‘Talk is cheap’, goes the old saying, but when it comes to helping spread the work of your advice services then talk can help you secure a significant amount of business and help broaden your reach into areas which you might have thought were beyond you.
Word of mouth marketing is one successful tactic that firms might think they have little control over – after all, how can you influence or shape what people say about you and your business?
It is not simply about clients telling their friends and family to use your advice services, although that can obviously be a significant source of business.
This is about using all those stakeholders that you come into contact with and providing persuasive reasons for them to recommend you.
It is also about, for example, your staff – a happy workforce is much more likely to talk about you and develop a positive narrative about the work you carry out and what you can achieve for potential clients.
Use professional relationships
What about the suppliers you use?
There will be any number that you deal with and could potentially provide word of mouth marketing to their clientele.
Perhaps it is your accountant, your solicitor, your tax adviser or your compliance provider, your sourcing system, the BDMs that you deal with every single day.
If you treat them with care and professionalism, show the difference you make to your clients’ lives and that the quality of service is second to none, why would not they be willing to present you to their friends, colleagues, and other clients?
Word of mouth marketing can also, perhaps bizarrely, come from other advisers. After all, you might have a significant adviser peer group in your area which does not offer the products you do.
Plus there are going to be plenty of other business people in the region.
If you regularly attend networking groups or business breakfasts, this gives you an opportunity not only to pick up clients but forge alliances that might be willing to help spread your marketing message to their employees or others within their circle.
Accentuate the positive
And what about social media or review sites?
Word of mouth marketing is not simply a physical activity as technology now provides you with plenty of opportunities to tune into your client’s testimonials.
Encourage them to share them online, and then use those to push your products and services across your own platforms.
Again, this is all about knowing what is being said about you online, accentuating the positive, dealing quickly with any potential negatives, and highlighting the difference you have made to client’s lives.
This will undoubtedly chime with those who might feel they’re in a similar position.
Think about messages
So, word of mouth marketing can work, and work incredibly well, but it also needs you to engage with it in order to get the most out of it.
That means thinking about the messages you want it to deliver, managing it, measuring it, and being proactive in order to make it work in your favour.
It also means engaging with all those that you deal with and knowing what they think about you and what they are likely to tell others.
In that sense, it does not really matter who they are, you should treat them well – treat others as you would like to be treated yourself and your chances of securing positive word of mouth marketing and generating considerable referrals from it are likely to be greatly increased.