Unless your business sells very small, very low cost items, it’s probably safe to assume the rate at which your customers trust you is going to correlate with your ability to make sales.
In keeping with this month’s theme I’d like to share 5 things (sadly none of these are quick or easy) that you can do to help your customers make a quick and easy buying decision.
1) Create a Unique Selling Proposition
Understanding the concept of a unique selling proposition and actually creating one are two very different things. Whether your business is the original, the most popular, the best rated, the quickest, the premium choice or dare I say it, even the cheapest, having something for your customers to grab on to and associate with can be the difference between success and blending into the bland, magnolia background with everyone else.
By doing this you can hopefully make your prospects decision much easier, or ideally a ‘no brainer’. Better yet, focus your USP around something that matters to your customers, rather than just anything.
2) Nurture an Excellent Reputation
In times of need it’s human nature to turn to the opinions and actions of others to validate our decisions. Whilst this is by no means a ‘quick fix’, it can be one of the most powerful ways to build a long term, trustworthy reputation with your customers.
Building a great reputation starts with doing great things. Finding out what your customers want and delivering on that consistently is always the best place to start. After that, comes the easy part, which is just making sure you ask for feedback, reviews, testimonials, or videos after every successful job. And once you have them, using them throughout your marketing.
3) Build Authority
Nobody gets more respect in an industry than the appointed expert in the field. Experts find it easier to attract customers, get more referrals, can charge the highest prices and even dictate terms of working, which commoditised businesses will struggle to do.
Do things that other people don’t or are afraid to do. Speak at events in front of your peers and customers, get featured in the news or on other people’s blogs. Publish your thoughts in newsletters, blogs, podcasts or video series.
The shocking truth in the matter, is that no expert ever got randomly crowned an expert. They became an expert because they made a decision to act like one.
4) Demonstrate proof and evidence
There are few more powerful ways to demonstrate your reputation than by using actual evidence. Take and proudly display photos of your work, customers and premises. Use real photos and videos of real people to give people a clear idea of what they can expect. Display awards you’ve won or testimonials you’ve received at every opportunity, don’t hide them away in a cupboard to gather dust.
A great way to show off your premises is by using a life-like virtual tour as described by podcast guest John Shelton in episode 15.
5) Sell in a vacuum
If your marketplace is competitive and it is harder to differentiate, then at least try moving away from selling in a crowded place. If you run a restaurant, a great place to get new customers would be on Just Eat, however the worse place to sell would also be on Just Eat. There are too many competing businesses and the environment is structured around making a decision based on price.
Where possible, take your customers out of those fiercely competitive places and communicate where nobody else does. Through email, through direct mail, through personal telephone calls or even customer appreciated events that you host.