In Business Customers Are Necessary, Clients Are Profitable, and Fans Rock the House
For nine chapters we've been spelling out the importance of word of mouth to increasing sales and profits in your business. If you are just joining us now, you might want to go back and see what all the fuss is about starting in chapter 31. In fact, you might even want to go back to chapter 1.
We made the case that 70% of all new business for almost all companies comes from referrals. Therefore as much as we might spend money, fuss about, and concern ourselves with other important marketing strategies, word of mouth is the big kahuna.
If you've been reading along, you know that a recurring theme has been customer service. Great customer service can take a customer who sees you as just a shop, a place, a method for filling a need or want, into a client. A client is someone who sees your business as an ongoing resource for products and services, sure. But also the go to for information, ideas, encouragement, engagement, insight, and possibly even a part of their social circle.
Clients don't shop around. Clients are more likely to refer you. Clients want to receive your email blasts, and sometimes even open them. You can call a client and ask a favor or just to chat about something new in your business that would be of interest to him. And a client is more likely to do an online review for you, and one that you will be happy about.
The word Fan is of the same root as the word Fanatic. These folks are a different breed. And they are worth cultivating. They not only don't shop around, they actually want you to be successful. They are less likely to quibble about the price, but expect you to be appreciative in figuring their cost. They are excited to see an email from you. Snail mail, too. And if you run an add in the paper, they feel an attachment.
If you need almost any kind of reasonable favor, the fan is ready to help. They consider you a friend and hope you feel likewise. They've already done reviews of your business, but are ready and happy to do more. They may or may not be influencers in the communities you care about in any traditional sense of the word. However, they will tell anyone who listens that they should do business with you.
|Image via CrunchBase|
How Do You Get More Fans?
When I say fan, what comes to mind? Stars in sports, TV, music, and movies. What is it about those folks that turns us into fans? We might also be fans of certain products or brands. Apple, Corvette, or Cheesecake Factory. Why?
I think if I had to sum it up, the word that comes to mind is excellence. You could say top-of-class or best-in-category. Costco, In 'N Out, Mercedes.
We know in our knower what it takes to be the best. Hard work. Laser like focus. Uncompromising attitude. Risk taking. Discipline. Attention to detail. Working the fundamentals. Unflagging perseverance.
The good news is that all of this is graded on a curve. You don't have to be Bret Favre to have fans if you are quarterback the Cleveland Browns or playing in High School. You have to be the best in YOUR community. That still means going for A's in all the subjects outlined above.
If you build it, they will come. If you build the kind of fan base that appreciates what you do enough, your chances for success has leapfrogged by a hefty multiple.
So we come to the end of the WOM section, and head into the "Going Big" section. By going big, I don't necessarily mean even opening a second location or hiring more salespeople. Going big means creating a marketing shot heard round the world . . . or at least your world.