Category: Business Growth

Overcome Overwhelm

If you are a human being, and you are alive right now, chances are you have experienced overwhelm. Overwhelm is something we all deal with from time to time, and as business owners, we face it more often. We can all overcome overwhelm, we just need to recognise it.

Six signs that you are overwhelmed.

  • You’re not present. Your mind is everywhere, but here
  • You can’t concentrate.
  • You experience high levels of anxiety. Therefore your decision-making capabilities are limited.
  • You spend too much time in one area of your life and neglect the rest.
  • Your level of enjoyment has reduced almost to nothing.
  • You feel stressed.

Generally, overwhelm is caused by too much on our plate or too much information.

There are many reasons why we become overwhelmed; here are a few:

1. We have unrealistic expectations

2. We take on too much

3. We put too much pressure on ourselves and then talk down to ourselves

4. Perfectionism.

5. Wanting to control everything

6. Identifying yourself as an overachiever.

Ways to overcome overwhelm:

  1. Brain dump

When you feel overwhelmed, a lot is going on in your head. You don’t have mental space to think clearly because there is too much going on. It’s time to clear the clutter! Get everything onto paper or a computer. Putting pen to paper without judging the thought creates space in your mind. This process can behave a cathartic effect and will allow you to release emotions.

2. Prioritise

If you have a prioritisation method that works for you, use it. If you need some ideas prioritising, here are a few:

The 3 Ds: Delete, Delegate, and Delay.

1. Delete

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need to do this task?
  • Is this task necessary?

You may not know the answer to the questions immediately. Some trial and error may be necessary. Give it a go, see what works and what doesn’t. Before deciding to do a task, first determine if it is essential.

2. Delegate

Are you the one who has to complete the task, or can it be done by someone else? This may require that you put some trust in someone else, it may be difficult at first, but it will free up a lot of your time, so give it a chance.

3. Delay

Does this activity need to be done today? Can you postpone or delay the task?

The Tim Ferris Method

Tim Ferris uses 3 questions:

The questions are based on the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule.

1. What 20% of activities, responsibilities, or people will give me 80% of the results and positive emotional states I want?

Including the emotional state is essential; how you feel is just as important as what you deliver.

2. What are the 20% of responsibilities, activities or people creating the pain and negative emotional states?

Identify what is draining your energy.

3. What if this was easy?

This may lead you to get help from others, or you may find a more efficient way of completing the task.

Some more questions that will help you to prioritise are:

  • What is the most important to me?
  • What will make me happier and fulfilled?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What feels like the right thing?

3. Proactively plan your day/week.

4. Pause or Take a Break – remember that motion manages emotion

6. Address your stinking thinking

Ask yourself:

  • Is this accurate?
  • Is this reasonable?
  • Is this helpful?

7. Spend your time wisely

Parkinson’s law says that we will use the space with activity. So if you set aside 2 hours to do your marketing, it will take you 2 hours to do that marketing. The best way to manage Parkinson’s law is by blocking out time for the things you want to get done. This means you need to plan in advance. If you are unsure about that, go back to point 3.

8. Consume Less Information

We are bombarded by information all the time! Take a step back, think about what you need to know and only cover that. Consider switching off social media for a while…

Don’t blindly assume that experts advice is right for you. Many times in the past, I’ve followed specific guidance for business, personal development, or health and found that it was not suitable for me.

Consume enough information so that you can take action. When you take action, be aware of how this feels in your body. Does it feel like the right thing? Listen to your intuition.

9. Get for Help

Overwhelm can be overcome by getting some help. Alone we are limited in what we can achieve, but together we can change the world!

Alone we are limited in what we can achieve, but together we can achieve great things.

10. Set Boundaries – No is a Blessed word!

You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time. Spend it wisely. When we say yes to things we didn’t want to do, we become resentful of the task and the person we are doing it for. The more significant impact on the relationship is negative. Saying “no” may sting for a moment, but the relationship will last long after the blessed “no.”

When you can offer alternatives.

If you are struggling with overwhelm, and need to find the balance between life and business we’d like to connect with you. We help countless business owners just like you to overcome overwhelm and thrive both in business and in life!

