You may have heard the business axiom: People do business with those they know, like and trust.
I’ve seen it demonstrated over and over again in the business world. If you have two vendors competing for the same prospect, the one who spent time developing a relationship with him will often win.
My father, who was a successful manufacturer’s sales rep, would spend weeks trying to reach his prospect and then develop a relationship with him or her. The effort usually paid off with a signed contract.
Prospecting and selling has significantly changed with the arrival of the Internet and business websites. This presents a challenge.
If you don’t have a sales rep right in front of a prospect as they’re reading your website, how do you build trust?
Fulfill your promises
Your website should have an enticing headline for every web page. That headline should capture a visitor’s attention and compel them to read more of the website’s content.
The headline should make a promise (i.e. Marketo’s headline: “Marketing Software. Easy. Powerful. Complete.”)
In this example, the promise would be that the software is indeed easy to use, has powerful features, and offers a complete solution set for a business whether it’s small, medium, or enterprise.
This is the beginning of building trust with your reader. It’s so important that I’m going to emphasize it.
If your copy does not fulfill the promise that your headline makes, you will come across as suspicious, shady, and untrustworthy.
You definitely don’t want that.
And it’s rather easy to build trust from the very start by fulfilling the promise you make with your headlines.
Building trust happens in small increments done consistently over time.
So don’t expect your reader to automatically trust you just because you did fulfill your promise. You still have a long way to go.
If you said you would send a free PDF, then send it promptly. Each time you make good on your word, your reader will start to trust that you’ll do what you said you will do.
Trust is built when you consistently prove that you are respecting your reader. Respect is shown by not throwing hyped-up promises at him that lack proof. If instead you repeatedly prove to a reader (who is slowly turning into a prospect), that you’re credible by offering believable claims, he will start to trust you.
Being consistent with what you deliver shows professionalism and business acumen. When you’re asking people to part with their money, they would much rather prefer giving it to someone like this than a scam artist.
If you’re claiming to have the best marketing software, then you’ll need to prove it by offering case studies, statistics, industry awards, etc. Anything you can do to prove that you’re not just making it up will help your reader to trust you.
Testimonials are popular with consumer products. If you have a B2B company, you can still use testimonials from satisfied customers. Not only use them on a web page, but within your marketing collateral like a sell sheet, case study, newsletter, and any promotional material.
Use statistics, charts, infographics… anything that shows the successful results of your product or service. If you’re able to do this, it will be another milestone in building trust with your reader.
Remember: your reader is looking for any reason to dismiss you. As he reads through your copy, he’s looking for clarity and authority. He doesn’t want to waste time with someone who talks a good talk but can’t walk the walk.
There’s more to building trust but for now, those are a few important steps you can take to start shaping up your copy to be trustworthy.
The more you can show your reader that you really are telling the truth, the better chance you’ll have at winning their business.