July 23, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

Do customers trust you as much as you think?

Ron Stein | 8/26/2013

Have you ever wondered if your prospects trust you? It’s probably the last thing you think about during the marketing and selling process. After all, your company jumps through hoops for customers and always takes an honest approach to business.

Yet, it’s worth taking a step back to see how your audience views you through their eyes -- just to make sure.

One of the foundations of marketing is to get people to know, like, and trust you to gain their business. But this is a bit too simplistic. Running an ethical business and creating truthful marketing campaigns many not add up to enough positive juice.

At this point you’re probably thinking, “What are you talking about. I would NEVER cheat my prospects or customers.” Well, not intentionally anyway. Whoa!

Yes, that’s right. Many times in our eagerness to drive revenue we fail to notice what’s being done that leaves a bad impression. Not on purpose of course. Sometimes we actually believe it’s what the customer wants.

So how do you know for sure? Here are three ways to avoid losing the trust of your audience and more importantly, gaining it.

Help skeptical buyers get educated. Buyers are using a wide range of valuable content to make purchasing decisions. But if your marketing literature, website, and webinars are 80% sales pitch and 20% solid, relevant information, you’ll quickly flunk the trustworthiness test. You may not see it as a blatant attempt to sell your product or service, just important things that people need to know about your company and offering. Of course they understand that you want to sell them something, but first things first. To build trust place the emphasis where it belongs -- on your audience and what they want to know before making a decision.

Make it easy to get help and complain. There’s a thin line between getting a question answered and grumbling about a problem. Ideally, you should never get to the problem stage, yet if you don’t have a well-planned procedure for problem resolution, real trouble won’t be far behind. And trust will evaporate before you know it. Keep an eye on your social media channels, email, and phone messages. Respond quickly to any kind of inquiry and issue. If it will take time to work out a resolution, let people know. If a product has to be returned or a service stopped, make it easy for that to happen. This is how you build loyalty and trust.

Deliver on what you say and more. This goes beyond the obvious. Be proactive and recognize when you can do more. For instance, there’s no doubt that you’ll ship the product you promised or provide the service you guaranteed. But, what happens when it’s a little later than expected? Do you communicate with your customer as soon as you find out? Better yet, do you offer to add a bonus of some sort or a discount on their next order to take the sting out of the delay? Always act in the best interest of your audience as a “partner”. Let people know if they can save money by ordering a solution from you other that what they originally wanted. When you ask people to subscribe to your email newsletter and say it will offer a useful tip each week, then that’s exactly what you should deliver -- don’t suddenly start filling their inbox with offers. The second people begin to think, “You just want my money” you’ll lose their trust fast.

The more your prospects and customers trust your business, the more likely they’ll buy from you. People trust companies that give them useful information and try to help them, not just try to sell them something. It’s really that simple.

Do more than live up to the expectations you create. Remove the hype and deliver more than you promise.


Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.

Comments

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Greenlight Pinellas: Connecting Tampa Bay
Greenlight Pinellas: Connecting Tampa Bay

Chris Steinocher, President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, explains the benefits of a proposed public mass transit system with plans to unite the Tampa Bay Area.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you agree with the Florida jury who just awarded $23 billion to the wife of a (deceased) smoker in her suit against RJ Reynolds?

  • Yes, justice has been served
  • No, that is too much

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe