Why Advocates love your products more than your staff do is a great question. We talk about Word of Mouth and the importance of Advocates, I have been asked why we say advocates love your products more than your staff do. It seems odd and uses the ‘love’ word!
So for those of you with your own business, let’s go back to the time you decided to invest in yourselves and set up a business. You had an idea, a passion, and you loved what you were doing, although you may have been a little scared.
As the business took off, this passion became even stronger, it felt good. Then as you grew you started to hire people, just a few, and they sensed your passion and purpose. The environment was exciting, fresh, happening and they too really loved working in the team. Good times.
Then you got bigger: 20, 30, 40 people, you got dragged into running a business needing new skills you may not have had: you moved away from the stuff you loved and were best at. Your energy changed, new people didn’t get the same sense of passion; the original team are good but not you.
So in effect the energy and passion was there but it wasn’t that burning fire that started it all off and overcame all the obstacles. At the same time your growth may have begun to plateau, maybe the same drive wasn’t there and the team tended to go home earlier and seemed a bit less involved. They were on good pay by now, feeling secure, had a life, yet were still invested in the business. Somehow it’s not quite the same, perhaps not your vision?
Does this sound like a journey you’ve been on, or are traversing?
Perhaps you are leading the marketing team in a larger organisation? You took the job on with such high hopes, you liked the products, the people, had aspirations for fame, growth, money, somewhere to really make an impact. You were excited to be there.
Then the organisation took over, budget cuts, your team kept changing, a new leader had different ideas, you are good so you are sidetracked to meetings and projects and suddenly it feels like a heavy load. You still believe in it, yet are just not getting the attention you need to really make things happen, your lone voice isn’t quite enough.
Here’s the shocker. There are people out there who aren’t paid by you, don’t work for you, yet they love your product, through choice. They have experienced what you offer, they’ve loved it, can see the benefits, probably in a way you can’t. As a result, they tell people about this experience without being asked or told: it gives them a degree of status and satisfaction.
They are called Advocates, and in the eyes of their friends and contacts, they are worth listening to because they can be trusted, and when they are into something they are knowledgeable. Then people come to you and buy your stuff.
The surprising thing for many business owners and marketing leaders is discovering that there are so many people out there who share their original passions and are so happy about your products or services.
Can you imagine how this can re energise owners and a business?
Can you imagine how powerful these Advocates could be if they got more involved in what you do?
You see they would love that. They thirst for knowledge, of being in the know. They have fresh ideas and are really willing to get involved, without needing to be paid. In fact, our research has shown that for most true Advocates, it is a big negative to pay them. It’s rather like offering your friends money to bring people to your party! Friends don’t need that kind of reward, nor do Advocates.
That’s why finding out who your Advocates are is so important. There’s a process for it, Advocates have recognised behaviours, they’re not just your top spenders. It’s easy to be misled into thinking high users or buyers are will be telling others about you, most often they are not. So there is work to be done to find them.
On top of this, you need to address your culture. Are you ready to listen and be challenged? Are you ready to let outsiders into your inner sanctum? Are you prepared to make finding Advocates and the whole Word of Mouth process a part of your culture? Because new Advocates are constantly being generated and each generation and new batch will have new ideas, you need to think about change. Really connecting with Advocates will take your thinking and opportunities to a new level. An unpaid, very capable and willing sales resource.
When research constantly shows us around 80% of all business comes from Word of Mouth, shouldn’t we learn how to do it properly? And shouldn’t we re-think how much focus we give to something most people don’t really understand? It’s not just about talking, far from it.
You should have a look at how to do it properly. www.womtwo.com
My working life has always involved working closely with people and delivering results. For nearly 30 years I have run behaviour programmes and been involved with many other methods of working with and analysing personality, performance and behaviour. Having enjoyed significant business success I believe that if we first build the people the people will build the business. Which in no way reduces the focus on clear business strategy and purpose. As a result I've already helped 11 people become Millionaires.
So what do I do?... I inspire transformation
A brief history
35 years in healthcare Services. Pharma, Med devices, Med Tech and the Care sector Key player in building the worlds biggest Pharma services business Innovex/Quintiles, driving consistent growth from 30- 60% per annum. From the UK to the USA and Europe
Chaired 6 businesses and been on 11 Boards from £300m to start up. Raised funds and driven successful exits.
Qualified as a Coach with Shirlaws the leading Global Coaching business. Still running and developing behaviour programmes. A Qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist.
I own and run a Care business and am also a Non Exec Director of 2 companies involved in leading edge marketing support, such as Word of Mouth marketing I Coach a wide range of clients in multiple sectors. Understand the numbers, believe its strategy and people that make it all work. Have a look at my profile for full details and links