Here are 7 top tips to help you to earn the trust of potential customers
Craft A Clear Sales Message
A clear sales message that converts is important for more than your business’s bottom line. It’s one of the best ways to build trust with your potential customers and clients from the first interaction they have with you.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Your sales messages are often the first place your customers come across you. You want to make sure you make a good first impression. The best way to do that? Make sure your message is clear and consistent. You want it to be the same across the board.
Take a moment right now to look at your website, your social media feed, and your emails. Are you clear and consistent across the board? Do you share the same features and benefits? Do you offer the same products? Does your content support what you’re selling? Take a minute to tweak and edit as needed to make sure each piece of your sales funnel is on point.
We all know that is easier said than done. How do you know that your sales messages are clear and concise? It can be hard to look at your own writing objectively and see what’s working and what isn’t.
When dealing with a sales page or an entire sales funnel, it’s a good idea to look at your data. Are the conversion rates what you expect them to be? If not, there’s something off. See if you can pinpoint it. Make your changes and test again. Did the numbers improve? They will tell you if the changes you made build more trust or less trust.
Of course this strategy requires data and that means a fair amount of traffic into your sales funnel. Without it, you won’t be able to quickly get the conversion rates that will help you make good decisions.
Another, probably easier for small and start-up businesses option, is to have someone audit your sales messages. Ideally this person will be someone that represents your ideal target audience. Find a friend or colleague, or even an existing customer you have a relationship with to read through it and give you feedback. What made sense. What didn’t make sense? Is there anything in the sales page, the article, the email, or the short report that made them stop and reconsider making their purchase? You can get invaluable feedback this way and the testing and tweaking will help you continue to clarify and improve your message.
There’s an added benefit to doing this work that has little to do with building the trust of your potential and existing customers. Being clear in your message avoids confusion. Why is this important? When we are confused, we become indecisive. We start to doubt our initial decision to give a brand or product a try. By avoiding this confusion in the first place, you’ll get more people to say yes to your offers and that in turn is very good for your bottom line.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Let’s tell you about a strategy that can instantly build trust and keep your customers happy enough to tell everyone about you. It’s a simple under promise and over deliver strategy. This goes for everything you do in your business from sending emails and posting on social media to delivering your products and services.
There’s a reason why you always want to under promise and over deliver. It gives your customers a positive experience with you. Who doesn’t love getting something they bought a little sooner than expected. And who doesn’t love a little something extra. Think about the last time you bought something from Etsy. Many sellers will throw in a little gift. Some stickers, a notecard, a pen … It’s a fun surprise and something that makes for a better experience. That’s what you want to do with every part of your business.
Most importantly, over deliver your products and services. Always give yourself a cushion when it comes to delivering. It’s better to deliver early than late. The same goes for the content. Consider not advertising everything included and position the extras as unannounced bonuses. This will give your customers more value than what they expected.
Always be on the lookout to give your audience a little something extra. Something unexpected that will make their day. Not only will they be happy and impressed, they’ll be so excited they will turn into brand ambassadors for you, spreading the word about the extra mile you’re willing to go.
Last but not least, over-delivering and building goodwill with your customers helps when on occasion you can’t meet a deadline or you make a mistake. It happens. We’ve all dropped a clanger on a product delivery or missed sending out an email we promised. When you over deliver on a consistent basis, you have built up enough of a cushion and more importantly enough trust with your audience that they will forgive you without a second thought.
Consistency is Key
One of the best ways to build trust with your audience is being consistent in everything you do. Think of it as keeping a promise to them. You set an expectation and then meet it without fail. Do this again and again, and you’ll build a reputation as someone who can be relied upon. Let’s look at the different areas in your business and how you can be consistent.
One of the first places you can work on consistency is with the content you share. We live in an age where our first reaction to any question we have is to search it online. That’s why content marketing is important. It’s often the first place potential customers find out about you and it’s no longer just about your website. You want to regularly share quality content on your site, but also on your social media. Set a schedule and stick with it. Not only will you build a reputation as being reliable, but also as someone who knows what they are doing. And of course the added visibility is a huge bonus.
