You need to be upfront with your customers so that they know what you represent and why you are doing that when you interact with them. Honesty will bring customer loyalty.
Just say no
It is a reality of life that situations will arise when you are tempted to do something that is deceptive and word-of-mouth marketing initiatives are no exception. Just say no. You will gain the long run respect from your customers. Remember gains from being deceptive are, at best, only short term in nature.
Word-of-mouth marketing can be an important tool for you, but at first it can seem difficult. We provided one example here, but there are many more ways you could use word-of-mouth marketing. Think of other ways to get your customers talking about your business in a positive manner.
Remember, they are talking about you anyway. Explore the ways your customers are currently interacting and identify places where you could interject useful information in the process. Then the five Ts can be an important framework as you develop the word-of-mouth marketing program.
Finally, as we noted above, there has been important work done to better understand word-of-mouth marketing in the past few years and we would like to share with you some of the resources that are now available in this area.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (www.womma.org) has useful information on its website. The following books may also prove useful for you: The Influentials, Ed Keller and Jon Berry, (2003) The Free Press.; The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing, George Silverman, (2001), American Management Association; and Word of Mouth Marketing, Jerry R. Wilson (1994) John Wiley & Sons.