Is word of mouth your secret weapon?
How do you win business? For many of our clients, it’s very often a combination of the Three Rs – repeat work, referrals and recommendations. Whether software, manufacturing, education or energy, many of our clients have developed a specialist niche reputation in their sector, which often means that customers actually come to them. A great position to be in, I’m sure you’ll agree.
There’s a flipside to this. We always ask new clients what they think their greatest weakness is as a business. The answer is almost always, “sales and marketing”. This is partly because many haven’t really needed to sell their services, because they’re busy servicing customers they already have. But it’s also something to do with the mindset of many entrepreneurs, who are hard-wired innovators, never happier than when they are actively creating or developing something new.
Entrepreneurs typically love to make something from nothing, and once that’s finished, well… there’s another interesting idea to explore, and then another. If it’s choice between the white-heat of innovation, and knocking on doors to sell it, then marketing can wait. Especially if you’ve got an army of happy clients who love what you do, and are happy to pass the message on!
Perhaps like your customers, our clients are probably the best advocates we have for BCMS. The point was proved this week, when I watched the latest of our client testimonial videos. The subject is Darren Cairns, who sold his engineering software systems specialist business to Sweden’s Addnode Group last year. Darren told us privately he’s “not very good on camera”, but I couldn’t disagree more. I was struck by how well he articulated his reasons for sale, and what the sales process felt like, warts and all.
He’s candid, open and humorous, and has some very kind words to say about his BCMS team. My favourite line is this: “The BCMS team appeared to be working just for us… I’m sure they had other activities going on, but they always appeared to be there to support us.”
I was incredibly proud of that. To hear our clients talk positively about BCMS is so rewarding. I’ve sold a business myself, and I know it’s a pretty lonely place to be. Darren’s been there, done that and got the T-shirt – and we’re genuinely honoured that he appreciates what we do, and is now happy to pass on his experiences and insights to others.
Word of mouth, as they say, is a powerful thing!