Would you like to sell more? Consumers are starving for relationships they can understand with entities they can trust. It’s not easy to know how to develop trust with your customers and prospects, especially if you’re new to online marketing and Social Media.
It’s hard to ignore the numbers when it comes to developing trust using quality content:
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council).
- Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media. (Content+).
- Social media sites and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users. (Content Marketing Institute).
- 43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it on social media. (Source: Nielsen)
Years ago, in the salad days of the car business, we used to go across the street after work to grab a drink. It would sometimes turn into a longer night than we expected and (without naming names) some of us would have a few cocktails. I had a good friend who always had the best one-liners.
For instance, he bought a Harley having never ridden one in his life. He loved that bike and rode it as much as he could. One day we took in a black ’69 Lincoln Continental with suicide doors as a trade in. (I know, why would someone trade in that beautiful classic car?!). My friend immediately “put a rock on it” and bought it.
A few days later, he came into work driving it. Everyone was wondering where his beloved Harley was and he said, “Oh, I decided to drive the cage today.”
During one of these nights after work at the bar, he’d been drinking and he nearly fell down (no judgment). As we were calling him a cab, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Gravity: it’s not just a good idea…it’s the law!”
I was thinking about my friend today while having a conversation about trust and consumer behavior. If you think about how you buy today, or spend any amount of time observing the shift in how shoppers make their decisions, TRUST is not just a good idea…it’s the law.
It’s the law in the sense that if you want to survive in today’s right-now, spotlight-on-all-your-mistakes world, you better have some trust built up to support your business’ future revenue.
Ted Rubin wrote recently saying the only way to build your personal or business brand on Social Media is through trust. People want to communicate with people, not corporations. Small business owners have a great opportunity in this arena because they can be nimble and responsive. But you need a plan and good leadership before you embark on your journey.
Selling from price is lazy. There, I said it. No one wins in the race to the bottom but everyone sure tries. Why, because they think it’s easier. In the race to the bottom, you can only go so low and then what?
In the absence of trust, price becomes the only focus.
The only thing that differentiates you from the store down the street (online or offline) is your customer’s experience. When you learn how to develop trust, the words consumers use to describe you to others helps build trust exponentially. Whether you’re a business or a salesperson trying to sell in today’s market, you must built trust on Social Media.
If you’ve tried Social Media and think it doesn’t work for you, it’s time to do more, not quit. There’s a huge opportunity for those who produce original content for Social Media. Here are three ways to start right now to do more:
1. Write What You’re Thinking.
Whether you’re a busy business owner or a salesperson, you have information that your customers need and want. Even if you start with writing valuable “one-liners” that get you noticed, that’s something! Soon you’ll start feeling passionate and inspired from things happening around you. You’ll graduate to a blog so that your ideas will all be in one place and you’ll enjoy more consistent traffic from search. Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages. (Content+).
Write blogs, get noticed. Write blogs, build trust.
2. Engage in Conversations.
This is the part where, as a salesperson (yourself or your business), your prospecting, networking and trust-building converge. If you were doing this in person, you’d go to a networking event and, if you’re new, you’d spend time getting to know people not try to immediately sell them something. Social Media allows you to engage in conversations right from your phone or your desk.
You do need to be savvy and patient. No one will buy from you if you start talking about your product or service right at the first meeting. Be genuinely interested in people. Ask questions. Listen.
You can work on these relationships through your content. Build trust by looking people in the eye, digitally.
3. Comment on The Things You Read.
Every salesperson and business owner today must remain skilled and knowledgable in ways to keep your business thriving. I consume content every single day that helps me further my goals at Kruse Control. I follow blogs that are important to me and I save them all in Feedly to make it easier.
Start commenting on other people’s blogs and newsletters, media publications and anything else relevant to your business. You’re already absorbing the content and you probably have opinions when you’re reading it, so go ahead and comment on those blogs. What’s in it for you?:
- People will start recognizing your name.
- It gives you material for a blog post.
HOT TIP: I found this new app called Meddle.it (thanks, Ted Rubin!). You can grab excerpts from pages you’re reading and re-publish them along with your comments on Social Media.
Is learning how to develop trust and building meaningful sales relationships easy? No. But using your self-published content to show you’re honest, authentic and capable of delivering on your promises certainly gets you ahead of the pack and pays off in the end.