Without question, we recognize a lot of loyal customers are built on word of mouth. When we’re excited about a product or service, we sing the praises of the company. Our friends, hopefully, listen to us. Social media spreads information quickly. And often without realizing it, we’ll even talk about a product to strangers.
Word of mouth is the best marketing tool because it’s based on first-hand trust. When a customer is thrilled with your product, he will ignite a fire inside someone else. That someone else will use your product with a preconceived opinion of praise.
That’s why it’s important to instill this passion in your employees. When they’re off the clock and spending time with friends, do they speak well of you? Are their friends jealous that they’re not on your payroll? Do their friends begin using your products or services?
When your employees understand their purpose in your organization; when you use their talents in extraordinary ways that enhance your organization, they feel pride in that. They become passionate about what they’re doing and what they represent. Then they cannot help but say positive things about you because that’s how they think about you when off the clock.
How word-of-mouth marketing works
Several years ago, I worked in sales at a beauty counter. I had never used the makeup or skin care before then. But while there, the company would send the sales representatives a sample of all the new products it was planning to launch within the next three-to-six months. By the time the new product was on the counter, we had already used it and experienced the spectacular results. We could explain how the makeup felt, what it was used for, and know the best customer who would benefit from it.
Even after I moved on in my career, I continued to use this company’s products. And people noticed. Strangers would approach me and ask: “What foundation do you use on your face – it’s so porcelain?” Or: “I love that lipstick color! What do you use?”
When I answered them (after a sincere, glowing thank you for the great compliment!), I not only responded with the company name, but I’d be able to tell them the color, the style, the price, and for some time after my employment, the number (makeup usually has numbers for the color). I was able to share with them the benefits of the product, what it did for me personally, why I enjoyed it, and why they’d like it.
I was a walking marketing campaign for this company – for free.
If someone shared all that with you, wouldn’t you be inclined to buy the product? No need to investigate with all that passion stemming from a real customer.
Help your employees understand your purpose
As stated at the outset, if you have employees who believe in you as an organization, they’re likely to speak positively about you outside of company walls.
Harness the initial passion most employees feel when they’re first hired. Make sure you’re using their skills in the best way so they feel that team connection. Employees want to share in the future goals of the company they work for.
Do they understand your organization’s purpose? In other words, do they know your company’s culture? If not, develop that knowledge by being a leader in company culture. Display your passion for what you are doing and what you’re marketing to the public.
In my above experience, one thing the company did was send samples of its products to the very ones who would be selling them before the makeup hit the shelves. Do you do that for your employees? Do they currently use your product or service? If not, ask them why. If you have a new product entering the company scene, can your employees test it out for themselves before it’s revealed to the world? Have them talk to you about their experiences, both the pros and the cons.
Ask your employees for their ideas. Don’t dismiss their ideas either, or that perfect concept might never come your way in the future. Often when thoughts are expressed, especially in a group setting, other ideas will flow from that. But the important thing is to make sure you involve your employees. If they sense they are a part of what you are trying to achieve, that passion will swell.
Loyal customers are built on passion
The more loyal customers you have, the more your word-of-mouth marketing will succeed. If your customers and employees believe in what you do, personally use your products and have experienced the benefits for themselves, the more stability you’ll have with your success.
You spend a lot of time marketing to the consumer. But don’t neglect your employees in the process. Make sure they believe in you, are inspired to be a part of your success, and are your first loyal customers. Listen to them, work with them and be a positive example to them.
They are your best marketing tool.
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