Word of mouth is king, when it comes to promoting and growing your small business to new heights. When I launched my first business I used word of mouth as the primary way to propel my business. I called it the Power of 10 Referrals. I didn’t just want my friends and family to know I was launching an online women’s resale boutique. I wanted their friends and family to know too. Here is how you can use the power of 10 referrals to grow your small business.
Establish Your Group
This is one of the most important aspects of the equation. You want to compile a list of 10 or more friends and family. It was easier for me to use 10 people to get the ball rolling. When you are selecting these individuals make sure you write out a list of all the things you want your company “representatives” to be. My list included…
- Great Communicator
These were the basic things I wanted my group to have in regards to their character. You can add more or less for yours. Just like in the Friends & Family Savings Club article i wrote, you just can’t let anyone in your group. Be very selective in the people who you want to help push your business forward.
Call To Action
Once you get your list of “representatives” together create a call to action with specific talking points. Your main objective is to ask your “representatives” to draw positive attention to your store with a specific target group in mind; their friends and family . One reason my store worked is because my friends were willing to tell their friends. They would say “I got this amazing silk vintage blouse from IC boutique, go check out her website you will love it”. Be direct in what you want from them. Here are a few questions to think about…
- What do I want them to do for my business?
- Am I wanting them to support me via word of mouth and/or financially?
- Will there be a monetary reward for them for referring my business?
- Are they apart of a sales team or just spreading the word?
They need direction and you need to provide it. Don’t just say “hey tell people I am opening a boutique”. Guide them on the path you want them.
A couple months ago in More Magazine a comedian mentioned that if 10 fans asked her for a signature and she said no, that they would each then go tell 10 of their friends all types of negative things about her. Vice versa, If she did sign and take photos with them then they would instead go tell 10 of their friends about their positive experience. Now from a business perspective, if your 10 “representatives” all tell 10 people each a total of 100 people would either have a negative (which if you chose correctly it should only be positive reviews) or positive experience to share about your business without actually interacting with you. Ask your 10 friends and/or family members to share your business with 10 others people they know. They should explain how awesome your company is and why they should support your business. Which will generate 100 people supporting your business. As a small business owner starting out I know 100 orders on your dashboard every month would be heaven right now.
The power of 10 referrals is really simple if you follow the guidelines. Build a solid team to spread the word, guide them on what they need to say and finally ask them to share it with 10 friends. When people are talking about your business it needs to be positive. You cannot control everything people say but you can run a respectable business that gives them no reason to say negative things. Word of mouth will grow your business. Use this formula to see what it can do to help your business thrive.
Photography Image by Sally; image sourced by Flickr Creative Commons