Jane Gives Thanks to Dads
Smart Man Online: Ken Halloway

Jane Spreads Word of Mouth

Word of mouth...it's a marketing method that has been tried and true for longer than marketing has been a profitable endeavor. Long before the printing press introduced the written word to the masses, long before the Sears catalog enticed young men to peek at women's underthings in the shadows of their own room, and long before soap operas gave rise to TV commercials, people learned about new products via word of mouth.

To this day, word of mouth remains the best and most effective method of getting your products and services in front of the right market, at the right time. Jane has said this more than once, but it bears repeating: women are better at word of mouth marketing than men, hands down. Some folks may call it gossip... but the truth is less sullied; the truth is that when women have something good to say about you or your product, you can bet they are going to share it -- with family and friends.

When they have something bad to say -- they will share it -- with complete strangers, in addition to family and friends!! That old 20th century Dick and Jane ditty, " Telegraph, telephone, tell-a-girl," wasn't just a joke, folks! As with many old adages, it came to represent the power of a woman's voice. Here are 5 Word of Mouth ways to get us talking about you!

1. Join WOMMA. This is the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association. Visit their site and plan to meet them in Chicago in July. To get you started, use this discount code when you register: "Blogsareawesome" without the quotes, of course. Make sure the B is a cap. Jane thinks this is a worthwhile  organization -- many voices in many places.

2.  Sponsor a tea. Afternoon tea is coming back! (we can't say it ever left, we can't even say it was ever here...it's more an English custom, but...Americans everywhere are adopting it in droves.) Invite 20 of your best women customers to tea, complete with crumbcakes and other pastries, don't forget the cream and sugar, and tell them they can bring a friend. For every friend who has never been to your website or shop or office, give the bringer a gift certificate to Special Teas. What a treat! Both women will be talking about it for weeks to come!

3. Have a reception after hours -- invitation only. At this reception, have personalized postcards about your products or services prepared. Hand them out AT THE END of the reception, keeping the actual reception for pampering. Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages...these are the kinds of things that keep women coming back for more. If you are a virtual company, create a virtual reception -- complete with video and audio, and coupons to all the pampering you can't do live. Keep it to a minimum...5-10 minutes and make sure the women KNOW how much time it's going to take out of their day. Then, send a thank you. Jane can hear the buzz beginning already!

4. Put an ad in your local paper, or suburban publication, or whatever print publication your customers read, thanking them for their patronage. Put names in there -- first names are fine -- if your client list numbers in the thousands, this may be difficult, but take a moment to think out of the box and find a way to show your customers and clients how much they mean to you -- and then offer them a motivational book, or a book of quotations, when they book their next appointment or when they Women_talking2next visit your store or website.

5. ASK your women customers for input on your best-selling product or service. Specifically, ask these women what they like about it, what they don't like, how they would improve it, and...most of all, would they recommend it to their friends? Make sure you find out why or why not! And, again, give them something in return. One red rose. A gift certificate to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. A book of poems. A free dinner at a local eatery --not a chain restaurant, please! If you can be personal, if you have insight into hobbies they enjoy, use that knowledge to show your appreciation for their free advice on how to improve your business.

These ideas are sure to create word of mouth marketing.

What's not to like about that?


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Wendy Gray Maynard

Yes, yes, yes! Word-of-mouth is absolutely the best way to get new customers. Recently our business had a potential new client call us and when we asked him where he had heard of us, he said, "Well, everyone I asked said you were the company to call." Now, that was exciting to hear!

I love your suggestions for word of mouth advertising, especially the tea and the reception. These are wonderful ideas to make an introduction to potential customers or referrers without any pressure for them to buy. It's just an opportunity for people to get to know people.

One effective way that I always suggest as word-of-mouth generator is to ASK. Ask current and former clients to pass on your company name and contact information on to their circle. When finishing a sales cycle with a customer, ask for referral recommendations. If you don’t ask, people may not think to offer.

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