Tag: Freedom

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

Last time we talked about the second part of word-of-mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten your customers’ purchasing decision time, which can increase your profits immensely.

Today is not so much of a blog but a tool to evaluate where your word of mouth stands and how it affects your business. We’re going to talk about the nine levels of word-of-mouth which gives you a scale to measure the word-of-mouth circulating around your company, products, and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word-of-mouth, it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative, and the positive levels are positive. 

Word of Mouth Scale

Minus 4-Death Blow

This is the worst of the worst and means your product or service is creating a scandal. Remember when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.

If this is where you are, it is most likely a death blow for your business and you have most likely done something very wrong. 

Minus 3-Karen is Out for Blood

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you. 

They are actively making a seen, leaving bad reviews, making their tik toks. In some respect, this can be the worst place to be. Karen does not allow you to have a minute to respond and fix the problem. 

Minus 2-Unacceptable and Unhappy

While not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you, they will give a negative response. They will take the time to leave a Yelp or Google review and most likely leave it at that. 

Minus 1-Solvable 

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied, and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings; this can be a little confusing. 

These people may stick with you because it is easy or the pain is not enough to change. It is important to spend time giving them a better experience.

Level 0-Neutral 

This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a slippery slope because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. You should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1-Satisfied 

At this level, we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word-of-mouth about your company, products, and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2-Tip of the Tong Solution

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products or service. They will be a person who says something like, “o I use …” or “consider trying …”. These people need to be prompted but once they have been you’re their go-to.

They may give a review but most likely need to be prompted before they will do it.

Plus 3-Have You Heard About

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company, and shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

These people will leave an unprompted review and 5-star score. These tend to be your 7-9 net promoter scores.

Plus 4- Champion

Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around, and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service, and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

These are the people who do not only leave a review but also go out of their way to make a social media post. These are your 9-10 net promoter scores. 

Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:

  • Lexus
  • Harley Davidson
  • Lululemon 
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Costco

 

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Next ti, we will talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

Where is your next big client? Picking a pond is important.

Where is your next big client? Picking a pond is important.

Let’s continue where we left off last week, where we talked about bringing the big-company mindset into your business and your team. Having a big fish mindset will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep you from being successful.

Now that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going to identify who is our ideal big fish. It’s essential to know about the fish you are looking for before you put a plan together. We’re also going to take a moment to talk about the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.

It is important to know a few things about your fish. All people and companies have habits, and it essential to be able to identify them. For the sake of this article, we will talk about the most important habits for you to identify. These habits are their purchasing habits, procedures, and company culture.

Purchasing Habits 

  1. Fiscal Budgets:
    1. It’s essential you know the fish’s fiscal budget, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year. Knowing this information allows you to tailor your plan to approach them just at the right time.
  1. Current Fulfillment Partners
    1. Spend time identifying who they are buying from already. Your goal is to understand why them and not you.

Procedures

  1. Responsibilities:
    1. You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying, and who can kill a deal if they want.
  1. Purchasing structure
    1. Besides knowing who the decision-makers are, it is important to identify the company’s desired sales process. For instance, do they want an RFQ or RFP, an estimate, etc.?
  1. Get on Their List:
    1. You need to know how to get on their list of people to buy from. Your name needs to be on the list but at the top of it and in as many categories as possible for more interaction. Ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the application process.

Company culture

  1. Lingo:
    1. You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords, and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
  2. Values
    1. Take the time to identify the values at all levels of the company. Not just the ones on the website. Values are essential to understanding motivation is the path to problem-solving.

These three areas are just the starting point for identifying your “Big Fish.” I encourage you to spend additional time creating an Ideal Client Avatar.

Red Tap Warning

Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s a quick look at the “red tape.”

Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. “Red tape” is a necessary evil, but one you can use to learn from. There are two ways to learn from their system:

  1. Analyze their activity.
  2. Review their correspondence.

Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape,” imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more info, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.

