We all know the importance of word of mouth (WOM) in Sales.

But there is one type of WOM which is just as important as a recommendation from a friend, namely, a recommendation from a staff member.

We asked 273 Mystery Shoppers and found that a recommendation from a friend is as important as a recommendation from a staff member and whether you previously used the brand.

We asked them to imagine they were buying a BBQ.

Question: Which Brand would they buy?

  1. Brand A recommended by a staff member? 31%
  2. Brand B recommended by a friend? 33%
  3. Brand C a brand they have used before? 36%

It’s very close to ⅓ ⅓ ⅓, meaning that staff recommendations are as important as the others (yet underestimated).

We ask these questions often in our Mystery Shopping company, so we went one step further and asked:

Question: Imagine you are buying a BBQ. You don’t know anything about BBQ’s.

Which brand would you buy?

  1. Brand A which is recommended by the staff member and they explain why it’s the best for you? 76%
  2. Brand B which has the same price and features as Brand A but has the biggest and brightest store display? 6%
  3. Brand C which is 10% cheaper than all the others? 17%
  4. Brand D which is 10% dearer than all the others? 1%

Staff recommendation blows the others away. It’s even much more important that a 10% lower price. If you want to fight price pressures, get staff to recommend the product and explain why they should buy.

Stockbrokers have known this for years, bankers are a little restricted these days, but most other industries should take heed.

This is easy to fix and important.

The language is easy. This is the secret sauce.

“I’d buy this product because…”

“I’d recommend this myself because….”

“I’m looking to buy one myself next year because….”

An easy important fix, and one of our favourite things to measure.