Next, it’s a good idea to think about consistency when it comes to your products and services. There are several layers to this from consistency in quality and branding to making sure your customers receive what they expect when they expect it. Last but not least, it’s a good idea to consistently release new products. It will help you build momentum and generate repeat purchases. Why is this important? Because it’s much easier to sell more products and services to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
The last piece of the puzzle is email. One of the best ways to market and sell just about any product or service is to build a mailing list and to email them regularly. Get into the habit of emailing your subscribers once a week, twice a week or even daily. Keep to your schedule, share something of value, and get them hooked so they are looking for your next email. Weave in offers for products and services they want and need and you can’t help but make sales. Of course it’s also important to respond to enquiries, or replies to your emails and newsletters in a timely manner.
That’s a lot of different things you should do regularly, isn’t it? Let’s talk about how you can do this without fail. There are three different strategies you can employ to make sure you stay consistent without fail.
- Work ahead – have a small stockpile of blog and social media posts
- Use tools to automate – use blog, email and social media post scheduling functions
- Outsource – hire a VA or other hourly paid freelancer to do it for you
Use Audio and Video Messages
Sharing content is great, but if you’re relying solely on the written word and static images, you’re missing out on chances to build trust with your potential and existing customers. There’s power in using audio and video. They are great tools that will generate trust like nothing else. It’s because we are social creatures and are built to pay attention to audible and visual clues to help us get to know someone better.
You’ve heard that your audience has to know, like, and trust you before they will consider becoming paying customers. They get to know you through your written content and your social media presence. They may like what you have to offer and what you’re sharing. They may even be impressed by your expertise. But earning their trust enough for them to pull out their wallet can be tricky. That’s where your face and your voice come in.
There are a lot of clues we pick up when we hear someone’s voice and even more when we see them speak. That’s why audio and video messages are so important in your marketing. Don’t be afraid to use them. Start with audio, if video is intimidating. You can start your own podcast, or offer to become a guest on other people’s episodes. The big bonus benefit of the latter is that you get in front of their audience, giving you additional exposure. Of course you want to share it with your own reach as well. Another fun audio option is to ask your newsletter subscribers or social media followers to ask you questions. Take a few minutes each week to record your answers and share them far and wide.
Of course you can do the same with video. Q&A’s are a great place to start. Or teach them how to do something or chat about a topic of interest to them that’s related to your products and service. You can do it as a Facebook Live , Reels on Instagram , post a video on YouTube, Even better, do all of the above. There’s so much you can do with the tech you already have. Start with your smartphone and give it a try. Pick one video or audio strategy and expand over time.
Here’s a bonus tip. If you can combine consistency with a video message by sharing a weekly video for example, you can grow your audience’s trust even quicker. And by asking them to like, comment, and share, you’ll grow your reach and your audience. It’s a powerful strategy you should give a try today!
Admit Your Mistakes and Make Things Right
We all make mistakes on a regular basis. Yes, we do everything we can to avoid them when it comes to our online businesses, but things go wrong and we mess up. It’s okay. How you handle them is what will make you set apart. It’s also an important strategy for building trust with your prospects and customers.
Like so many things in life, your mother’s advice holds true when it comes to your business. You want to make a good first impression. You want to be known as someone who sticks to their word. And when you make a mistake, you should admit it and then do whatever it takes to make things right.
Things will go wrong. You’ll mess up. Technology will fail you. You’ll overlock something. It happens, don’t beat yourself up, use it as a learning experience. Let’s look at some of the things that can and will go wrong. It could be using a wrong link in an email, forgetting to write a subject line, or worse – sending a blank email. It could be uploading the wrong file for a new product or not correctly applying a discount you promised your readers. It might be something out of your control like a website crashing or a podcast guest not showing up. No matter what the mistake, there’s no need to beat yourself up or feel bad if you do what you can to make it right.
When you make a mistake or something goes wrong that’s outside of your control, here’s the formula you want to follow:
- Take Responsibility. The mistake or mess up is on you. Acknowledge and apologize. That alone will go a long way.
- Make It Right. Do whatever you need to do to correct it.