Congrats on creating your Big Fish profile; you have taken the next step. As much as fishing is a solitary activity when it comes to business, it is important to get help. Engage your team, support network, mentors, and coaches in this process. As always, I am here to help. Don’t hesitate to ask a question.

The best time to start was yesterday, but today will do just fine.

About the Author

I am a business coach and consultant specializing in uncovering the root cause of a challenge and offering an unexpected solution. That solution typically results in a substantial increase in profits and the peace of mind to set you free from your business.

I ask powerful questions to clarify who you are and what you want. I am empathetic, although surgical in approach. I make my clients feel they are the only person I am working with. I have an uncanny way of drawing people out and getting to the heart of the matter.

I am a Pittsburgh native who aspires to free business from the rat race. If I am not working to improve the lives of my clients. Then you will most likely find me on the ice playing hockey, reading, or making plans for the future.

If I can ever be helpful to my readers, it would be my pleasure to connect and see where I can bring you value. I look forward to continuing to share more great lessons with my growing community.

Business 2.01: Grow the Right Way

Business 2.01: Grow the Right Way

Show how your business grows just like planting a tree. It is to serve as symbolism for the work we put in as business owners.

Two weeks ago, we talked about the first three of the seven specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

(The first three focus areas were covered in the blog: Business 2.0, please read before continuing)

Creating a focus in these seven areas will get you on the path to creating a business that works for you. Today we are going to cover the last four.

Before we jump into it, think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so tiny and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But, you keep watering, fertilizing, and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk, and each of these strategies will extend out like the branches of your now a strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers, and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers to bear fruit. 

Grab your pen and paper, roll up your sleeves; it is time to get to work.

Management Strategy

If I told you, having excellent management is not about finding great people with a lot of experience but about creating a system to cultivate, promote, and train talent. 

The way you structure your management team development is essential to your growth and your employees’ happiness and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people but the actual system that’s in place.

A management strategy, in short, includes goals, rules, company direction (mission/vision), standards (supervisor expectation of behavior and performance), skill development. That tells your employees how to act, grow your business, and meet clients’ expectations. 

It is a well-orchestrated procession of actions that allows your staff to exceed your clients’ expectations while fulfilling strategic objectives over and over again. It is your operation manual, your series of checklists, scripts, and action processes. 

People strategy: 

If your management strategy is what you want your people to do, your people strategy is how you get them to do it.

You need to show your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps your employees personally connect to their job, leading to better production and a happier workplace. 

There are several strategies you can use to get the highest performance of your employees (They are in order of effectiveness):

  • Constant, regular, and public reminder/thanks of how their work is impacting the community (companies goals)
  • Internal education program
  • Internal staff dream program
  • The innovation game
  • A learn this business program:” not just your job.”
  • Performance Incentive Programs
  • Contests that reward high performance
  • An employee of the Month
  • Performance/Holiday Bonuses

These are just a few of the ideas you can use. To create a great people strategy is to find the balance between appreciation, education (the why), and directing of staff energy.

One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded. Think about it for a while and put the best strategy into play. Keep it fresh and change up the system you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach.

You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation, and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the higher their loyalty level.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. There are two central pillars of successful marketing strategy-the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.

The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy, and the demographic tells you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items.

With this information, you have answered the pivotal questions of marketing:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they at?
  • What do they want?

Now all you have to do is speak to them. 

Systems Strategy

There are three types of systems in every business:

  • Hard Systems
  • Soft Systems
  • Information Systems

Hard systems refer to those that immutable they’re opening and closing procedures, your standards of office cleanliness. These are the systems that don’t have any wiggle room and are usually all internal.

Information systems include customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers. This the recording of important information to the operation, use, and success of the business.

The most important of all three systems is the soft systems because it is where your employees have the most flexibility in execution and usually require the most creativity.

The most critical soft system is your sales system. In your sales system, the two keys to success are structure and substance. The structure is what you sell, and substance being how you sell it.

All three systems are essential to your business’s success, and while they all have their particular roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.

Recap 

I want to take a moment to recap on the ideas we went over through these business development lessons. We have covered a lot of the series of blogs.

