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10 tools that will boost the credibility of your word-of-mouth campaign

Useful tips ahead of Entrepreneur Philippines networking night
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Word-of-mouth campaigns remains to be one of the most effective tool in communicating one’s business. After all, it’s free and it works. But there’s more to word-of-mouth campaign than just having some people chatting about your product.

Entrepreneur.com columnist Ivan Misner shared a list of 10 credibility-enhancing materials that you should have at your disposal to make the most of every networking opportunity and ultimately build a successful word-of-mouth campaign.

These tools are applicable in the Philippines, where the word-of-mouth campaign is highly effective. Use them when you join Entrepreneur Philippines’ networking night on June 17.

1. A one-page flyer.

It should contain a brief overview of your business and your contact details. Don’t just give it to anybody who passes by, but be ready to pass along at all times in case you meet someone while networking who wants to quickly pass along your information to a prospective client he or she knows. You should also have an electronic copy on hand that you can readily share via email.

2. Question-and-answer sheets.

Even while networking, be organized. A sheet with questions that you can each ask each other can ensure you don\\\'t forget to find out the information that could lead to a quick referral is important during a networking session.

3. Testimonial letters from satisfied clients.

They may be cliché but testimonial letters from satisfied clients are something you can show to vouch for the quality of the products or services you provide. You can keep hard copies in a binder or post them on your website.

4. Photos of yourself, your office facilities, products and awards.

Having a professional photo of yourself is important for promotional opportunities and for your social media profiles. Photos of your office or business operation and products help to legitimize your business and gain credibility. Also consider having photos of awards and certificates you and your staff have earned.

5. Items that explain your business.

These can include your annual report, mission statement or a written history of your company. You can also use information published articles, results from surveys created and compiled by you or by others in your industry, presentation notes or slides, your advertisements, or multimedia presentations.

6. New-product or -service announcements.

As you network, make sure the people who might potentially hire you or refer others to you are immediately informed when you offer new products or services or if you are expanding operations. The best way to do this is through press releases and announcements. In addition to submitting these to news outlets, you can hand them out at meetings or post them online. Also consider having brochures, data sheets and catalogs for your current products and services.

7. A list of your memberships and affiliations.

This can be helpful when meeting someone for the first time, to see if you have mutual acquaintances or business associates. It may also lead to an introduction to someone in one of your organizations to whom you have been hoping to be introduced.

8. Articles you have published or in which you\\\'re mentioned.

Writing articles, or being mentioned in them, is a great way to become known as an expert in your field. People often prefer doing business with experts.

9. Client or customer proposals, bid sheets or marketing letters.

Keeping this information top-of-mind will come in handy if you are at a networking event and have the opportunity to talk to a prospective client in depth. The prospect may have a specific need that is similar in scope to jobs you have already bid on. Having the ability to quickly refer to previously-completed proposals may give you an edge with the prospect.

10. News reports on trends affecting your target market.

Keeping up with issues and news items that are important to people can enable you to have targeted conversations with prospects. Then, ideally, you should be able to discuss your related products and services, and turn those prospects into clients.

Arm yourself with these tools when you attend Entrepreneur Philippines\\\' networking night at Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City on June 17, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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