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Less Is More and Free Is Bad for Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing
What are people thinking when they interact with you? It would be incredibly useful to have such information readily available to you when you start a conversation or make a sale's pitch. Unfortunately we can't read minds. However, we can calculate what an audience is thinking. After all, a conversation is basically a dance. You step, they step. It is a waltz and one person must lead. It is up to you to be the leader and guide your partner in the right direction.
It's All a Dance
To start with the basics, consider there is such a thing as too much information. Limit what choices you offer your customers. Don't give them a wide selection or they will begin focusing on considering the right answers rather than deciding what they want. Don't ever offer option D - none of the above. Avoid options like this because they tend to draw away from the sale. Offer instead another solution if they don't feel satisfied with the others. When it comes to information, keep in mind that mystery always intrigues the mind. When you blog or discuss strategies, leave some out. Allow your audience to speculate. Give them a taste, but don't give them the whole pie. This will bring them back searching for more. This is often most beneficial for generating personal word-of-mouth marketing. Mystery often generates conversation. How do they do it? What is the secret ingredient? Individuals are naturally intrigued by mystery and will draw others in to ask their opinion of your business as well.
Steer Clear of the "May I Pick Your Brain?" Zone
Don't hesitate to charge for your services, even consultations. People generally will want to pay for what is given to them. It provides a sense of achievement and eliminates the feeling of obligation. Have you ever gotten something for free and felt obligated to return the favor? That is the very reason why we pay for what we get. You don't have to give things away for free to get loyal customers. You get loyal customers by being dependable and professional. Negotiations can be tricky in an information-based business especially when people think "offering you a cup of coffee or a meal" somehow compensates you for all of your expertise and experience. In negotiations, you say high, they say low. Then you move until you meet in the middle. The trick is to make that middle feel like a winning spot for the customer and still be profitable for you. People will fight harder to avoid losing more than they will fight to win. It's based on the emotional stance of the individual, rather than the logical. People do not like to lose, so the trick is to make your customers feel like they win in a conversation. There is such a thing as too many options and too much information. You don't have to give away your secrets for free to increase your sales and visibility. Consider instead offering a taste of what you have so they will like it and want to buy what you are selling.
Maria Elena Duron
, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks "work" and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz. She facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops - taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,
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