An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with: 

  • Desire 
  • Some capital 
  • Projected a targeted profit

There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:

  • The Technician
  • The Manager
  • The Entrepreneur

The four different stages of a business life cycle are:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Growing Pains
  • Maturity

There are a few things we are going to talk about:

  • Business Format Franchise
  • The Franchise Prototype
  • Franchise Prototype Standards

There are three main areas of business development:

  • Innovation
  • Quantification
  • Orchestration

Seven specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy
Question and Actions

If you have been following along over the past few months, I thank you for those who have not; then you have a lot of work to do. Below are guiding questions and action steps. As always, I am here to help.

  1. What do I do now? First, identify what role in your business you play. Are you a technician, manager, or entrepreneur? 
  2. Where do I need the most help? Take some time to think about the area you need the most help, then start taking your business’s next step.
  3. What will it take to get past my ego? As entrepreneurs, we constantly feel we must go it alone, but in reality, once we get past our ego holding us back, we can get the help we need to succeed truly.

I am here to help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start. Feel free to contact me directly at doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com. I am happy to answer any questions you have and discuss the success of your business.

Business 2.0 Replace Yourself

Business 2.0 Replace Yourself

Prototyping is not just for building robots. It should be an integral part of every entrepreneur’s plans. It should be every business owner’s goal to have their business run without them needing to make a decision. 

This is why it is imperative to think of your business as a franchise prototype. This business development method allows you to remove your emotional attachment from your business’s tasks and focus on your desired outcome.

The seven specific areas you need to consider in your business development prototype process:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

These seven areas are the step-by-step process through which you convert your existing business into a perfectly organized model for thousands more, just like. In this lesson, we are going to cover the first three steps. Get your pen and paper ready to start creating your prototype.

Primary Aim

Your primary aim is the answers to all the questions. It is not just the target but the arrow, the bow, the water bottle on your hip, and the reason you got out of bed. Simply put, it is the purpose that is bigger than your business.

It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business, and you need to think about what you want out of life. How would you answer the following questions: 

  • What do you dream about?
  •  How do you see your success unfolding? 
  • Who do you wish to be?
  • What is your ideal lifestyle?

Knowing and understanding your aim will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Take a minute to write them down and tape them to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.

Ask yourself every day, how am I meeting my primary aim?

Strategic Objectives

Once you have the picture of how you want your life to be and realize it is more than fancy cars, big houses, and that it is a state of feeling. Then it is time to set strategic objectives. These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. All of these objectives should offer solutions for how to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic goals, but here is a couple of the most popular:

  1. Money: Setting monetary goals is a great, simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
  2. Worthy Opportunities: These are emotionally driven goals. This is how you measure lives impacted; client served, positive reviews, in essence, you speak to your customer’s psychographics needs and, to a further extent yourself.
  3. Through or Throughput: This is your automation goal of removing yourself from the day-to-day equation. We will measure this by hours worked, emails answered, or any way you wish. The critical piece is that these goals get you to business Nirvanaha when your business work for you and you don’t have to work for your business.

The key to setting standards and goals is not to limit yourself or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. These are just three suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards you set, you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.

Organizational Strategy

The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s essential to take the time to put together a solid framework for your business to grow from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of daily. And the personalities that need to fulfill those roles. 

No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company, it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.

Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep them clear for you, the employee, and other employees/vendors or other individuals.

Question & Actions 

You’re probably going, wow, I have a lot to do. Well, you do but let’s create some action steps to get you started.

  1. Answer the big question: What is my primary aim? This is more complex than just answer the question, but what you need to do is create your first draft. Take a stab at it, write it down, and test it for the next few weeks.
  2. What are my strategic objectives? Create one goal in each category and start tracking it. Set aside time each week to review and see how you’re meeting that goal.
  3. How can I automate or replace one job I do? Set a goal to automate, delete, or replace one task that you currently do. Then give yourself a timeframe to do it. Then repeat until your business is running itself. 

You can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, don’t hesitate to contact us. Look out for the next four steps in a later blog.