Frank was just unlocking the door to his shop when he heard the phone ringing. Grabbing it off the cradle while he laid down his things, he answered with his customary, “Good morning, Frank here, how can I help you?”
“Hi Frank, this is Gloria. I was talking to a mutual acquaintance this weekend, and she recommended I hire you for our next big job. When can you send the contracts over?”
Not a bad way to start your week, is it?
Frank used to work like a madman to sell even a single person on his services. But since he started using more testimonials and word of mouth marketing, he’s making 4 times his previous income with less than half the work.
Let’s talk about how to get and use testimonials first, since a testimonial is a form of word of mouth marketing. Then we’ll cover how to get others talking about your business and telling others about what you do.
Steps to getting and using more testimonials:
Ask for them. As soon as you render a service or sell a product, either ask for the testimonial or let the customer know you will call on them or email them in a day or two to see how things are progressing.
If all is well, ask for the testimonial.
If there is a problem fix it and then ask for the testimonial.
Use testimonials every where, not just on your sales page. Use them on your blog, social media, in emails and on your podcast.
Keep testimonials short. Few buyers are going to read or listen to a 1000 word testimonial. That said, on more expensive products it’s good to provide the short testimonial with a link to the full version if there is one, just in case someone wants to read it.
If appropriate, turn some of your testimonials into case studies. Ask your customer if you can interview them. Get all the details on their problem before the product or service, and then how the product or service has made all the difference for them.
Offer your case studies as PDF’s. Use a title such as, “How Blue Bunny Publishing Increased Profits by 1294% in 30 Days” or “How the Puppy from Hell Became a Good Boy in 7 Days.”
Steps to Getting More Word of Mouth Marketing
Do remarkable things for your customers. Surprise them in a way that makes them want to tell others.
When iPhone debuted it could do things no other phone could do, which made it immensely newsworthy.
Lily has gained immense word of mouth before ever being released because it’s the first drone that will automatically follow you and film you – sort of a flying stalker for sports people.
Run contests where people get more entries by sharing the contest with others.
Offer a reward to customers who refer others. This could be an affiliate program for customers, or you could offer gifts or free products for referrals. When Dropbox was new it offered additional free storage space for each referral.
Ask your very best customers to become advocates for your business on social media. Give them a discount or even free access in exchange for being your evangelists. Tesla gives $1,000 to advocates and to referred friends, and it works. Tesla vowed from the beginning to run a $0 marketing budget with no advertising, no ad agency, no chief marketing officer and no dealer network. And yet Tesla is now a trillion-dollar company.
Give away your product to those who have an audience. UA’s founder Kevin Plank made an initial run of 500 moisture wicking sweatshirts and gave them to his former NFL teammates. Today, UA has overtaken Adidas and is the second highest grossing sports brand in the world.
Start a movement. GoldieBlox wasn’t marketed as just another toy for girls. Instead, it’s sold as a movement, a way of improving the world by correcting the gender inequality in engineering. That is how they raised $285000 on Kickstarter, smashing their $150,000 goal.
Do it for charity. TOMS shoes give away a pair of shoes for every pair you buy, and they’ve given away well over 100 million pairs of shoes to charity.
Nomad List started donating 5% of revenue to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and conversions increased 200%.
As you can see, a little creativity can garner you immense worth of mouth business and a bevy of glowing testimonials.