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June 06, 2008

Women and Word of Mouth

I've been dying to read Michele Miller's new book, The Soccer Mom Myth. For long-time readers of this blog, you'll remember Michele as one of the first contributors to my Five by Five series. In the Church of the Customer blog, Michele shares 5 Things You Need to Know About Women and Word of Mouth. Here arethe key two for me:

What can you do to make increase women’s word of mouth?

Here’s the wrong way to do it: “Sign up three friends and we’ll give you a 15% discount.” This feels like you are asking her to sell out her friends. Instead, change the offer to “You and every one of your friends who signs up will get a 15% discount.” Now she has special access to a discount that she can pass along to friends. You’ve made her the hero. She can offer value to her trusted network. She has just increased her trust and standing.

What about asking women for referrals; good idea, or bad idea?

This is tricky. Because women are such great referrers, it seems logical. If you are doing business with her, and she values your relationship, it may seem perfectly acceptable to ask her for a list of friends who might benefit from your services. But that may not be a good idea, even if she thinks you’re the best thing since Starbuck’s drive-thru. She is the gatekeeper of her relationships. She’s not being stingy, she’s being protective. A better idea might be to give her a few of your business cards and say, “if you know of anyone who might benefit from my service, feel free to give them my card.”

Unless you don't have (or want) women as clients, read her book. I've just ordered mine.

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