Why Businesses Who Rely on Word of Mouth Marketing Still Need Blogs and Social Media To Get Past the Exploration Phase

Sales funnelWord of mouth marketing is still a small business’ number 1 way to generate more business. Referrals from current customers and warm leads from your strategic partners will still be the way most relationships start. Now put yourself in your prospects shoes for a minute. Someone just told you about a company and how they can help you. What will you do?  You will check them out online if you’re like 9 out of 10 people! Probably 10 of out 10 in 5 more years.

There are 4 basic Phases to a Sale

  1. Discovery
  2. Exploration
  3. Closing
  4. Follow-up

You Have to Have an Internet Presence to Get Past The Exploration Phase

After someone refers a prospect to your business or they discover your business online or in some other fashion, your prospects are going to want to know more about you and your business. This is their exploration phase. They don’t want to meet with you right way. That takes too much commitment and too much of their time.

In the exploration phase, prospects want to…

  1. Explore your website
  2. Spend some time with your blog articles
  3. Check you out on social media, especially Facebook and LinkedIn (sometimes Google+ and Twitter)
  4. Subscribe to your enewsletter
  5. Ask their personal and social media networks about you
  6. See what you’ve done for others just like them
  7. See testimonials from your past clients

Small Businesses Who Don’t Evolve to New Marketing Tactics Will Not Get a Seat at the Closing Table 

At the exploratory phase, you need to make sure you give your prospects what they want or they’ll never pass you on to the closing phase. In the closing phase they will meet you and give you a chance at their business. A lot times prospects move 2-3 companies into the closing phase. Companies who aren’t giving prospects the info they want in the explorative phase are simply being left out of contention without ever hearing a peep. This is where old school companies with antiquated marketing models die a slow silent death these days. The phone stops ringing and the inbox stops filling.

No Excuses! All Small Businesses Have the Budget for Internet Marketing

Small Business are all spending their money on some sort of marketing or advertising. It’s time to reevaluate how you’re spending your budget. Maybe you have hired someone to handle your marketing. Maybe it’s just a part of their role. Your employees should all be doing what they do best and you need to outsource the rest. Outsource it to a company who can do it better and for less and let your employees add to the bottom-line. Are you still advertising in the yellow pages?  PLEASE Stop!  Are you advertising at all before you have an Internet Presence? PLEASE stop! You need business cards, you need word of mouth marketing, then you need internet marketing, then everything else. Don’t advertise until you have the rest taken care of first. Advertising, print, radio, cable, etc. all have their roles and are great marketing vehicles but you have to have a firm foundation for them to work. Remember the Discovery Phase and the Exploration phase? If you have cable commercials that lead people to call you and what they really want is to explore you first, then you just wasted your money. Build your word of mouth, then your internet presence, and then everything else.


Since 2006, Main Street Marketing has been creating Internet Presence Solutions for small businesses mainly in the Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. Main Street Marketing uses internet marketing,search engine optimization, and lead generation to create a true Internet Presence for its clients. When integrated correctly, this core group of services provide results together that none of the services could provide on their own or in phases.
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