This came via a newsletter I receive on writing…
Let’s say the majority of your business comes from word-of-mouth. Good for you!
It means that most of your past or current clients like your product or service. So you’re doing something right. But what you’re not doing is any other marketing… So it’s possible that there’s no other way for you to get clients. And that’s not good.
Here’s a brilliant message, by Peter Carruthers, on the subject:
Whenever I talk to some intrepid entrepreneur about finding clients…they assure me they don’t need to do any marketing because all of their clients arrive by word-of-mouth.
This is a prime example of a problem known as confirmation bias.
Of course all of their clients arrive by word-of-mouth. That’s because they’re not doing any other marketing, so there is no other way for clients to arrive.
Just in case this isn’t obvious, it is very unlikely that a person will call in response to the ad my intrepid friend did not arrange, or the magazine advert he didn’t place, or the flyer at the traffic light he did not hand out, or the website he doesn’t have.
That’s not the way he sees it. Rather, he interprets the results to mean that he is so darn good that his past clients are referring him.
It is easy to make this mistake. After all, 100% of his new clients are indeed the result of word-of-mouth, even if there are not enough of them to cover the watery soup and gruel he has come to enjoy.
Relying on word-of-mouth is, I think, a dreadful way to sell your services and products. Especially at a time when the world economy is tightening, and the competitors are getting a lot hungrier.
I think this is the universe telling us to bring our First Team to the market…
– Peter Carruthers, PetesWeekly.Com
I completely agree with Peter. What’s more, I think that there’s never been a more important time to spend real money on marketing.
[This isn’t, believe it or not, a con job to get you to use me as your copywriter. It’s just a strong encouragement to put some cash aside for marketing – whatever form that might take and whether you use my services or someone else’s.]
We (me included) can’t leave it all to word-of-mouth anymore. The world is changing…