Sometimes it does happen that way; in an instant, a prospective customer connects with you and arrives at Trust with the blurring speed of an Olympic 50 meter dash. But most of the time, the journey from Know to Like to Trust requires more time, more consistency and more proof.
A sound marketing approach is to provide ideal prospects with the information and consistency and engagement they need to move from Know to Like to Trust.
- Are you providing enough content on your website, blog, and other marketing materials for people to Know you?
- Are you making yourself available online through social media and email, and in person (maybe through speaking engagement and/or networking events) in order for people to Like you?
- Are you consistent in your messaging, available for conversation, receiving referrals and 3rd party endorsements so that people can Trust you?
Here’s an example of personal Know Like and Trust that I experienced that is probably more indicative of the timing of moving through the stages.
About a year ago, I met someone at a conference. Leaving the conference I could put a face with a name, I knew a bit about his business, and I knew what geography he served.
Over time, I observed his behavior – both on the phone and online. This guy was positive, helpful and I noticed an attitude of give to get. I could tell he was professional in his approach. And a few months ago, I began to like him. It wasn’t that I disliked him before – I simply didn’t have enough information to form any opinion whatsoever.
As a result, I began to observe more closely. When he had an update on social media – I read it a bit more carefully. When he posted a blog article, I was sure to read it and think about it. I began to see that there was consistency in his approach. I was learning enough to see that there was alignment in our philosophies and approach to business. This led to me commenting on his posts and he in turn acknowledged my comments and engaged me in conversation.
More time went by and when, about a week ago, he called me; first to acknowledge something that I had written on line, and secondly to present an idea to me along with an invitation to collaborate – I realized that I now trusted him enough to accept the invitation. I had moved beyond Know and Like to Trust. The evolution had taken a little over a year.
I’m fairly confident that as I was getting to Know, Like and Trust him, he was getting to Know, Like and Trust me.
As we look to grow our business, it helps to think about where a prospect is within the Marketing Hourglass stages of Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat and Refer. Just as it is important to have appropriate deliverables at all stages. We need to respect where the prospect is and be doing the kinds of things to gently help them in their progression and understanding of us.
Remember that it takes time. The sooner we begin to strategically build the Know, Like and Trust relationship, the sooner we will enjoy its fruits in Try, Buy, Repeat, Refer.