Small business owners can say what they want about social media campaigns and SEO; word-of-mouth marketing is always a safe bet. Your employees are on the frontline of spreading the word of your business, reaching out to new customers, and giving them an honest impression of what your business is like – so why not give them the tools to do it even better?
Here is how you can encourage your employees to network outside of your company, expanding both their and your business’ horizon.
Include networking in the job description
It’s a good idea to start repeating the mantra of networking as early as possible; even before they have started the job. Some marketing experts suggest that you include a line about networking in the job description as the prospective employee is likely to follow through with it when they know how important it is.
Plus, the ones who are not as networking-savvy will shy away from the position. Check out recruiterbox.com for some tips on how to write an excellent job description.
Hold focus groups and seminars
It’s important to remember that your team might need to brush up on their skills a bit. While networking came easily when they were still in college – or even just out of college, year or two in the same job tends to close our circle a bit.
They probably know each other very well since it’s a small company, but they need to know how to reach out to other professionals as well.
Role-playing is an excellent way to do this, so invite them to a focus group and pretend that a customer is asking them for a referral.
You’ll be able to notice if one of them has a particular knack for this, by the way, in which case you might want to give them a few more marketing tasks. Have a look at FalconDigitalMarketing.com to treat your marketing team to some PPC training as well, and you’ll be spreading the word in no time.
Motivate the staff
Another way to boost their word-of-mouth performance is to make sure they’re rewarded for every new customer they bring in. Not only will it make sure they get talking about your company, but it will also encouraging a culture of networking within your business. A bonus is a great idea, for example, and it will send a strong signal to the company culture that this is something that really matters to your business.
Reward the ones who take a step further than the others, and make sure they know about all the great benefits of networking in general. It’s not just to push your company further, after all, and a dose of networking from time to time is healthy for any career.