It’s time to review an effective way to drum up more word of mouth for your brand – talk triggers!

What is a talk trigger? It’s a concept that originated with a Convince and Convert strategy (developed by Jay Baer) that was focused on one thing: Improving a brand by changing the way that buyers talk about it. In fact, we have a whole podcast discussing how important word of mouth has become as the majority of buyers begin to depend on discussions (both online and offline) with friends and family more than…well, anything else. This is especially true in the B2B world, where a buyer is more likely to ask peers for suggestions or advice when looking for a new vendor.

But what gets people talking? One of the most effective causes are “triggers” that create significant memories for buyers that make them say, “Guess what this brand did.” It’s a special act that’s particularly easy to work into conversations. Let’s look at how you can plan for these talk triggers!

Map Customer Expectations

First, take a little time to map out customer expectations. You know the industry, you probably know customer buying patterns, so this shouldn’t be very difficult. Chart what they want at each stage of the buying process, how long they expect things to take, and what sort of customer service they expect. Consider how your buyers use technology at this point as well. Remember, this isn’t how you wish buyers were, but what you know the buyers expect from your own experience.

Plan to Subvert Expectations

Now that you have mapped expectations, create a list of ways to subvert those expectations. Of course, there are two ways to subvert an expectation – disappointing or impressing the buyer. You’re looking to impress, so note actions that would go above and beyond customer expectations. There are many ways to do this, and the best methods are unique to your brand. A few things to think about are:

  • Delivering a product ahead of your promised schedule, with reliable consistency
  • Providing more data on your service and how a project went than the customer expected
  • Simply adding more to an order – extra fries, extra supplies, extra accessories, etc.
  • Including an extra “gift” with a purchase (something that stands out)
  • Offer a unique twist on a product, like how Corona invented adding lime to its beer
  • Entertainment in an unusual place, like how Uberconference plays funny hold songs

Implement the Most Efficient Ideas

After your brainstorming session (obviously these steps work best when you involve the whole team), go through the list of ideas and pick out the ones you can try. Some ideas won’t really be possible. Some will be too expensive or take too long. That’s all right. Take a look at your budget if necessary, and find a few efficient talk trigger ideas that you can put into practice. Then set a date and start doing them! This may take coordination with sales, management, and third parties, so don’t feel like you have to start right away.

Watch for Customer Chatter

Start watching what people say, both in person and online. Have everyone look specifically for any mention of the talk triggers you devised. This is how you will know what triggers are working! Triggers that get significant response can be incorporated into the brand. Remember, you don’t need a lot of triggers, you need triggers that are highly effective at making an impression!

Train for Spontaneous Triggers

There’s another class of talk triggers called spontaneous triggers. These are special actions involving customers that really make a difference and, if the brand is lucky, will end up making a splash on social media, too. But you can’t plan these. The most you can do is arrange to gather the employees together and tell them to look for ways to help out or impress individual clients and their families. This takes spur-of-the-moment thinking and creativity, so it’s not really something you can train…but it is something you can encourage.

Final Note: Stay Consistent!

Talk triggers (planned version) are not one-off events! You need to make them consistent so that they really become part of the brand. Repeat effective triggers, preferably for every client.