Building trust with potential customers is essential if you are going to get them to buy from you. Craig Dewe suggests some smart ways to do this.
Selling online is the hardest way to sell. It’s not like selling face-to-face or even selling over the phone. You’re just another webpage on an internet filled with scams and dodgy people. Put simply... you don’t appear as a “real” person. The reality is anyone could be sitting there typing your blog posts or emails. You never know for sure if the website you’re reading has solid information behind it or is just some junk to try and get your money. This is why when you’re selling online you need to focus heavily on overcoming the trust issues.
People buy from those they like and trust
The obvious first part of this is to be likeable. Hopefully you are likeable in real life and have friends and family who actually enjoy being around you. So work out how you can create the same kind of bond online. Now I’m not saying you have to try to please everyone. It’s actually more effective to have people either love or hate you rather than have everyone “like” you in a wishy-washy type of way. But you want to aim to be loved by your ideal target market.
Be a real person
I like to bring in stories from my real life into my blog and emails. This is so readers can bond with me by knowing more about my real life. Of course you have to be careful to stay on topic but as long as you’re entertaining and fun most people are interested in your life as well. You should also put your real name on the website along with a real address. Put a photo of yourself and use any chance you get to appear on audio or video. All these things let website visitors build up a picture of the real person behind the website.
Use convincing testimonials from amazed clients
Most website owners have caught on to the fact of testimonials. However most also use them poorly (and I must say I’m weak in this area too). It’s easy for anyone to type out a few lines of text, chuck a name on it and pretend it’s a testimonial. However if you add a photo, audio or video suddenly the testimonial becomes a lot more believable. You can also make testimonials interesting reading by sprinkling them throughout your website rather than relegating them to some back page no-one visits. Little things like this can make a big difference online.
The benefits of social proof
Testimonials are just one way of providing social proof. We know that people are much more likely to trust you if they know that other people have already bought for you. So it’s our job to work out how to communicate this clearly. If you have thousands of satisfied clients then let website visitors know. If you have a huge list of email subscribers people are much more likely to join. If you’ve won awards or got media attention then scream it loudly from your website.
What you do next
Try to look at your website as an outsider and see how they’d feel about your website if they came across it randomly on the internet. This should open your eyes to how you can make improvements and I’ve given you plenty of ideas above on how to improve your trust factor. The easiest way is to add testimonials and other forms of social proof that you might even have ready to go already.
- Direct marketing
- General Marketing
- Online marketing