- Go the extra mile. The way to build trust and make people, not only forgive you but pay attention, is to do a little something for them. Give them a bonus. Offer a discount. It shows that you not only know that this was an inconvenience for them, but that you care and value their time.
Fall back on this simple three step process anytime things go wrong. It will go a long way towards establishing you as someone to trust and do business with again and again.
Using Testimonials to Build Trust
Who would you trust more about what film to watch movie to watch? An advert on TV, or a recommendation from a friend who’s seen it? Obviously, the friend! Because it isn’t an ad or marketing message. It’s a testimonial for the film given by someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in selling it. That builds trust and makes you more likely to go see it. It also illustrates why testimonials are so important and powerful when it comes to your business.
How Do You Get Testimonials?
The first question is how to get testimonials. You have two options here. You can wait for them to come in, or you can ask for them. I recommend you take the more proactive approach and ask your customer base for them. If they love what you do, they’ll be happy to share.
What Should You Include In A Good Testimonial?
When you ask for testimonials, or get in touch with a customer to ask if you can share what they told you in email or on social media as a testimonial ask if you can use their name. Depending on your niche and audience, you may want to use the full name. This is particularly important if you are in a B 2 B niche and the person is someone your other clients will recognise. Otherwise, a first name and last initial will suffice. Adding a location is a nice touch and makes the testimonial look more credible. The cherry on the cake is a picture of the person. It builds trust. Ask for it, but use the testimonial with or without the image.
Where And How Can You Use Testimonials To Build Trust?
So where can you use these testimonials? Everywhere you can! Your homepage and your about page are great places to start. Anything specific to your products and services should go on the sales page. You can easily add them to the bottom of your sales page. It can make a big difference in convincing people who are on the fence about purchasing to click the buy button.
Social media testimonials are a great way to drive traffic and mention your product without seeming too pushy. Share a few per week and rotate through them, sharing them again and again.
Ready to give it a try? You probably already have some testimonials that you can use. Look through your emails and comments on social media. Ask permission to use the email or comment in your marketing. If it’s something like a Facebook comment, take a screenshot. For an email testimonial, ask if you can use the person’s name and a location like town name or state for example. Ask for a picture to use with the testimonial, but don’t be afraid to use it without.
From there, get into the habit of asking for testimonials and keeping an eye out for unsolicited one and use them anywhere and everywhere you can. It’ll go a long way towards building trust and social proof with your target audience.
Value Over Feature – What’s In It For Them?
Let’s talk about feature over benefit and why it matters when it comes to your marketing. If there is one thing you should take away from this, it’s that your customers don’t really care about all the bells and whistles of what you have to offer. All they care about is what’s in it for them. What will the product or service they are buying do for them? If you can tap into that and answer that question, it’s easy to turn an interested prospect into a customer.
The best way to illustrate might be an example. Let’s say you are in the market for a new blender. What do you care about? The size of the motor, how fast the blades spin, or what fancy material they are made out of? Or do you care about making smooth smoothies quickly and being able to blend just about anything without having to worry about dulling the blades? It’s the second, isn’t it?
The first list is features. They are nice, but what you care about are the benefits you get from those features. Keep this in mind as you create content, product descriptions, sales pages, emails, and any marketing material.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. We often focus on the features because we’ve spent a lot of time and effort creating them. They are why our products and content work. They are what deliver the benefit and we are proud of them. At the end of the day though, all our readers, subscribers and customers care about is what’s in it for them. How can what we have to offer benefit them?
By changing the focus from what you have to offer them to what they have to gain, you build trust. You’re showing that you have your customer’s best interest in mind with everything you offer to them. Yes, you get paid for what you create and do, but at the end of the day, it’s about the person buying from you. And that’s the way it should be. That’s how you build a business that will be around for years and decades to come.
Schedule some time this week to look at your marketing material and sales pages. Are you highlighting the benefits or features? Edit those pages as needed. Then sit down and pick one of the benefits your customers love the most. Create some content around it and share it on your site and on social media. It’s a powerful tactic to draw in new people who are looking for a solution to a problem you can provide.
Here at MNC HQ, we hope this overview has been of use to you and will help you to build a trusted bond with your potential and existing customers. We have lots of members in our network who can help you! Find out more here.