10 Ways to Build Trust and Build Your Business
by Charlie Cook
You wouldn't buy a car if you didn't think it could get you home. And you wouldn't purchase it from a dealer you thought was robbing you blind on the price and might not stand behind it if the engine fell out as you drove it off the lot.
Before making a purchase from you, buyers need to trust that your products and services will do what they are supposed to. Does your marketing help establish the trust necessary to convince prospects to buy from you? If you're struggling to attract clients and customers, use the following tactics to convert prospects to clients.
1. Get Testimonials
No matter how great your credentials are or how much experience you've had, people pay more attention to what others have to say about you.
Pick up the phone and call your customers to ask what they thought of your product or service, what they liked about it and how it was helpful. Edit their comments, get their permission to use the comments and then feature these testimonials in your marketing materials.
2. Use Articles Instead of Ads
We have come to distrust ads and to believe what we read in published articles. Invest your time in writing articles to establish yourself as an expert. If you run ads, include testimonials in them.
3. Give Something Away
When you give something to people, regardless of the cost, they are more likely to trust you and return the favor by buying something from you. Use an ebook, article, workshop or free demonstration to build trust.
4. Get Referrals
When you need a new doctor, lawyer, plumber, carpenter or a place to eat, you ask a friend for a referral. You trust the recommendations of people you know, and in fact, that's how the majority of people find jobs. Don't wait for the occasional referral to come in spontaneously; implement a proactive system to generate referrals.
5. Exchange Endorsements
Team up with a business you trust that also targets your market. Get them to include an endorsement of your products and services in their marketing and do the same for them. While a personal referral is ideal, an endorsement is a close second. This tactic can double your marketing reach at zero cost.
6. Give Examples
Tell a story instead of making impersonal and dramatic claims of what you or your product does. Use case studies to tell what you did for whom and the difference it made in their life or their business.
7. Personalize Your Marketing
It's a common misperception that to sound credible your marketing should be dry and impersonal. People do business with people. You need to help prospects get to know you and trust you. Let your passion and personality come across in your marketing as well as your professionalism. Include a picture of yourself, with a smile, in a prominent place on the first page of your marketing materials.
8. Reduce Perceived Risk
Buyers' biggest concern is how well your product or service will perform. Providing a guarantee may help, but in most cases, it's not going to make the sale. Clarify the value you provide and state your commitment to seeing that your clients are not only happy, but ecstatic about your product and services.
9. Make Contact Easy
If you want clients to get in touch with you, show them how. Put your phone number at the top of your marketing materials and tell them to call. When you call them, give them your phone number again at the end of the conversation and tell them to call. If you have a web site, put a contact form at the bottom of your home page.
10. Stay in Touch
The people you see and talk to on a regular basis are usually the ones you trust the most. Communication isn't the only ingredient for developing trust, but it is a critical one. If you sell services or high end products, a personal phone call is one of the best ways to answer prospects' questions, and to establish trust. Contact your prospects and clients regularly and get feedback on what they are concerned about.
You want to convert prospects to clients and clients to repeat clients. Use these ten marketing tactics to build trust and you'll find more prospects buying your products and services.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small business owners who are struggling to attract more clients and grow their businesses. You can visit his website at marketingforsuccess.com
2003 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.