Word-of-Mouth Marketing Generates More Business When Done Right

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Many business owners know they should be using word of mouth marketing however many are unaware of its power and how it can significantly improve sales and contribute to business growth.

Certain types of professions can benefit significantly from a “relationship sale” to increase their client base and revenue. Following Business Networking International West Central Florida’s (BNI WCF) announcement of their 2010 referral figures (83,624 referrals generating $50,196,030 in closed business over a 12 month period), the networking organization is now offering a look inside what successful BNI members have done to get the most out of the networking organization, and increase their “relationship sales”.

Business Networking International member and web designer Angie Roda had no skills in public speaking or networking when she joined BNI. She attended trainings on networking through BNI and eventually became President of her local chapter of BNI.

After only one year with BNI Rhoda decided to check to see how BNI had affected her bottom line. When she added up all of the billings that were from BNI referrals it totaled a whopping 47.71 percent of her business. The following year in 2009 BNI referrals made up 66 percent of her business, almost an additional 20 percent in billings. She is currently in the process of expanding her Web design business and BNI is helping her meet her new goals.

According to BNI WCF Executive Director Tom Fleming, industries such as financial planners, chiropractors, realtors, insurance agents, and other professions that operate as sole proprietorships and rely on referrals can expand their business with word of mouth marketing.

Other business professionals like Angie get involved with business networking groups to streamline word of mouth marketing efforts. According to Dr. Ivan Misner, Chairman and Founder of BNI and bestselling author on business networking, there is no quick fix for developing a word of mouth business and you must meet people in a planned and structured way. Business networking groups help businesses achieve this while saving time and reducing the costs of advertising.

Other ways that businesses grow their client base through word of mouth marketing include:

  • Providing Quality Customer Service: Customers are the best advocate for a business. Providing great customer service compels customers to want to tell their friends when they have a positive experience which increases the referral base for any business.
  • Endorsements: Obtaining endorsements from well-established and respected experts helps to build customer referral and confidence. This method is especially useful during a new product launch and builds consumer confidence before the product hits the market.
  • Public Speaking Engagements: Public speaking is a great way to build consumer confidence and word of mouth advertising through actual face-to-face contact. There are many different types of organizations looking for public speakers on a wide variety of topics. Offer quality information and it will get people buzzing about the presentation and the business product.
  • Case Studies: Case studies help businesses to get the consumer to think the way they want them to think. Case studies help potential customers to identify with the success stories of others that relate to their specific needs. This makes it easier to communicate value for specific business products. Customer case studies also relate to the basic human instinct to want to share information with others.

These are just a few of the methods businesses use to complement their participation in business networking groups to build a word of mouth marketing strategy. In today’s fast paced market, business networking groups save time while helping business to generate a loyal client base that sustains business regardless of the economy.

About Tom Fleming and BNI:
BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world and offers members and prospective members the opportunity to share business referrals or initiate a local chapter of BNI.

Tom Fleming is the Executive Director for BNI in West Central Florida and the Referral Institute. When Tom acquired the region, BNI WCF had one chapter with 13 members. The region now has over 40 chapters with 1600 members passing $50,000,000 in business to each other in the past year alone.

Tom is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development. He is also a contributing author in two best-selling books on referral based marketing and has been recorded on many educational CD’s produced from his speaking engagements. Prior to beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Tom worked for various Fortune 500 firms, earned an MBA from Babson College and a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Boston University.

Visit BNI West Central Florida at http://www.bniwcf.com.

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Karla Jo Helms
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