In our monthly newsletters, we spend a lot of time tapping our proverbial marketing wisdom and sharing it with others. In fact, we have recommended a myriad of tactics so companies have the precise tools and knowledge to succeed. However, whether you are a product-based business or a serviced based business, B2C or B2B, or maybe even B2B2C, and no matter how many ways you market your business, almost inevitably, the #1 way to win a loyal customer is……. Well, I can’t tell you already or you won’t read the rest of the article.
But I will give you a clue. How many of you would like to be in the audience of the Oprah show? (Meghann and I have been trying to get tickets for three months, in anticipation of our upcoming trip to Chicago for the marathon, to no avail, darnit.) Even better than seeing any ole’ Oprah show is seeing one of her bi-annual “Favorite Things” episodes. The audience walks away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise just for being there. And these aren’t just any old products. These are ones Oprah personally endorses!
So now you know the #1 way to get and keep business - word of mouth referrals! High Dive lives and breathes by them and so do many of our clients. Many companies have made their mark on the map thanks to Oprah’s blessing. Though companies spend thousands (and maybe millions, depending on how big a company it is) on Internet marketing, advertising , PR, direct marketing and more, word of mouth referrals are (usually) FREE. Not only that, but referrals are meaningful and credible. They wean out a lot of the guessing, screening and testing. They reduce the purchase decision time period dramatically.
So how do you build a Word of Mouth network? Well, if I gave away that golden nugget of information in this article, you’d have no reason to hire us! But seriously, depending on if you are a product-based business or a serviced based business, B2C or B2B, or maybe even B2B2C, there would be different ways to build and grow that referral network.
So for now, we’re going to take a tip from Oprah and tell you about our favorite things. And though her endorsement might be better (and more lucrative) than ours, we thought it’d be fun to start doing this on a regular basis – on our blog.
Melinda’s Favorite Things.
My new mountain bike: A Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe with disc brakes. It was hard to park my beloved Mt. Tam after ten years of climbs, declines and tumbles, but the new one purrs like a kitten when I’m riding the hills of Boise. And the dual suspension feature makes it easier on my (getting older but still hangin’) bones and muscles.
My Garmin watch: I’m not sure how I ever trained for marathons without it. Not only do I know how far I’m going, but I also know how fast (or in my case, how slow) it took me to get there. Now we’ll see if the new knowledge benefits me in my quest to qualify for Boston.
Greek yogurt: FAGE is my fav, but there are other great brands as well. Greek yogurt is rich, thick, and creamy. It’s ideal for cooking and a great dessert replacement for folks like me who have trouble saying no to the sweet stuff. (Greek yogurt with figs is divine!)
Rob’s favorite things.
My Stockli XXXL Skis: These little babies kiss the terrain. Pricey but they’re worth every penny because they slice everything like butta.’ Just seeing them sitting in my garage makes me pine for snow in July.
The Lukey Bike Tagalong: It’s actually quite a goofy apparatus. But it allows my son Luke and I to get some serious hang time. I love riding with him.
Meghann’s favorite things.
Rainbow Sandals: I wear them almost every day in the summer. I own them in black and tan for every occasion. They are leather thong and footbed, really great quality sandal.
Trident White Gum: You could call this a straight up addiction. I buy in bulk and always have to have at least 2 packs in my purse at all times. I feel naked without it. Just delicious. Some benefits of the gum: It is actually good for your teeth – it has recaldent which strengthens teeth. Plus it whitens teeth and freshens breath.
Ruffwear Flat Out Leash: This is a great inventions. I take my Golden Retriever for runs almost every day and this makes it easy. Due to her excitement (she loves to run) and my poor training she pulls so hard that it is burdensome for me to run with her unless she is connected at the waist. That way I have the freedom I need and it is durable enough to handle the pulling.
Brian’s favorite things.
KNOG Frog Bike Lights: These sweet little rubber LED safety lights attach to your bike to let everyone else know you exist when you are riding home late at night or out on the trails past dark. They are inexpensive and come in a multitude of colors for those gear heads who demand that everything on their bike matches. Two watch-sized batters power the LED light for up to 160 hours.
Dale’s Pale Ale: Simply the best Pale Ale on the market. Try it for yourself.
John’s favorite things.
(John’s a little shy so he got straight to the point).
1. iPod + iTunes; joyous
2. New art supplies
3. Metallic colors