Posts Tagged "word of mouth"

Dealing With “Out of Market” Leads

Regardless of how well you target your messaging and pre-qualify your leads, you can always do better.  In addition, you will always get some leads that slip through that are “out of market”, or that are clearly not looking for what you have to offer.

What do you do in those cases? I’ve seen a number of approaches. Some just flag the lead as “dead”, or “junk” and never look at them again.  Some send them an automated follow up email that attempts to clarify what their product or service is, and invites them to respond if they are in fact truly interested.  Your approach really depends on your business/market/product.

What if You Could Provide a Bit More Value?

What if when you receive a lead that is clearly out of market, you could clarify your product or service AND point them in the right direction if they are really looking for something else? Then, you could also ask them to refer your product or service to someone they know that may have a need for it.   Maybe even include a special offer, and some kind of incentive to refer someone?

This could be done in a two step approach – clarify first, then upon response send them in the right direction, or all in one step.

For example:

Thanks for your interest in ABC Pizza Management Software.  ABC Pizza Management is the only business management solution developed specifically for Pizza shop owners.

Based on the information you’ve provided, it looks like you are looking for a CRM solution for your Pet Store.  While our software is flexible, ABC Software is built specifically for Pizza shop owners and may not be the best fit for you.   A few possible solutions that you may want to take a look at are:

- Pet Shop Pro (
- Pet Store Control Suite (

By the way, if you know any Pizza shop owners, please let me know or send them my way.  Here’s a link that you can direct them to, and if they become a customer, I’ll even send you 50% of their first months usage fees!

I hope I’ve been helpful, and all the best.

Again, how well this will work and how easily it will scale depends on your business/market/product.   It also doesn’t need to be an email, as this could potentially work really well over the phone.  Think about the impression you’d leave by going out of your way to meet that person’s need in an unexpected way.

Additional Value To Be Derived

One thing to also keep in mind is that over time, you will probably see some sort of trend with regards to the misunderstandings about your product.  This should:

  1. Tip you off as to how you can improve your messaging
  2. Enable you to scale the above approach, by helping you identify the handful of solutions that you suggest on a regular basis.
  3. Give you insight into potential partnerships (depending on the volume), even if only as a referral agent.

Why not give it a try for a period of time, and compare it against your current approach?

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Last Thursday I had a meeting with the someone in downtown Troy New York, to talk about the work we’re doing with I had just eaten quickly before the meeting and I stopped into the Illium Cafe to pick up a pack of gum, or some mints to help ensure my speaking was well received. :-)

I noticed right away that they had none available at the usual spot. I told the ladies behind the counter that I was running to meet with someone, and I was looking for some gum or mints, but didn’t see any out. They apologized and informed me that they had just run out. HOWEVER, in the exact same response, the manager Beth Duval went to her own purse and then handed me some gum of her own!

Two things companies can takeaway from this:

1) Go above an beyond, and meet a need in an unexpected way. Meeting a need in an unexpected way is a powerful thing. The positive shock/surprise makes the experience with your brand that much more impactful. It’s hard to forget, and it’s a great way to generate positive word of mouth.

Rather than repeat it, here is a great post by Maki over at Dosh Dosh that gives an excellent explanation of the cognitive cause of surprise, and how it effects one’s behavior.

Look for ways that you can do something for your customers that meets a need in a way that they would not expect.

2) Remember to nurture the individuals who are already talking about your company/brand, or that you know are repeat and happy customers. Going above and beyond for these people in particular is important, because you might just do the one thing that makes them “tip”, and do something above and beyond in return. (Like me sharing my great experience at the Illium Cafe in this post)

In trying to build word of mouth, many times people think they need to do something big or crazy to appeal to a mass crowd of people who have never heard their message. This has its place, but don’t forget to focus on the individuals who are already talking about you.

Not everyone will communicate their experience with your brand, but nurturing your repeat and happy customers is never a bad thing.

Bravo Illium Cafe, and keep up the great work on all fronts!

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