One of our favourite Marketing books is called No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy and Matt Zagula.
In one chapter the authors discuss 9 “gates” to client commitment that are essential for building trust with your sales and marketing. Here’s a quick summary of each one that you can use to enhance trust with your clients.
1) Authenticity: “Is this guy for real?”
In the book the example of Ronald Reagan is used as someone who always appeared authentic, real to people and not playing a part.
This idea is very important as trying to pretend to be someone you aren’t during the sales process is very easy for customers to detect and can be a massive turn-off.
“Everybody has at least on character trait that is authentic and genuine, that can be magnified so the clientele’s attention is focused on it, and that is generally beneficial in selling and, specifically, contributes to trust.”
-No B.S. Trust Based Marketing Page 41
2) Believability: “Is he telling me the truth?”
Truth and believability is more important than ever especially now that any claims you make in your sales or marketing can be verified in moments over the Internet.
Trying to push prospects with aggressive sales tactics and not being completely honest is a guaranteed way to lose customers. Especially when most customers have already done hours of Internet research. They may even be speaking to you with more knowledge about the product than you have.
3) Credibility: “Is he knowledgeable and competent?”
Competence is extremely important to customers and simply claiming that you’re good or skilled simply isn’t enough.
One of the best ways to demonstrate competence is with demonstrations and fortunately today there are tons of ways to do this.
For example you could put your entire process on your website with photos and carefully explain each step. You could film a video demonstrating your product or the work you do, upload it to YouTube or embed it in your website.
When potential customers are doing their research before picking a company to do business with this can have a huge impact and make you stand out from your competition.
4) Feasibility of Relationship: “Is he appropriate to me?”
It’s important to be completely honest about how your relationship will work. If your client has certain needs that you’re not equipped to meet being completely honest with them will help build trust.
Trying to weasel your way out of the topic or outright lying that you can give them exactly what they need will lead to problems down the line and lost trust.
5) Customized Solutions: “Is he listening to me or just peddling?”
Customers are naturally suspicious of one-size-fits all solutions and always want a product or service specifically customized to their needs.
“You automatically enhance and accelerate trust the minute you present customized products, services, or information for the individual customer or at least for a small precisely-defined group of people in which the customer belongs.”
-No B.S. Trust Based Marketing Page 45
If you only have generic solutions trust is a lot more difficult to acquire.
Customized solutions can also affect your pricing strategy. A customized suit for example is always worth more than an off-the-shelf one.
6) Safety: “Overall, can I rely on him?”
People cannot trust you if they don’t feel safe doing so. One great way to demonstrate safety is to show that lots of other people have trusted you.
You can show this by asking customers to write or film testimonials for you or taking photos of happy customers in their new home with you. These photos, videos and testimonials can be uploaded to your website or social media pages to demonstrate that you can be relied on.
Another method to improve safety is to partner with another established brand and use the trust people have in that brand to help increase the trust in yours. An example of this would be to invite a famous speaker to your event or becoming a Realtor®.
7) Comfort: “Do I understand enough about what he will do for me?”
Today you can definitely assume that your customers will be doing hours of research on the Internet before deciding to do business with you.
This is why it’s important to put as much information about your products and services out there. If your website details every thing you can provide and your competitor’s website simply has a list of products with no other information you’re definitely going to stand out and customers will choose to do business with you.
8) Superiority: “Am I making the best choice compared to competitors?”
People always want to get the best or at least the best they can afford. An excellent way to stand out here is to clearly list your qualifications and awards.
Reputation management is huge in this area as well. If a customer searches for reviews of your company and finds tons of excellent testimonials and five-star reviews they’ll easily choose your company over a competing one with no online reputation.
9) Value: “Am I paying a fair price?”
Even affluent customers are still concerned about price. It’s important to highlight the value a customer is getting and make them feel they’re getting a good deal.