We offer action plan sessions, during these sessions we will talk about your business and identify actions that you can take to implement and execute one strategy to grow your business in the area you believe will be most valuable thereby overcoming overwhelm. Now is the best time to prepare your business for what comes next, open economies and people who are ready to spend their stocked up cash with you.  Are you ready? Book your action plan session here.

PS: fempreneurs click here to join my private Facebook group.

Connect with me: LinkedIn; FacebookInstagram 

Attracting high-value clients Start with the end in mind

Attracting high-value clients Start with the end in mind

 

Research by American Express has found that companies that invest in Customer Experience Design can expect a 70% return on investment over a 3 year period. This is because companies who put an emphasis on customer experience design, increase sales and profitability while reducing churn rates.  

 

So what does this mean? It means there’s more than just your traditional marketing approach if you want high-value clients; it takes deliberate client experience designing through comprehensive research and careful planning before any changes can be made. 

 

But where do we start with all this information? Well, one place would be by creating a vision statement specific for your company and ideal clients.  Your client vision will become your guiding light when faced with tough questions and situations.  The vision will influence your company principles and behaviours which are necessary to deliver the vision. A clear vision creates consistency in how you and your team deal with your ideal clients.  

A good vision should:

  • Make an emotional connection with clients and employees;
  • Provide a compelling value proposition that differentiates the company from competitors and shows it understands what clients want;
  • Be simple and intuitive – concisely states the purpose and is easy to understand
  • Demonstrate commitment and set clients’ and employees’ expectations.

Do you have a clear client vision that every member of your team knows and lives on every day?  Imagine what would happen when you and your team all start singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to delivering for your clients.  

If you need help with creating the ideal client persona or you are ready to Amplify Your Business so that your life can be more fulfilling, then book your free strategy call with me today. 

During this 45 minutes online session, we will chat about what goals and challenges that interest you most in regards to your business and brainstorm a way of addressing those issues immediately!

 

XXXOdette

Get out of the rat race

We’ve all worked jobs we hated. We were underpaid, under-appreciated, and bored out of our minds. We either quit these jobs or were fired for poor performance because we just gave up. Instead of taking that approach, you need to consider every job an opportunity to learn something new that you can apply down the line to find success.

When you give people the tools they need to come up with unordinary solutions, you are enhancing their lives for the long run. You need to take this approach. What if one of your terrible jobs had been one with no pay at all and you needed to come up with some ingenious ways of making money? I bet you could have found a diamond in that rough. This idea can also be used in your own company.

Now, I don’t recommend going into the next meeting declaring that no one will receive pay any more, but you can tell them that their potential raises, bonuses, and other perks are now dependent on their creativity in ways to enhance the business.

Let’s talk about a great concept called financial literacy. This certainly isn’t something they taught you in school but is still essential to know. So, what is financial literacy? 

The old school way teaches people to be good employees and not employers. This mindset will never make you wealthy. You need to focus on becoming a good employer. You also need to learn how to not only attain wealth but sustain wealth for generations. This is what financial literacy is all about.

So, how do you get out of the rat race and start working toward a wealthier future? You need to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. Take a look at your own life and you’ll probably find the following:

Assets

  • Real Estate
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Intellectual Property

Liabilities

  • Mortgage
  • Consumer Loans
  • Credit Cards

You’ve probably been fooled into thinking things like your house, car, and entertainment system are assets. They aren’t! Assets should be continuing to MAKE you money. When you continue to struggle, you are not building wealth. If your primary income is from wages and each time you make more money, you pay taxes-you’re not really creating wealth either, are you?

So, if buying a house isn’t an asset (and, it’s not because you spend about 30 years of your life paying it off), then what is. Here are some of the best assets to attain and when you can start to actually see wealth being created because of it:

Average time of holding on to an asset before selling it for a higher value:

1 year

  • Stocks (Startups and small companies are good investments)
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

7 years

  • Real estate
  • Notes (IOUs)
  • Royalties on intellectual property
  • Valuables that produce income or appreciate

So, here are the steps to getting out of the rat race and onto your journey of creating wealth:

  1. Understand the difference between an asset and a liability.
  2. Concentrate your efforts on buying income-earning assets.
  3. Focus on keeping liabilities and expenses at a minimum.
  4. Mind your own business.

