Grow by Referral: Create a Buzz through Word-of-Mouth Campaigning
Gilliam, Stacy, Black Enterprise
You could break your small business bank account on flashy advertisements. Or, you can follow the lead of successful entrepreneurs who know one sure-fire marketing tool: there's no shame in simply asking a friend to tell a friend.
Word-of-mouth campaigning is a cost-effective way to keep clients ringing your phone, and it forces you to run a tight ship, experts say. In essence, you're encouraging your happiest customers to create a buzz about the quality of your services. How hard is that? Well, it's an easy art form that many companies simply haven't mastered.
"Typically, less than 10% of businesses have a systematic formula," says Los Angeles-based Joe John Duran, a chartered financial analyst, whose book Start It, Sell It & Make a Mint (John Wiley & Sons: $19.95), reveals the top 20 secrets on how to grow and sell a company. By interviewing dozens of successful entrepreneurs, Duran realized that a majority, including himself, flourished with the help of referrals. "Referrals are the cheapest way and most effective way [to grow a company]," says Duran. Yet, the discomfort associated with asking for help prevents businesses from enjoying the growth they deserve.
That isn't a problem for Mia Jackson, president of Doro Marketing based in North Bethesda, Maryland, which produces marketing materials for companies and nonprofit organizations. When she launched her firm in 2000, she …
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Publication information: Article title: Grow by Referral: Create a Buzz through Word-of-Mouth Campaigning. Contributors: Gilliam, Stacy - Author. Magazine title: Black Enterprise. Volume: 36. Issue: 2 Publication date: September 2005. Page number: 56. © 2007 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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