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How to get massively more word of mouth referrals

word of mouth, referrals,

By Rennett Stowe

Would you like to attract more word of mouth referrals?  If you would, here are a few simple questions to help you uncover the way word of mouth referrals work, based on your own experiences.

The idea of this post is to show you the process behind a word of mouth referral, so you can reproduce it with your own products or services (herein called products).  So, let’s get started!

  1. What was the last product you paid for, which you went on to recommend to people?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how good did you believe the product was when you recommended it?  Think of 5 as being a very average product, 7 as being a good product and 10 as being “best in class.”
  3. What motivated you, to want to share your feedback?  For example, did the provider make it super-easy for you to share your feedback?  Did you feel so positive about the product or service, that you wanted YOUR name to be associated with it?  Were you offered a commission or reward for the recommendation?  Did the product provider ask you to recommend them or their product?  Whatever your answer, write it down in as much detail as possible.
  4. How many people did you tell?  Did you just mention it to a friend or share it with your social network / business contacts?  Why did you tell so many or so few people?  Again, get this written down in as much detail as possible.
  5. Finally, go through the same exercise for 3 or 4 other products, which you recommended to people.

Word of mouth: Deconstructed

For you to benefit from that simple exercise, you need to consider how you can apply the same process that inspired you to recommend those products, to your own products.  Do you need to work harder on developing a better (more remarkable) product, or maybe become more proactive at asking for referrals?  Do you need to make it easier for people to tell their friends how great you already are?  Your answers will start to show you the areas where you need to focus your efforts, in order to get more referrals.

Word of mouth and being remarkable

Here is a prediction regarding your answers.  I would be very surprised if any of the products you recommended were just average.  In most cases, I would expect to see scores of 8 and above.  The key motivator that inspires word of mouth referrals, is when something is remarkable.  In short, if we want to be spoken about positively (or remarked upon) we need to be remarkable.  No one feels inspired to recommend something, if it’s unremarkable, average or dull.  I wrote a post about it, which you may like to read.

The Bottom line: No matter how much word of mouth business you already attract, you should always be seeking to improve upon it.

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1 Comment

  1. I love WOM (does that stand for Word of Mouse if we’re talking about the internet?)

    Making the huge assumption that what your business is offering is indeed remarkable and worthy of folk spreading the word, the easiest way to increase WOM referrals is simply to ask for them.

    I know you can offer incentives, but these have to be carefully crafted and managed so as to not appear cheap and desperate.

    But why not, at the very least, remember to put a “tell a friend” script onto all your newsletters and blog posts. If worded correctly your fans will thank you for making it easy to tell their friends about you – it makes them look good.


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