How To Use Word of Mouth

As is true in every business, the most important and impactful form of advertising is word of mouth.

How many of you have seen the new version of IT?

I cannot stand scary movies, so I never watch them. My good friend told me, “well, Scott, it’s really more of a coming of age movie than a horror movie.” I trusted him and…. it was TERRIFYING. Even though I knew I didn’t like scary movies, even though I knew IT was supposed to be terrifying, I listened to my friend. This is, of course, a very low stakes example of how Word of Mouth can go wrong. The next time that friend wants to convince me to see a movie, the only thing I’m going to think of is that stupid clown. In fact, it takes at least 5 positive experiences to outweigh one negative one.

Let’s translate this over into business: the number one source of business is referrals. What are people referring when they refer you? Are you an asset to the realtor? Are you going to make this home buying process much easier? What is your value? To be referred, you HAVE to be referred for something. Many times, when I tell people about the 5:1 ratio for positive to negative experiences, they will focus on one of two things, either: a) they are scared they are going to do a bad job and run out of chances to make it up to that person, or b) they make sure that every experience with them is the best that it can be. While choice b is the obvious preference in the short term, the long term solution is to just take more at bats. To get more at bats, figure out your value!

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