Does word of mouth referrals work better or cold calling?

Does word of mouth referrals work better or cold calling?

Before printing and broadcasting transformed communications, people relied on word-of-mouth to tell others about their goods. Today, many companies employ word-of-mouth marketing tactics to build their customer base. The advantages of overcoming customer resistance and the ease of using social media on the Internet make word-of-mouth marketing an important tool for businesses desiring to grow while spending fewer marketing dollars.
If you want to heat up your sales, forget about cold calling — word of mouth marketing can be the most effective way to generate more business.
• Keep It Simple.
“Sometimes people will tell you to come to their web site and make a referral, but you can’t even figure out where the referral page is,”. An online referral page should provide a clear, simple process, such as using a large tab that states “Refer a Friend.” Online or off, you should clearly and succinctly communicate who your ideal client is and how your services or products benefits the client — that makes it easier for people to know who to refer to you.

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Long-Term Value
Referred customers also tend to stick with your company longer than people who find your business by other means. Plus, as happy referred customers direct their friends and family to you, the value of the first referral grows exponentially.
• Builds Brand
Building your brand is critical, but it’s often difficult for a small business to do, especially when larger competitors have already established well-known brands. Using word-of-mouth marketing helps build positive feelings about your products and services, and that helps build your company’s brand. Providing resources—such as tips, information and articles—gives your customers an easy means of sharing information about your company while establishing your brand.
• Express Gratitude.
When someone sends you a referral, send them a thank-you email or personal letter immediately. This reinforces your competency, makes the referring customer happy, and encourages the customer to send more business your way in the future.

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The problem with cold calls is that they can involve a lot of your time. Some cold calls are more promising than others, but knowing that you have someone coming to you already to specifically buy from you is much better. You can then focus your energy on converting those referrals that you nurtured simply through being the best you can be into new sales. The hope is that through this referral system that you’ll reach a sort of “critical mass” to take your business to new levels.
Word of mouth still is the best kind of marketing…

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