We went through the first three and next time we’ll talk about how to mind your own business to keep your eye on the prize. 

If you need help getting out of the poor mindset and into the wealthy one, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our experienced business coaches today.

If you are serious about growing your business book your free roadmap session where you and I will have a 20-30 minute conversation about exactly what you are struggling with, where you want to go, and where you are right now. I’ll help you start to plot out the roadmap a little, and if at the end of that call you say “I want to get your help to get there faster and speed up implementation, I’m happy to help you do that too! But for now, sign up for the roadmap session – I’m really looking forward to talking to you!

Prepare for Lift Off!

Last time I gave you a laundry list of tips and tricks you can use to make your word of mouth program work for you. Hopefully, you’ve taken a look and decided which ones are the best fit for your company, products, services, and target customers, so you can put them to work in your word of mouth campaign.

We are going to wrap up this series on word of mouth where we give you the specific steps to create a word of mouth campaign.

Now, let’s take a look at those steps:

  1. Seed the market.
  2. Find some way to get the product into the hands of key influencers.
  3. Provide a channel for the influencers to talk and get all fired up about your product.
  4. Offers lots of testimonials and other resources.
  5. Form an ongoing group that meets once a year in a resort and once a month by teleconference.
  6. Create fun events to bring users together and invite non-users. Saturn, Harley- Davidson, and Lexus have all been successful with this approach.
  7. Develop cassettes, videotapes, and clips on your Web site featuring enthusiastic customers talking with other enthusiastic customers.
  8. Create custom CDs for each potential customer.
  9. Hold seminars and workshops.
  10. Create a club with membership benefits.
  11. Pass out flyers.
  12. Tell friends.
  13. Offer special incentives and discounts for friends who tell their friends. Put the Internet to work.
  14. Do at least one outrageous thing to generate word of mouth.
  15. Empower employees to go the extra mile.
  16. Encourage networking and brainstorm ideas.
  17. Run special sales.
  18. Encourage referrals with the use of a strong referral program.
  19. Use a script to tell people exactly what to say in their word of mouth communication.

 

These are all amazing ways you can get the word out about your products and services and start a word-of-mouth campaign that takes on a life of its own. Before you can release your word of mouth campaign out into the world, you need to go through the checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the essentials.

Here’s your word of mouth campaign checklist:

  1. Are all of your communications sending the same simple message? If it can’t survive word of mouth, it’s not a compelling story.
  2. Is your product positioned as part of a category? Ex.”A dandruff shampoo that doesn’t dry your hair.”
  3. Are your examples outrageous enough to be shared?
  4. Do you enhance your materials with success stories from real people?
  5. Are you using experts effectively and in an objective manner?
  6. Have you created mechanisms so people can follow up on the word of mouth they hear, as well as simple ways of inquiring or ordering?
  7. Have you made the decision process easy for customers?
  8. Have you created events and mechanisms so that once your prospects hear about your product, and it is easier to try or buy?

These are all essential elements to take keep in mind when taking a second or even third check over your word of mouth campaigns. I hope you’ve found this series on word of mouth to be a great resource and are getting ready to put it into action for your own products and services.

If you need help with this anything, try our GUIDED TOUR and get all the help you need from our experienced business coaches.

If you are serious about growing your business book your free roadmap session where you and I will have a 20-30 minute conversation about exactly what you are struggling with, where you want to go, and where you are right now. I’ll help you start to plot out the roadmap a little, and if at the end of that call you say “I want to get your help to get there faster and speed up implementation, I’m happy to help you do that too! But for now, sign up for the roadmap session – I’m really looking forward to talking to you!

Put it to work!

In the last post, we talked about how to conduct word of mouth research and then put that research to work. Today we’re going to give you some great tried and true ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.

We’ve done it in a list form, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman which you can find in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.

Here they are:

  •   Give them something worth talking about
  •   Cater to your initial customers shamelessly
  •   Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
  •   Ask them to tell their friends
  •   The customer is always right
  •   Always tell the truth
  •   Surprise the customers by giving them a little more than they expected
  •   Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
  •   Make eye contact, and smile, even on the telephone
  • Continue reading “Put it to work!”

