October 23, 2012
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Expanding your client list is a never-ending goal. Even if you already have a large and profitable client base, you need to replenish it over time. That perpetual chase can be a distraction – unless you can get clients to seek you! That’s viral marketing at its best.
But most viral marketing focuses on publicity stunts with some unexpected hook. This can be a very effective, but the communication it sparks is the kind that’s designed to sell you and your expertise. And women – half your potential client base – want connection more than salesmanship. To market effectively to them, move away from the publicity-based approach and focus on spurring female-friendly viral marketing that expands connection.
It’s not easy to generate that kind of trust. One third of women presume all salespeople are untrustworthy. A history ofselling instead of serving the customer has soured women’s trust in the sales relationship. Trust is a big factor for female consumers.
Whatever women are seeking in the marketplace, they want to be able to trust in its reliability. That’s why women use their personal relationships as their primary conduit for referrals. They’re confident a friend or family member will offer honest and trustworthy advice, and information is constantly flowing both ways – women ask advice from other women, and they actively promote preferred services to their peers. Social media and the Internet offer new ways for them to get this advice quickly and easily, amplifying the potential gains clients’ networks can offer.
Understanding how women network can have a bottom-line impact on your business. Well served female clients are not only loyal, but they make referrals for the professionals who work for them twice as often as men, and they recommend you to friends and family three times as often.
Tapping this viral potential is not complicated. Read on, and we’ll explain how.
Inspiring women to get the word out
The female viral marketing network is already active and flowing. You don’t have to create it from scratch; you just need to be accepted into it in a way that will earn you positive buzz. There is a negative network that runs alongside women’s preexisting promotion channels, and if you’re not careful, these viral networks can just as easily spread a warning to avoid you.
There’s a natural magnifying effect that occurs when viral marketing is done well, and this is especially true when it comes to women. If another woman is present when another offers a review, she will jump in with her own recommendations. If the women concur, then the force of the advice is magnified. Your goal, therefore, is to be a recommended advisor in multiple, overlapping female networks.
How do you make that happen? As usual, it starts with the cardinal rule of working with women: It’s all about the relationship. Then remember three simple imperatives: Listen, Show Interest and Ask.
Women promote those who have served them well, and the best way to do that is to listen for service needs while you interact with your female clients. Listen for clues especially in stories your female clients tell about their friends and family – ask yourself what matters in each client’s life, and how can your services reinforce that?
Women are focused on trust in any relationship – and that’s true for professional service relationships especially. Show a genuine interest in being helpful, and then act upon it. If you build trust, she will promote you and invite you into her network. You get there by asking questions that help you align yourself strategically with her interests – and, ideally, the interests she shares with others in her network.
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