This one’s dead easy.
Are you ready?
You can tell if your customers like and trust you when they give you their money in exchange for your product or service. Derrrrr.
How MUCH they like and trust you is revealed by whether or not they continue to give you their money when it’s time to renew a subscription or roll out the next product.
Thank you, Captain Obvious!
But do you know why this apparent piece of Business 101 know-how is SO important?
It’s partly to do with the exceptions to the rule. But the main reason is it defines how you structure your sales funnel.
Or, at least it SHOULD define how you structure your sales funnel. A lot of business owners forget this basic reality of commerce.
Let’s deal with rule exceptions first…
Giving Money to People You Dislike
Perhaps the reason business owners forget to factor in customer attitudes, such as “liking” and “trusting”, is because there are so many exceptions to the rule.
Here are a few examples…
The Government: Everyone (except for You Know Who) pays taxes. But not because they like and trust the alien lizards disguised as their political overlords.
Amazon: I’m not sure you can like a corporation that has no personality, and it’s hard to trust a firm when rumors persist about poor employee treatment. But that doesn’t prevent everybody giving them all their money. ALL of it. Me included.
Wedding/Birthday/Xmas Gifts: It doesn’t matter how much your mother-in-law gets on your back about not delivering enough grandchildren, or how often your neighbor’s dog lifts his leg on your prized rose bushes, you’re still going to stump up some cash to buy them a gift when society dictates that you must.
We see so many instances, each and every day, of people giving money to individuals or groups that they DON’T like and trust, it’s easy to forget that these are the exceptions that prove the rule.
When the law says you have to fork over money, you have no choice. When a business has a monopoly, liking and trusting becomes less important as necessity wins out. And when spending money is dictated by social contracts, liking and trusting could not be further removed from the process.
But here’s the important part…
The chances are good that you’re NOT the government, your business DOESN’T have a monopoly on your industry, and your prospects are NOT your friends and relatives.
It’s more likely that you sit in that middle ground where your wares are “wants” rather than “needs”. Or, if your goods are considered essentials, you’re probably facing heavy competition from other businesses.
And if your customers are already giving a good portion of their income to individuals and organizations that they don’t necessarily like and trust, their opinion and feelings towards YOUR business becomes even more critical.
Goodwill is Not For Sale
Another reason why “liking and trusting” are overlooked is because they’re so hard to generate.
You can’t buy goodwill from your prospects.
There are some things you can to do to raise trust levels, such as featuring testimonials or displaying “trust seals”, but at best these push prospects towards a sale they were already seriously considering.
Getting your business to a point where your customers genuinely like and trust you doesn’t come easily and it NEVER comes quickly.
In the same way that it takes time for a new acquaintance to become a loved and trusted friend, it takes time for a new customer/business relationship to stabilize.
The different techniques that can be used to build up your relationship with your customers is a subject for another day. Because, first, you need to review your sales funnel through the lens of a new prospect who knows virtually nothing about your business and what you stand for.
And, no, telling your customer that you’ve been an established Internet company since 1857 isn’t going to get the job done.
Slow Things Down
You know that your product and your business is awesome and trustworthy, but to your prospect you’re just another .com in a digital sea filled with pirates (Why are pirates called “pirates?” Because they Arrrgh!).
Convincing your prospect to like and trust you is a process that takes time. So, take a look at your sales funnel and consider whether you’re demanding too much, too soon, from your visitors.
If you ask your prospect for their credit card number in the very first contact, you may have some limited success, but most people need to rub up against your business a few more times before they’re ready to get their wallet out.
That sounded grubbier than I intended, but you get the idea.
This is why asking for your prospect’s email at the beginning of the process is a smarter strategy. It’s a smaller commitment on the part of your visitor and it gives you time to grow the relationship at a steadier, and less desperate-sounding pace. This effect is amplified if your free gift is far more valuable than your prospect is expecting.
Even then, that doesn’t mean your VERY next contact should be to ask for the sale. It might be. One contact might be enough for your niche. But you should test this, and it’s likely that you’ll have better conversions if you focus on growing the relationship before asking for a credit card number.
A squeeze page preceding a sales page is hardly revolutionary, and your funnel may already reflect this thinking.
But have you properly reviewed your processes in the light of asking your prospects to like and trust you? Are your communications entirely geared to making the argument for a sale, or have you recognized the value of communicating your personality and your values?
And have you reviewed other areas of your business in which you ask for commitments from your audience and considered ways in which you can reduce friction?
For example, maybe you’re developing relationships with your audience by giving away amazing information through a FREE webinar. Perhaps you’re keeping the friction to a minimum by only asking for an email address in exchange for a seat reservation.
But when the registrant shows up for your event, are you then asking them to download some mystery software to be able to see and hear your webinar? Or are you insisting that they watch your event through a specific web browser to which they may not have access?
Both of these steps are wholly unnecessary given the availability of webinar hosting software that can be accessed in multiple browsers without requiring the download of additional software (see below for more information).
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Consider the actions and commitments you’re asking them to take. And make an honest assessment about whether some of your prospects may not yet like and trust you enough to take the steps you’re requesting they make.
Gaining the goodwill and trust of your prospects is important. And if there are times when it feels like something too difficult to achieve, it’s probably because you’re trying to make it happen too quickly.
Take your time with your relationship-building. Build confidence by giving away value and asking your prospects to take baby steps in return.
And if a prospect becomes a customer, and eventually a regular customer, you’ll know that you’re on the right track.
Webinars are a fantastic way to build a relationship with your audience. A live video presentation is a perfect way to showcase your products, your expertise, and your passion.
WebinarJam has been designed to make it as simple as possible for your prospects to register for and attend your webinars, even allowing for the option of streaming your event to multiple platforms.