You might have been told it. I’ve heard loads of people talk about it. It seems universally understood that you need to get people to know, like and trust you if they’re going to do business with you. And it makes perfect sense. But the problem is how do you build that trust? Here are my top 3 tips to get you started.
1. Give & Take
This is probably not the first thing you’ll set up in your marketing, but I think it’s the most important factor in building trust. Whenever I’ve been to marketing conferences or seminars, this is the point that everyone focuses on.
What we all want in marketing is data. When you have someone’s details, you can more proactively market to them. When you have a little piece of their interest, things can leap forward. But why are they going to give you their details in the first place?
Most people will show an interest in something before they buy it, especially in the B2B world. And so you need to find ways to help facilitate that process. So you might want to offer a newsletter, a downloadable guide, a free trial, a product demo – the list is endless.
There’s an exchange. They will give you their details in order to be added to your newsletter or to get that guide. That’s fantastic. You can now market to them more, and your prospects have willingly given you their details.
But this is where the trust can be built or broken. There needs to be a fair exchange.
By fair exchange, I mean make sure that your clients and prospects get value for what they’ve parted with. Don’t ask them to sign up for your newsletter and then just send out sales heavy newsletters every week. Don’t get them to download a guide only for it to be full of vague sales messages that are actually asking for more than they are giving.
If you’re asking for someone’s details, what can you offer in return that will be of genuine value to them? The more they value what you have given to them, the more that trust will flourish.
We don’t trust what we don’t understand. Or I suppose it’s more accurate to say that we can’t trust it because we simply don’t understand it. That means you must break things down to ensure your clients do understand.
You might have 50 different services and they might all be amazing. But actually, at first glance that isn’t impressive. It’s overwhelming. You are far better to make it all more digestible.
What if you were to say you have five key services, and within that group you have ten parts to it. So you’re not hiding from the fact that you have 50 services, but you only talk about five to begin with, and within each of them clients have the option to explore more.
As humans, if we see too much, we remember nothing. Yet if you tell someone one or two things, they’re far more likely to remember them. And when they start to remember you, that’s when they start on the journey of trust.
Don’t try to bedazzle your clients with too much information. Simplicity will give you more in the long term.
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s still not always done well. One of the best ways to build trust is to be open and honest with your clients every step of the way.
Don’t have hidden costs. Don’t hold back on something important until right before they sign the contract. Even if you’re worried about how they’ll react to that difficult contractual element, it will only be worse if you’re not open and honest.
Whether it’s saying that the minimum term is 12 months, you must be paid in advance, or anything above the basic service will cost extra, if you say it as it is from the outset and make everyone feel comfortable with it, then it’s unlikely to deter a genuine client.
But to go back to point one, you also need to make sure that your clients understand and feel the value. Don’t tie them into a 12 month contract and then forget about them. Don’t ask them for payment upfront and then say it will be four weeks before you can start the work or deliver the goods.
And don’t make the basic service so basic that they have no choice but to pay for all the extras so they feel utterly conned. Make it that they are so blown away by the basic service that all the added extras are a no brainer.
Many people believe that marketing is about promotion. But it’s not. Marketing is about connecting your business with your customers, and that could take many forms. If your marketing is lacking some of these extra touches and you feel your brand isn’t stacking up as it should be, let’s have a chat.
Sometimes just simple tweaks can propel you forward. It doesn’t have to be costly, but it does have to be well thought through.