In my last article, I said we would discuss the WHAM! BAM! WOMM! of networking. Next, to connect with people, Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is the most crucial part of building a business that is a referral based. Word of Mouth Marketing is a strategy in which you engage customers and get them talking about your services or products.
Wommapedia.org has a great definition for Word of Mouth Marketing,
Put simply, it is ‘any business Marketing action that earns a customer recommendation.’
Here are some tactics for implementing a successful WOMM strategy…
It starts with providing excellent customer service! When you receive a referral from one of your referral partners or another connection, you have to provide a customer servicing experience that speaks for itself. When someone refers business to me, I have the mindset that I am working for my referral partner because I am an extension of them. One of the things that I tell my team when they get referrals from a real estate agent is, “Your job is to make the agent look good to the client”. Nothing spreads your name faster than delivering excellent service. Great customer service best exemplifies this inexpensive, credible and non-traditional form of marketing. On the flip-side, if a client’s home purchase is delayed because of poor loan processing, it could be proven detrimental to a great customer service experience, and a loss of potential referrals from the client, buyer’s real estate agent, and the seller’s real estate agent.
Diversify your network. Increase your Sphere of Influence (SOI). Make a goal to attend 3 to 5 networking events and meet 25 new people. As always, become visible and active in your community. Have 5-7 One-on-One Meetings, per week with new and existing contacts. Give them good things to say about you and your business, such as your dedication to customer service and/or your broad experience in the industry. Most importantly, say what you’ll do; do what you say.
Give people something to talk about. Word of Mouth marketing revolves around the message you want to spread. It has to be something useful, novel, memorable, appealing, entertaining, dorky and/or interesting enough to prompt consumers to pass it on to others. Done successfully, WOMM will generate sufficient “buzz” to cause a tidal wave of conversation.
Example, Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly Commercials”! According to Wikipedia, “The campaign launched in August 2017 with the ad titled “Banquet” which was set in medieval times. It became a catchphrase and resulted in increased sales, the production of further Bud Light ads broadcast during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl LII.” If you watch the commercials, they are memorable, dorky and interesting enough for people to talk about! You will even hear kids at parks say “DILLY DILLY!”
Over the years, as I started networking to promote myself and to bring in more business, I started introducing myself as “Austen Smith, MD – The Mortgage Dude” during my elevator speech of networking events. Before I started using the phrase I asked my wife, “Honey, is this too dorky”? Her response was, “It’s fine, you are dorky”! Thanks, Babe! Since then, I have completely branded everything that I do as “Austen Smith – Mortgage Dude”.
Use technology to move your message. Word-of-mouth marketing has been greatly enhanced by the effects of the Internet. Blogging, vlogging, and the usage of social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn can rapidly spread your message and fortify your WOMM strategy. A friend asked me the other day, “So, what’s the deal with your Facebook Live videos and blogging?” My response to him was simple, “Mortgage financing is boring and no one want’s to read about it or listen to it unless they have an immediate need. However, since my business is 100% referral based, I want to help people to become better networkers. If they see from me enough, they will think of me whenever someone is looking to buy, sell or refinance a home.”
Remember, regardless of how successful you are, once you open the door to talking about your business, you must set aside time to engage with your customers and address their questions.
Have you ever read ever Andy Sernovitz’s book “Word of Mouth Marketing? No? After you read this, go buy it on Amazon!
To learn more about this essential marketing strategy, talk to my good friend, Scott Carley the Change Energizer!
Remeber, Always Be Connecting!