Search & Implement

People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary and new. 

As you’re researching word of mouth, there are some questions you need to ask along the way:

What are the users willing to tell the non-users?

  • Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
  • What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
  • What are the things they need to know but are unwilling to ask?
  • What happens when these issues are raised?
  • Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger purchase?
  • Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
  • How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
  • How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
  • What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
  • Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
  • What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favour and how will you deliver them?

There are two main reasons why word of mouth research is so important:

  1. To get the real impression and feedback from customers
  2. To define word of mouth itself and the concept it creates

There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your word of mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model.

2-2-2- Model

What this breaks down to is:

  • 2 groups of customers 
  • 2 focus groups of prospects
  • 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & sceptics)

In these groups you need to ask the following questions:

  1. What would you tell a friend?
  2. How would you persuade a sceptic?
  3. What questions would you anticipate from a sceptic?
  4. How would you answer their objections?

The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but by an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation.

We’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a word of mouth campaign. First, we’ll talk a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:

  • A superior product
  • A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
  • A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
  • A large number of enthusiastic consumers
  • A way of reaching the right prospects
  • One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
  • A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
  • A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
  • A way of reducing overall risk, an ironclad guarantee

Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from strong word of mouth programs. Some of these situations are:

  • When there are credibility problems
  • When there are breakthroughs
  • When there are marginal improvements
  • Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or overtime
  • Where there is a high risk in trying the product
  • With older or mature products that have a news story that people tend to ignore
  • With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumours, or telling lies about your product
  • When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly

While most of the word of mouth tactics are positive for your word of mouth program, there are a few products to avoid using in this program. They are:

  • Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
  • Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
  • Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
  • Products that are so personal or emotional that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
  • Products where the decision value is so small (low price/low volume) the medium will not be cost-effective. 

This wraps up this post on word of mouth research and how that research can be used when putting together your word of mouth campaign. If you need help with the research and a plan to use the results of that research, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you need with our top-notch resources and tools.

If you want to explore ways of working with us book your free discovery session.

Science of the Memes

 Today I’d like to discuss the science of memes and how spreading ideas around and through society is ingrained in humans.

Memes

This refers to types of ideas that spread the fastest through society, why they spread fast and how that affects consumerism. You can use this same information to create a lasting positive impression about your company, products and services. People are more likely to try a new product or services when they feel protected and reassured by the masses.

It’s been determined that spreading ideas is essential to the survival of a society. There are 5 main situations where this occurs. They are:

  1. Crisis
  2. Mission
  3. Problem
  4. Danger
  5. Opportunity

Think of evangelism. This is a prime example of people not only spreading the word, but convincing people to jump on board and start to spread the word themselves. To do this effectively, you need to incorporate a few key things that always catch people’s eye:

  • Sex
  • News
  • Unique Results
  • The Unusual
  • Helping Others
  • Secrets

Next, we are going to switch gears a little and talk about viral marketing. While traditional marketing can be used to your advantage, the reality is viral and online marketing is the king of the castle. You can spread the word online like the plague if you know what to do. Here are some simple steps to do this:

  1. Find an interesting idea
  2. Make it easy for people to experience or trial
  3. Spread the idea while people who are in close contact with others
  4. Take advantage of existing communication methods
  5. Develop the way of trying your product in such a way that it automatically draws more try-ers

 

Some great places to use viral marketing are:

  • Geocities
  • eBay
  • Roger Wilco
  • ICQ
  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • MSN Instant Messenger
  • Winamp
  • Hotmail
  • “Tell A Friend” Buttons
  • E-Greeting Cards

There are six things everyone should be doing to benefit from word of mouth on the Internet:

  1. Put WOM components on your website.
  2. Assign people to monitor your viral marketing.
  3. Place testimonials in different places on your website to walk a customer through the purchasing cycle.
  4. Set up an email marketing campaign.
  5. Stay up to date on what products and services the experts in your industry are recommending.
  6. Use your website to demonstrate the great ways people are using or finding success with your products and services.

Here are other non-viral Internet opportunities to explore:

  • iPhone’s
  • Handheld PC’s
  • Blackberrys
  • And other well connected electronic devices

This wraps up the lesson on traditional and viral marketing. If you need help putting together any of the plans or successes in this lesson, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you need to put these plans into action.

