Trust is the number one motivator in getting prospects and investors to take action with your business. However, how do you build that trust? And once you have the trust, how do you retain it? The subject of trust really resonated with me this past week through two separate instances. The first was at a networking event where I met for the first time, a software developer of a six year start-up company. While he rambled on about how his business was different from the other companies that I had heard of doing the same thing, he couldn’t complete in a short ten word statement what his benefit was and the core differentiators. Since software is by far my strong suit, I grasped at the few phrases that made sense in my world and then tried to make it fit to the information I already knew. All the while, missing important key information because we weren’t talking the same language. Now, you are probably wondering why the title of this post isn’t about networking, branding, unique selling proposition or core differentiation. And those all are at the root problem of the message from the person I was connecting with but, the bigger issue was that he shared they were having trouble securing investors. “OOOHHH”, I thought, “I completely understand why.” Investors were having the same trouble I was, we couldn’t understand the key factor of what they were doing that made them unique. This is a trust issue. When the message of your differentiation isn’t clear, concise and valuable in the eyes of your ideal client; you’ve lost the sale and become white noise among all the other businesses marketing to the masses.
So, as a “give to gain” philosopher, I asked this connection if they had a marketing person on staff or working with strategic marketing partner. His reply was that the CEO did all the marketing and could present the product much better. However, that’s the crutch with the situation and reason for this blog post! This connection was the one out and about networking, talking to the public about the company and handing out cards. It is just as imperative that he was able to explain in a short, ten word statement what his benefits are as it is from the marketing CEO or brochures that they had created. EVERYONE in your business must be able to clearly and concisely communicate your unique selling proposition. When they can’t, the trust factor erodes immediately. So, if a client accidentally dials the wrong extension and receives the staff accountant on the line and said accountant isn’t living and breathing the brand identity created by the marketing, advertising and sales professionals, the experience quickly
resembles a rouse with the “man behind the curtain”. Clients start to wonder which experience is the true one. And allowing them to doubt for one minute that your marketing strategy wasn’t sincere, costs you residual sales and additional clients, ultimately resulting in a significant revenue loss.What happens when the entire company is living and breathing the brand identity, expressing the core differentiation in the same language as the people listening and utilizing the marketing strategy? Trust occurs. And when trust happens, money flows and referrals are recommended. Why? Well, because when an investor or prospect trusts what your business is offering, they don’t question the price it’s offered at and you can even afford to offer it at a premium. In addition, you also stop competing on price with your competitors because now you stand out among the crowded marketplace. Lastly, clients and investors want to spend money with people they know, like and trust and when they have found that, it’s almost an innate need to share the information with others that they are centers of influence (COI) with. And here lies the second instant where trust became a factor for me last week. My computer had a virus, come to find out several nasty viruses. I needed an expert to quickly and
completely eradicate these viruses. I contacted a trusted center of influence and asked if they knew of anyone that I should call. Low and behold, they still do this type of work . Yippee! Now I have someone to take care of my frustration that I know, like and trusted. In addition, whatever they were going to charge me was going to be okay because I knew them, trusted them and felt that they would take care of me and my problem with minimal incident at the maximum efficiency. This expectation is the epitome of trust.In closing, if you notice that you aren’t closing any proposals or landing any investors, review your message to ensure you are communicating in a way that builds trust at every level of your business. Once you have this solidified, the sales and money will follow.
Stand Out Results blog posts are written by: Vicki M James, Growth and Accountability Marketing Strategy Partner and Duct Tape Marketing Consultant