“Can I trust you?”
It’s a leading thought that goes through the minds of prospective customers as they consider doing business with your brand.
Specifically, your prospective buyers are weighing whether or not:
- Your brand will deliver on its promise (do you have one?)
- Your brand will meet their needs better than competing brands
- You’ll be there immediately to make things right if/when problems arise
- Your guarantees are real, with no sleight of hand small print clauses or exclusions
- S/he will receive the best possible price and terms
- You will make him or her look like a hero in front of his or her boss and colleagues
Trust is tough to build, and takes time. This is especially true for brands with little awareness, or those that don’t adequately communicate a compelling value proposition. It’s extra time added to a sales cycle that may already be agonizingly long. In other words, costly time.
Below is list of 9 ways you can communicate and demonstrate the trustworthiness of your brand. Adopting and implementing these strategies can help you overcome buyers’ apprehension.
First, identify and assertively promote your brand’s most relevant and meaningful value propositions. This continues to be a weakness in the manufacturing space as too many companies rely on selling product attributes when buyers are more interested in the six elements of brand trust listed above. In other words, what value do you bring to the seller-buyer relationship? How does it compare to competing brands? I know you’ve heard this question many times, but the fact is that you do have competitors and you are losing business to them. The real or perceived value you bring to the relationship is often times the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.
Second, create and publish content that specifically speaks to the needs of your buyers and how you solve their problems. Your website needs to be much more than an online catalog of your products and services. Content marketing is an incredibly powerful tool you should be using to guide prospects into your sales funnel. Publishing high-quality content positions you as an expert and thought leader in your industry. It makes you human. It makes you real. It demonstrates that you’re running much more than a fulfillment business.
Third, add photos of your people to your website. If you don’t have photos or videos of people on your website, you’re not alone. In fact, I’d say you’re in the majority which is precisely why you should have photos and videos of your people on your website and in your marketing. We all know people buy from people which is why I’m surprised that so many industrial companies do not feature their employees at all. Why is the president nowhere to be found? What about your service and customer support team? Sales reps? Photos of your people, along with well-written bios of your key people will go an incredibly long way to build trust.
Fourth, post customer testimonials and reviews: Testimonials continue to be the most useful yet underutilized trust-building sales tool. All you need to do is ask, and you’ll be surprised by how many customers are willing and happy to provide a glowing endorsement. Don’t underestimate its value.
Fifth, create an authentic brand personality. Buyers need to be able to relate to your brand and have the gut feeling that you are a credible, trustworthy company. This can not only be done by the tone of your writing and communications, it is also done through visuals, videos, volume and quality of content, elements of design, and the website user experience.
Sixth, enhance your personal brand. This also seems to be a weakness in the manufacturing space. Presidents, owners and CEOs need to not only be visible on their websites, but also on LinkedIn. If you’re hiding behind the scenes and have less than 150 LinkedIn connections, haven’t posted, shared or liked since 2018, it’s damaging your brand’s trust factor. And, the same goes for anyone at your company who touches or interacts with customers. Prospective customers need to know you before they can trust you and your brand.
Seventh, be fanatically responsive. We’ve been living in the “now” economy for quite some time – people are even losing patience if they need to wait for more than two minutes at McDonald’s. Quick responses to inquiries or complaints have become an expectation of all brands even though some are not very good at it.
Eighth, treat each customer like they are your biggest and most profitable. Customers need to know you have their back and will jump through flaming hoops to meet and exceed their expectations.
Ninth, establish a system for soliciting feedback. This is another shortcoming in the manufacturing space, yet one of the most appreciated and valued gestures any company can give in any industry.
Other worthy mentions
Aside from the strategies above, other ways to build trust include: listing names of associations you belong to, and highlighting accreditations, certifications, notable accomplishments and achievements, partnerships, sponsorships, etc.
With a high trust quotient, the sales cycle will shorten, and you’ll also have an easier time attracting a quality workforce.
Of course, if you would like assistance with improving your brand’s trust quotient, let’s connect.