I am a talker.
Not in the “person who talks all the time” sense of that word. In fact, I spend a lot of time not talking. In a crowd, unless I’m in front presenting, I’m at the back listening.
I am, however, a talker in the sense that Andy Sernovitz describes talkers. For Sernovitz, talkers are people who are willing to talk about whatever it is that you are selling. They are at the heart of word of mouth marketing.
I guess I better explain that phrase.
According to Andy, word of mouth marketing is
“1. giving people a reason to talk about your stuff and 2. making it easier for that conversation to take place. “
For a small business owner, having people talk about your stuff (positively) is your wildest hope. It is what can make business come without advertising. It is what I love to do for people who treat me well as a customer.
And that’s why I say I am a talker.
And talkers are the first of 5 Ts of Word of Mouth marketing that Sernovitz identifies.
You can find talkers among your customers. You can find them in your chamber of commerce. You can find them working as servers at the coffee shop with the most business in your town. You can find them anywhere people are likely to be listening for advice and direction and help.
Once you have talkers, give them topics, something to talk about.
Then you need to give them tools to help spread the message.
You can’t leave them alone however without taking part. If people are blogging about you, comment on their blog. If people are complaining, then respond.
Finally, you need to be tracking what people are saying about you.
Too brief a summary? Sorry. I don’t have much time. But Andy has a couple free downloads that will explain word of mouth and help you with the 5 Ts.
And then you can find Andy’s book here: Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Revised Edition
For an expanded case study on how this model works, head over to Levite.
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Jon has been a regular reader and occasional contributor around here since 2006. Jon works as a pastor, but he understands business better than many so-called business people. He gets that it is about people, relationships, service, and yes, even love.