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Guest Opinion

Word-of-mouth advertising

Sauk Centre Herald of Sauk Centre, Minnesota

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Sauk Centre Chambei update

How's your word-of-mouth advertising? In small communities, it can be a real boost to any business because it relies on the added credibility of person-to-person, friend-to-friend, and neighbor-to-neighbor communication and is often accompanied with a story.

What is the story being told about your business? I'm sure you've heard, or know from personal experience, bad news travels faster than good news. Likewise bad service, bad food or bad product experiences make their way to consumers' ears faster than good service, food or products. This is why it's so important for businesses to control, or at least have a handle on, the message that's being spread.

With opinions at our fingertips through blogs, Face-book, texting and other forms of social media, it doesn't take long for word-of-mouth marketing to make its rounds.These opinions are coming from real people, not paid spokesmen or salesmen, so they're generally taken more seriously than any other form of advertising or marketing. Word of mouth is personal, so creating positive word of mouth requires a more personal approach. Talk to and engage your customers. Make them feel important; tell them you appreciate their business. Train your staff to do the same. Ask yourself, "What am I doing to get people talking?" More importantly, "What am I not doing that may be getting people to talk more?" Essentially, every customer is a spokesperson for your business; make it easy for them to spread a good word.

Business owners, don't forget: Chamber After Hours tonight at Main Street Coffee Company.

Quote of the week: Remember that guy who gave up? Neither does anyone else.

Original Publication Date: January 19, 2012

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