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Simple and effective ways to boost your word-of-mouth referrals

Building buzz around your business can be challenging, writes THOMAS YOUNG, but one of the simplest – and best – ways to market yourself is through your customers.

The most powerful form of marketing is word-of-mouth referrals. This is true regardless of the size of your business or marketing budget. When generating referrals, your customers become your sales force!

After all, who better to promote your products than loyal customers? So, here are 12 ways you can develop word-of-mouth referrals for your jewellery store.

Ask for referrals

The easiest way to generate referrals is also the most important. People want to help others, especially when you are good at what you do. Let your customers know that you are looking for referrals by asking them! They will be happy to oblige, and some will go out of their way to help.

Be specific

Provide your referral sources with a few details about your target market. If you are not specific in your request, referral sources will generally not be able to think of a particular person to whom they could recommend your store. Make your request specific: describe your ideal customer.

Align with your customer’s vision

Get inside the head of your customers and align with their vision – that is, what they want to accomplish. Be a resource; understand the needs of your customers. Referrals will come when they realise that you really do understand them and that your goal is to help, not just make a sale.

Develop word-of-mouth promotions

Develop a marketing promotion plan that encourages referral benefits for your existing customers. Make the promotion worth your customer’s time by offering valuable incentives for new referrals. A good example is a friends-and-family promotion.

Promote feedback
"Look for other like-minded businesses that currently service your target market and find ways to help each other"

Ask your customers to evaluate your products and services and provide feedback on how you measure up. Share this information with current customers and new prospects. Obviously, correct the areas in which you are deficient and remove barriers to customer service.

Continue self-development

Commit to constant learning as a business owner. You must expand ‘out of the box’ and constantly increase and develop your knowledge and abilities, or you will be left behind by the competition. Knowledge is powerful and shoppers will come to you for expertise before they buy from you.

Build a customer community

Find ways to bring customers together with other customers. This might be achieved through your store’s Facebook page or group, a ‘chat’ section of your website, or through in-store customer events. This brings a community of customers together and stimulates word-of-mouth.

Communicate your competitive advantage

Understand why you are different from the competition and what sets you apart in the eyes of the customer. Communicate this message in your promotional activities.

Be clear in delivering this message; it’s the most important component of your direct marketing efforts and the reason people become loyal customers.

Listen to your customers

In jewellery retail, as in all sales processes, it pays to become known as an excellent listener. This communicates that you care about others and builds an enormous amount of trust. The fact that you are the best listener will be passed on to others and result in valuable referrals.

Build alliances

Determine how you can reach your target market by developing alliances with other businesses. This is very common on the internet as websites, Twitter accounts and Instagram pages link to and interact with each other with great results. Look for other like-minded businesses that currently service your target market and find ways to help each other.

Learn how to network properly

Take time to learn how to effectively network. Establish a networking strategy and plan on helping others, which is the key to successful networking. Read and learn more about how to network effectively and seek the advice of other networking professionals to ask what makes them successful. They will often share their secrets.

Develop a website that people talk about

Establish a website that catches peoples’ attention. When people are browsing online and come across a great website, they typically tell others about it. It is very common and easy to share links with friends, particularly when browsing on a mobile device. Find a way to make your site unique by adding value to your target market, which will make them far more likely to share your link.

These are a few ways to build word-of-mouth referrals for your business. Remember, there is no quick fix in sales and marketing, and no substitute for excellent customer service or valuable products and services. Take the time to strengthen your marketing efforts, focusing on these areas, and watch the referrals come pouring in.











ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Young

Contributor • Intuitive Websites


Thomas Young is CEO of Intuitive Websites. He has more than 25 years’ marketing and sales experience. Learn more: intuitivewebsites.com

SAMS Group Australia
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