Have you identified the top HOT BUTTONS of your prospects?
This article will reveal why pinpointing, understanding, and addressing your prospect hot buttons is so important to the future growth of your business or practice.
It’s every small business owner’s job to identify and define the most important hot buttons that top their prospects list. You must identify the top things prospects want from your business that leads them to look to you for a solution to their problems, frustrations, fears, or concerns. The smart small business owner will list all of their target customer’s emotional components, and then select JUST the one that resonates the most with their passion. This means selecting your specific niche market.
All of your prospects today want to feel special. They want to feel as though they’re working with “the expert” and that you can help them solve their problems, concerns, fears, and frustrations for good. They’re tired of look-alike, sound-alike businesses that all offer the exact same product or service that for the most part doesn’t even come close to giving them what they truly want. In other words, they’re desperately looking for a business that stands out from the crowd, and one that’s truly unique.
They want a business that understands them, gives them what they want, and in the process, offers them exceptional and extraordinary value. Moreover, if you provide them with such a business, they’ll reward you by gladly paying you a higher price for what you sell, as long as the value you now offer justifies the price they pay.
Furthermore, prospects want you to communicate with them in a loud, clear, and easily understandable voice. They want your message to clearly communicate to them that you are different and you do in fact offer exceptional value. They’re tired of searching for these types of businesses, and they will appreciate your clear, concise message that doesn’t play games but instead highlights the benefits you provide specifically for them. The business that stands out from all others by becoming unique, offering exceptional and extraordinary value, and clearly communicating those benefits to their prospects will literally dominate their entire niche market.
For instance, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape. If you call 10 personal trainers looking for one to help you add lean muscle mass, and all of them tell you they can help you do whatever you want, such as lose weight, add muscle, feel better, or have more energy, then they’re trying to be everything to everyone, and as a result, have become nothing to no one.
On the other hand, if you call me, and I tell you that I specialize in just one thing, which is helping people over 40 add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass within 30 days through a specialized, proven, and tested workout program that only I provide, then I have just separated myself from all other trainers. I’ve made my business unique and simultaneously created massive value to these individual prospects that are specifically looking for this type of trainer.
All that’s left is for me to effectively communicate that message to my target prospects, and believe me, they will come running!
P.S. Are you a small business owner that has participated in the Running of the Bulls event?
As someone who has studied in and traveled across Spain, I like your style and I want to reward you for your sense of adventure and courage…
Just email my PR and marketing fulfillment team about your experience: Press@RevSherpas.com
And in return, we’ll share with you our latest Small Business Growth Training video series entitled “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make… And How To Overcome Them All!”
¡Buena suerte mis amigos!
In our previous post, we talked about how to conduct Word of Mouth research and then put that research to work. Now, we’re going to give you some great tried and true ways to use Word of Mouth when building and executing your campaign.
We’ve done it in a list form, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman which you can find in his amazing book The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing.
Here they are:
- Give them something worth talking about.
- Cater to your initial customers shamelessly.
- Give them incentives to engage in Word of Mouth.
- Ask them to tell their friends.
- The customer is always right.
- Always tell the truth.
- Surprise the customers by giving them a little more than they expected.
- Give them a reason to buy…Make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you.
- Make eye contact, and smile…Even through the telephone.
- Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, extra matches, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, and more selection.
- Never be annoyed when a customer asks you to change a large bill even if he doesn’t buy anything.
- The customer is your reason for being. Never take her for granted. If you do, she will never come back and she will go straight to your competition.
- Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
- Never embarrass a customer, especially by making him feel ignorant.
- Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
- When you don’t know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
- Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
- Don’t allow known shoplifters into the store.
- Don’t ever let two sales staff talk when a customer is waiting. The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
- If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
- Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
- Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
- Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
- Hire a shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
- If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign “Under New Management” outside. Then sell it later based on the increased sales.
- One expert (in the drugstore’s case, a nurse or physician) who is convinced you are better brings hundreds of customers and their friends through Word of Mouth.
- Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
- People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, or see a smile, or be treated right.
- Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
- Use the best sign-maker you can find and pay him more than anybody else.
- If someone is mad at you, they will tell everyone who will listen for as long as they are angry, maybe even longer. So correct any dissatisfaction, and ask customers to send their friends.
- Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
- Have a zero error system. There may be terrible consequences, for instance, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other’s work for safety.
- Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
- Always measure your performance.
- Always ask a customer to “come back soon.”
- If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
- Tell jokes.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so we’re going to wrap up this lesson and leave you with the homework of going through and taking a look at the tips and tricks that best fit your company, products, services, and target customers.
If you still need help igniting your Word of Mouth campaign, take a look at the RevSherpas Online Small Business Academy. Our E-Marketing platform provides you with pre-built industry-specific advertising libraries and templates that help you develop million dollar messages, create competition-crushing marketing, and attract and win new clients.
People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising, and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, though. In fact, this could easily drive customers away. Instead, you need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable. Then, you need to market it as extraordinary and new.
How and Why to Conduct Word of Mouth Market Research
As you’re researching Word of Mouth (WOM), there are some questions you need to ask along the way:
- What are your customers/users willing to tell the non-users?
- Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
- What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
- What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
- What happens when these issues are raised?
- Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger a purchase?
- Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
- How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
- How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
- What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
- Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving Word of Mouth?
- What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?
There are two main reasons why Word of Mouth research is so important:
- To get the real impression and feedback from customers.
- To define Word of Mouth itself and the concept it creates.
There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your Word of Mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model.
The 2-2-2- Model
What this breaks down to is:
- 2 groups of customers
- 2 focus groups of prospects
- 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & skeptics)
In these groups you need to ask the following questions:
- What would you tell a friend?
- How would you persuade a skeptic?
- What questions would you anticipate from a skeptic?
- How would you answer their objections?
The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but rather by an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation.
The Pillars of a Well-Crafted Word of Mouth Campaign
Now, we’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a Word of Mouth campaign. First, we’ll take a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:
- A superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
- A cadre of experts willing to go to bat for you
- A large number of enthusiastic consumers
- A way of reaching the right prospects
- One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
- A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
- A way for people to have a direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
- A way of reducing overall risk and an ironclad guarantee
Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong Word of Mouth program. Some of these situations are:
- When there are credibility problems
- When there are breakthroughs
- When there are marginal improvements
- Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
- Where there is a high risk in trying the product
- With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
- With dealing with unfair competitive practices, such as spreading rumors or telling lies about your product
- When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly
While most of the Word of Mouth tactics are positive for your Word of Mouth program, there are a few products to avoid using in this program. They are:
- Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
- Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
- Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
- Products that are so personal or emotional that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
- Products where the decision value is so small (e.g. low price/low volume) that the medium will not be cost-effective.
This wraps up this post on Word of Mouth research and how it can be used when formulating your Word of Mouth campaign in route to earning more raving fans.
If you need help with this type of marketing research and a proven, polished plan to more effectively leverage its results and enhance your Marketing messaging and ROI, take a quick, guided tour of our Small Business Growth Academy and E-Marketing Platform.
In the latest edition of the RevSherpas Growth Academy blog for Small Business Owners, we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision-making process via positive Word of Mouth or “WOM”.
There are typically 5 stages in the decision-making process for your customers:
- Give the product a chance and go from a “no” to a “maybe”.
- Check out the options and investigate the different products available.
- Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features, and operations to see if there is a fit with their needs.
- Become a customer and purchase their first item. They then begin to form their opinion of you.
- Purchase again and start spreading positive Word of Mouth as an advocate of your products.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
From “No” to “Maybe”
This stage is really important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees, and incentives.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage, they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit their life or business. This is where you need to make sure your hard data is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations, or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”
Make a Purchase
At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost-effective, and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage, a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”
Advocates for Your Products
At this last stage of decision making, the customer is immensely pleased with your product and often keeps using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day, and that they have already been back or will be back to your establishment for more.
We talked a minute ago about the different types of purchasers. Now we are going to further examine their unique characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision-making process.
Wants to stand out from the crowd
Knows what’s hot and trendy
Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it animatedly
Driven by excellence
More concerned with possibilities than realities
Always looking to be a leader
Always looking for a new vision
Wants to be perceived as competent
Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
Wants products that meet the industry standard
Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
Needs to shop around for the best deal
Needs a support system
Wants what everyone else has
Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
Will search for loopholes and problems
Wants to use it in the standard industry way
As you can see, each type of consumer wants something just a little different depending on their personality type. The key to successful Word of Mouth is to target and cater to each type of consumer.
If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently targeting/helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, take a look at our Online Small Business Growth Academy for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.
CONTACT US if you would like to have an exploratory business discovery and strategy consultation on how RevSherpas can help you solve your most pressing challenges in the areas of cash flow optimization, lead generation, marketing strategy, salesforce enablement and productivity, and customer support.
Thank you for your continued support and readership and have a profitable week!
For today’s lesson, we’ll discuss how to unleash the power of positive Word of Mouth marketing.
To begin, here is the proven six-step process to successfully harnessing Word of Mouth:
- Understand your customers’ values and priorities…this helps you understand why they would buy your products.
- Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters, and laggards.
- Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
- Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and Word of Mouth tactics will work based on the needs and decision-making process of your respective adopters.
- Put together the resources for the highest Word of Mouth impact.
- Create and implement your Word of Mouth campaign.
Next, let’s move on to the 35 ways to unleash the power of positive WOM:
Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:
- Experts’ roundtables
- Experts’ selling groups
Seminars, Workshops & Speeches
These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:
- Speakers programs
- Group selling
- Dinner meetings
- Peer selling groups
- Teleconferenced experts’ panels
- Trade show events/opportunities
“Canned” Word of Mouth
The concept of “canned” Word of Mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:
- World Wide Web
As we’ve highlighted before, a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive Word of Mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:
- Referral Selling Program
The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here are some of the “new” media options:
- Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
- Call centers
- Faxback services
Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth
Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:
- Customer service
- Word of Mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
- Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training
- Word of Mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
- Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)
Internal Word of Mouth
- Encourage employee Word of Mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others
- Offer rewards or commission for Word of Mouth success
As you can see, there are a plethora of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive Word of Mouth marketing.
What have been your success stories for obtaining a consistent flow of positive Word of Mouth buzz and referrals from your customer base?
Please leave a comment below.