If you are ready to take the next step in your business book your exploration session today!

Decoding WOM messages

Today’s lesson will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.

There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:

  • Expert to Expert
  • Expert to Peer
  • Peer to Peer

When experts are talking about your products or service you will usually receive an amazing rush of sales and new customers, so obviously this is one of the best things that can happen. You can also help to facilitate this by offering free products to experts for them to review.

Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.

There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:

  • First impressions from an expert
  • Organised trial of your products or services
  • Pooling peer experiences

It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and services. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. While you may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will help take your products and services to the top. 

  • Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:
  • Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
  • Offer to record their testimonials
  • Ask to interview them for feedback to improve
  • Offer them a premier customer membership
  • Ask them to join a referral incentive program

There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services. 

Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost a little of its lustre over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
  • Boring, lacking something fresh and new
  • Too short of a time slot to offer enough information

While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective, it needs to be presented in the right sequence, comes from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible and be delivered at the right time in the medium. 

We’re going to switch gears a little and talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need for your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts. 

Without these results, you can’t fine-tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat and lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyse whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:

  • Direct experience with the product
  • Interaction with peers using the same product
  • Experts’ experience
  • Scientific journals and other resources
  • Independent reviews and opinions

 

You can accelerate this process by:

  • Providing your own demo’s and free trials
  • Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
  • Offer a good true story that can be passed around 

Once you have the ability and are able to work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much better. If you need help with any of this along the way, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our experienced business coaches.

If you would like to learn the secrets to increasing your business value overnight, register for one of our free webinars today!

If you want expert help now, book a free exploration session to see how we can work together.

If creating amazing customer experiences is one of your goals, check out our latest video on CX.

Harness the Power of WOM

Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six-step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harness the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!

There are six steps to harnessing word of mouth:

  1. Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would buy your products.
  2. Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters, and laggards. 
  3. Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted. 
  4. Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
  5. Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
  6. Create and implement your word-of-mouth campaign.

The Decision Maker Matrix is based on years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts different concerns you may come across when working with different adopters and putting together a decision process for each one. 

We are now going to move on to the 30 ways to harass the power of WOM:

Use Experts

Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Experts
  • Salespeople
  • Experts’ roundtables
  • Experts’ selling groups

Seminars, Workshops & Speeches

These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather the information you can look over later. Some events to use are:

  • Speakers program
  • Seminars
  • Group selling
  • Dinner meetings
  • Peer selling groups
  • Teleconferenced experts’ panels
  • Trade show events/opportunities

“Canned” Word of Mouth

The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:

  • Videotapes
  • Audiotapes
  • World Wide Web
  • CD’s

Referral Selling

As we’ve talked about before a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:

  • Testimonials
  • Networking
  • Referral Selling Program

“New” Media

The concept of “new” media is the use of up-and-coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for feedback about them. Here are some of the “new” media options:

  • Hotlines
  • Faxback services
  • Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
  • Call centers

Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth

Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:

  • Customer service 
  • PR
  • Placements
  • Events
  • Promotions
  • Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
  • Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training, 
  • Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
  • Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals) 

Internal Word of Mouth

  • Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others
  • Offer rewards or commission for the word of mouth success

As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please try our GUIDED TOUR to access our exclusive resources that can help you put this whole thing together.

Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 3

Last time we talked about the second part of word of mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten the purchasing decision time of your customers which can increase your profits immensely.

Today we’re going to talk about the nine levels of word of mouth which gives you a tool to measure the word of mouth circulating around your company, products and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word of mouth-it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative and the positive levels are positive. 

Minus 4

This is the worst of the worst and means your product is creating a scandal. Remember, when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.

Minus 3

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you.

Minus 2

While, not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you they will give a negative response. 

Minus 1

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings, this can be a little confusing. 

Level 0

This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a bit of a slippery slope, because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. In fact, you should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1

At this level we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word of mouth about you company, products and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products.

Plus 3

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company and their shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

Plus 4

Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:

  • Lexus
  • Harley Davidson
  • Saturn Cars
  • Netscape
  • Apple Computers
  • Celestial Teas

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Next time we’re going to talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.