Most reliable sales tool takes years to nurture

TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Blogging Biz

November 25, 2007|By STEPHEN L. ROSENSTEIN

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways for a small business to attract new customers. It uses the most trusted salesperson you could ever find for your business - a satisfied client.

The power of word-of-mouth can drive business to your door, even if your marketing budget is nonexistent. However, don't expect a marketing miracle to suddenly appear. For most businesses, it is a phenomenon that you can take steps to create and nurture.

Create a simple marketing message that is easy for people to pass along. Make it specific to a real need. If you can, include success stories or testimonials from real customers.

To stimulate word-of-mouth, you might consider asking customers for referrals and recommendations. Place your networking efforts in high gear. When you network you get to know people in your community or industry, and they will think of you when they need your product or service.

Above all, recognize that people will spread the word if treated well. Providing superior customer service and addressing problems quickly will help generate the word-of-mouth you wish.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of the Greater Baltimore SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit www.scorebaltimore.org. To send a question to SCORE representatives, e-mail smallbiz@baltsun.com.

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