As we’ve mentioned before, a referral program can be very useful in building your business. By using some of the following strategies you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive WOM. These strategies are:

  • Testimonials;
  • Networking;
  • Referral Selling Program.

 

“New” Media

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/or services and then listen for the feedback about them. Most social media options could be considered “newer” media:

  • Facebook, Facebook Groups, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Live;
  • TikTok;
  • Instagram;
  • YouTube;
  • WhatsApp;
  • A host of others.

 

Using Traditional Media for WOM

Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback and is still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:

  • Customer service;
  • PR;
  • Placements;
  • Events;
  • Promotions;
  • WOM in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail;
  • Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training;
  • WOM incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs);
  • Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals).

 

Internal WOM

  • Encourage employee WOM and sharing feedback with family, friends and others;
  • Offer rewards or commission for WOM success.

 

As you can see there are countless ways you can work to increase your level of positive WOM marketing. If you need help with any of this, reach out to me for assistance.

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