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Get Word of Mouth – FAST



Learning from the big boys

Big companies were at one time someone’s idea.  Whether you want to grow to 50 or 5,000, take a page from the playbook of global giants, like GE, Nike, Apple and others and use Net Promoter® scores to identify solid influencers.  It’s simple, cheap and it can create a word of mouth campaign to attract new customers.

Cheap & easy?  Tell me more!

Net Promoter is a statistic for measuring loyalty as well a strategy to leverage customer feedback to increase sales.  It’s perfect for a service business because it’s simple, holds you accountable for how your clients are treated and provides instant insight on how you can improve.

It all starts with one question:  How likely are you to recommend (your name) to a colleague or friend?

Survey your customers

1.  Have a neutral third party call your clients.  Have them ask the question above by rank of 1 – 10, 10 being Extremely Likely

2.  Keep track of the responses individually.

3.  Calculate your Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score = % Promoters (9 and 10) – % Detractors (0 through 6)

Promoters, Passives & Detractors, oh my!

Your clients will be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters (score 9-10) – loyal enthusiasts who will refer others
  • Passives (score 7-8) – satisfied, unenthusiastic and vulnerable to competitive offerings
  • Detractors (score 0-6) – unhappy – can damage your brand through negative word-of-mouth

For example, we survey 30 clients over the last two years:
67% (20 people) are Promoters (9 – 10)
23% (7 people) are Passives (7-8)- remember, we don’t use this number in the calculation
10% (3 people) are Detractors
Our NPS is 57%

What’s a good score?

According to industry reports:

  • Apple has a NPS of 79%. Not apples-to-apples (no pun) plus they have a cult brand
  • At 32%, Wachovia has the highest NPS score for general banking services

Granted, your sample size will be smaller than the companies listed above, but it should give you an indication where your clients fall categorically.

OK, now what?

Your first goal should be to convert Passives into Promoters so they will actively refer friends and colleagues to you.  Then, concentrate on moving the Detractors into the Passives category.  But how?

If only you knew the reason anyone gave you a score of less than 9…  Wait, here’s a thought.  Ask!

Why did you give me a 6 ??

Add a 2nd question your survey:   What is the main reason you gave a score of X?

While you will need to put these answers into context, you should begin to see a trend in the answers from each group.

Compare the answers from Detractors and Passives to those from the Promoters, and you should have a pretty clear picture how you can circumvent the avoidable shortfalls with future clients.

Kiss & make up

Finally, decide if you are comfortable addressing any of the issues with your Passives.  It could be something so minor a quick conversation or handwritten note (where you fall on the sword, whether you agree with their thoughts or not) that could move them straight into the Promoter category, creating a source of referrals – and perhaps an evangelist!

photo courtesy SwissCan via Flickr

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Jim Whatley

    January 22, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    it all about word of mouth. the question how do you get word of mouth started?

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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