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How to Generate Word of Mouth Referrals Offline

How to Generate Word of Mouth Referrals Offline

October 12, 2012

One of the most effective forms of marketing has always been word of mouth referrals. Word of mouth marketing is easier today than it ever has been before due to the presence of social media as a marketing tool and the many offline avenues that business owners have to network. While word of mouth marketing (WOM) takes some work, creating a positive reputation about your brand through offline referrals is an invaluable resource for businesses. By applying these tips, you can accelerate networking opportunities and nurture your business’s reputation.

If you are ready to make an impact on your small business’s bottom line, here are a few tried and tested ways to create a robust community presence and generate better word of mouth referrals:

#1. Make the Most of Your Network

One of the best ways to encourage word of mouth referrals is to work your local network by joining the Chamber of Commerce or other local business networks. These organizations will help you meet people, make contacts, and will eventually open doors for you so that you can expand your business’s presence beyond your tight knit circle of friends and colleagues. When you join in these events, make sure to have a stack of business cards ready!

#2. Take Advantage of Local Directories

Make sure that your business is listed in as many local directories as possible. This can include neighborhood newsletters, community directories, or other business publications. When someone in your community is in need of your products or services, they’ll be more likely to turn to you if you’re listed in these directories.

#3. Partner with Other Companies that Appeal to Your Target Audience

When you’re looking for partnership opportunities for your company, make sure to pay close attention to businesses that service your clientele so that you can position your products or services front and center. A partnership that has the opportunity for cross promotion on both sides will be mutually beneficial and encourage more word of mouth referrals.

#4. Give Presentations at Seminars or Workshops

Free presentations within the area of your expertise are a great way to build credibility and a loyal following. You can also host seminars, provide lessons, or give workshops that will help the people in your industry. This will help to keep you and your business top of mind while also giving you valuable exposure in your community.

#5. Ramp up Your Promotions

Offering free samples or discounts to new customers is a great way to get people to try your product. A unique giveaway opportunity or special promotion may be just what your business needs to generate more word of mouth referrals. This is a great way to jumpstart your results and ramp up your word of mouth marketing.

#6. Be Charitable

You can build a strong community presence by generously donating some of your products or services to your local charity. Sponsoring charitable events is also a great way to get the community involved with your business and show that you are an active and caring member of the community. Hosting a parade, craft fair, or youth event is a great way to encourage word of mouth referrals from people at the event.

#7. Offer Referral Rewards

Rewards for referrals are a great way to encourage your best and most loyal customers to recommend your products or services to their friends, family, or colleagues. Giving customers a discount for every referral they send to you is also a great way to keep your loyal customers happy and positive buzz circulating about your business.

#8. Ask Your Best Customers for Testimonials

A testimonial from your loyal customers can work wonders in word of mouth marketing. If you get a great testimonial, you can use it on your website, in your store, or as collateral so that your prospects will know what other customers have experienced when doing business with you. You may have to ask for a testimonial from your customers, which is perfectly fine. Your loyal customers will be happy to give you one, and testimonials are great tools for word of mouth referrals when used correctly!

Offline word of mouth referrals can be the lifeblood of your business’s success, and you don’t have to be a guru to make this type of marketing work for you. By combining these offline referral methods with social media, you can create a powerful and robust one-two marketing punch that will leave a positive impression about your brand and generate more business for you in the future.

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