Stephanie Chandler, at Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams, has a terrific idea to encourage word or mouth referrals:
Recently one of my bookstore customers mentioned that she originally learned about my store from her hair dresser. That got me thinking about my own hair dresser and how she’s a great source for finding out about restaurants and shopping destinations. Without even realizing it, she is a word of mouth marketing machine.
It seems to me that there is an opportunity here. Perhaps we should spend some time marketing to hair salons–or at least courting the people who work in them. You can’t beat a word of mouth recommendation and the fact is that we can help that process along by being proactive. I don’t know about you, but my wheels are turning. I think I may send some coupons to the salons in a 10 mile radius of the bookstore and see what happens. It couldn’t hurt!
Would this help in tiny towns, where everyone knows everyone? Sure! Sometimes people need to be reminded, and they certainly want to be thanked and appreciated. So invest some time and maybe some incentives in your potential word of mouth referrers. give them a little something for their trouble, while you’re at it.
Depending on your particular business, your targets could include the people at:
- convenience stores
- liquor stores (we give more directions than MapQuest!)
- newspaper offices
- city offices
- drug stores
- fast food places
I’m sure you can add half a dozen specific businesses in your town that could be or are referring customers to you. Make it easier for them, and make sure they know you appreciate them.
I think this is the key: focus on the people as individuals. A mass mailing will not work as well as dropping in, talking a few minutes and leaving a few coupons. Invest in the relationship.
small biz rural entrepreneurship word of mouth marketing referrals
- How small town businesses can market to remote workers and turn them into new customers - May 15, 2023
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2023 results - May 8, 2023
- Rural and small town ideas from the OU Placemaking Conference IQC 2023 - April 5, 2023
- Rural tourism trends say small towns are still cool - March 27, 2023
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
Becky McCray says
Carnival of the Capitalists Featured Item
Always terrific to be featured in the Carnivals!
This week, the Carnival is hosted at Working Solo, from Sydney, Australia. Author Leah Maclean says, “its mission is to help small business women demystify technology and use it for their business growth (and not hide from it). Officially the title I use is Online Business Manager; clients though often refer to me as their tech-chick. This blog provides tips, techniques and commentary on small business technology and life as an entrepreneur (sans jargon).”
Becky McCray says
Carnival of Business Featured Item
This article was selected for another Carnival, the new Carnival of Business.
This week’s Carnival host is Debt Hater, “Getting out of debt and into my dreams!”
Bhappy Bill says
Great idea to grow word of mouth. I have a small computer repair business that has a b2b focus. I find I get a lot of referrals bookkeepers and accountants. They are trusted advisors for a lot of businesses so if you can convince them to refer you that gives you a wide audience.
Becky McCray says
Bill, that is exactly the right kind of thinking! Every business has someone that could be a referrer, so take time to think about it, and invest in those relationships!
Thanks for taking time to contribute, Bill!