Four Ways to Build Trust with Potential Customers
Our primary goal should be to build relationships rather than just driving the volume of transactions. Relationships, in turn, can lead to transactions and tend to be much more enduring. Our relationship, over time, can actually become part of the product offering.
Relationships are based on trust, and trust can grow stronger, based on experience over time. This works well with existing customers. We have the opportunity to re-enforce the trust we have earned with each new experience.
With new customers, we don’t have that type of rapport to build on. So, how do we get them to “take the leap” and start building a relationship?
In order to build trust, at a minimum, three conditions must be satisfied.
- The prospective customer understands the offering and the benefits.
- The prospective customer is aligned with your brand and values.
- The prospective customer believes you can deliver.
Here are four suggestions that can help you satisfy these conditions for new prospects.
Offer Free Trials
Offer free trials when it is financially or logistically feasible. Sometimes there are variations on this theme that work as well. We probably can’t give a potential customer a new car, but we can give them a test drive. The offer can project confidence in the offering, and the first-hand experience will lower the risk and uncertainty in the mind of the customer. The lower the perceived risk, the easier it becomes to take the next step.
This can also invoke a sense of reciprocity. We shouldn’t do nice things for people expecting that they will return the favor and get angry when they don’t. But, if we can do the right thing, to build trust with our customers, they are more likely to treat us right in return.
Video Content with Real People
Customers do not do business with products; they do business with people. The more they know about you, your offerings, and your brand; the more likely a relationship becomes. One way to accelerate the process is to humanize your company using video that features real people. If you can use footage, that helps prospective clients visualize the outcome or benefits they can expect from your offering, that also helps to reduce risk and build trust.
An explainer video can also be an option to consider if actual customer testimonials are not available. The more clearly a customer can visualize your offering(s), and their success, the easier it becomes to take the next step.
Send Something Tangible
Digital marketing should not be ignored in 2020, it is an important piece of the marketing landscape. However, tactile (tangible) experiences provide physical evidence.
If you can give your potential customers something to read, hold, or hang on the fridge, you can instantly build more trust. Direct mail (www.Zairmail.com) still provides this opportunity to reach out and touch someone, even if they are not actively looking for you. You can also build on the earlier suggestions by sending premiums or free samples (when feasible).
We need to focus on building a rapport with our customers (prospective customers). The more positive experiences a customer has with our offering/brand, the more comfortable they will be expanding their relationship with us and sharing their experience with others.
The purpose of every communication, direct mail, or email, for example, does not have to be promotional in nature. Give your customer valuable information, share some positive news, let them know you are on the same side. This will help you and help others; while staying relevant, and building (positive) top of the mind brand name awareness.
Once you have a relationship built on trust, it is up to you to maintain it. Deliver what you have promised, solve problems promptly when they surface and be an advocate for your customer.