Building trust to drive engagement online.
Let’s face it. The world is becoming more digital dependent, not less, and the used car salesman shtick was a no-go and is with today’s consumers. Persuasive bullying didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now because the customer always feels worse after the interaction. Even if the sale goes through, they’re likely to seek out more positive experiences elsewhere next time.
Today, being persuasive is about building a genuine relationship with your customer and empowering them to “opt in” when they’re ready.
Work with the platforms
The most important consideration for building trust today is to work with the platform algorithms. The platforms are designed for an optimal user experience, and consumers don’t want to be sold to. They wanted to be delighted and feel socially empowered.
Avoid the “hard sell” in your digital promotions and social media strategy. Low-value/hard-sell content is your ticket to digital obscurity because the platforms will limit its reach. What does work is high-value, targeted content. When your content provides value to the right potential buyer in the right stage of their buyer journey, it will naturally attract more engagement, and the algorithms will reward you for it.
What would you find more compelling?
“Get a six-pack of Cola for $4.99 today!” With a photo of a six-pack.
“You deserve a break. Make lunchtime vacation time!” In a short video of someone relaxing on the beach with a Cola in hand where the potential customer is experiencing the value.
Thought leadership is a major differentiator
As companies work to build and maintain trust with customers, thought leadership is now a major driver of trust for customers in B2B Marketing. Why? Because your customer wants to know the people behind the product or service they’re considering. When your offering is in a crowded, online space, your thought leadership will be a major differentiator. But how do I do that you ask?
Here are a few tactics:
- Get your leadership on video talking about their values and what they mean to the company
- Publish long-form content under your leader’s name to earn social credibility
- Leverage the online media space to showcase the day-to-day of your company and your leaders at the helm to show your customers the magic behind your product or service
88% of decision-makers agree thought leadership is effective at enhancing their perceptions of an organization.
“Customers don’t sign contracts, they sign partnerships.” – Ted Adler (Founder/ Owner, Scout Digital)
Today’s customers require proof that you’re the real deal, and promoting your leadership is a powerful tactic to align their values to your customers. Your product can’t simply meet their criteria. Your story, your brand touchpoints, your correspondence, your sales process, and your leadership story must all hit the mark. Any friction can become a dealbreaker.
How to transform your touchpoints into better sales conversations
Hand over all the power. Yep, give your customers the power to make decisions on how they choose to interact with you. It’s a mindset shift, but your sales will thank you later. Your brand and product exist to make their lives better, so be there when they need you most. That means building empathy into every touchpoint and interaction.
Get transformational with three tactics:
- Humanize your approach: Avoid leaning too heavily on automation. Technology can be helpful for reach, but your focus should be on building a human connection. Leverage the technology to look, sound, and feel more human.
- Example: Warm up the language in your chatbot to sound conversational as the user is gently guided to the answer they are searching for.
- Unite sales & marketing: Ensure the handoff from online interaction to a phone call is frictionless. This means getting your teams on the same page with tactics and approaches.
- Example: Jointly define your customer segments and develop well-defined personas, then agree on a sales and marketing strategy to attract, convert, and then delight them.
- Authenticity sells: Nurturing any relationship takes time, and building a human connection with your customer is even tougher. So focus on listening, not selling and your customer will organically turn to you when you are needed. Develop a customer feedback loop. Survey, listen and optimize their experience.
- Example: Highlight your virtues and benefits proudly on your digital touchpoints, but don’t lead with them. Instead, focus on language that defines your customer, their values, and their problem. If you jive with them, they’ll look further to see if you’re a good fit.
Earn trust through authenticity
When your customer stumbles across one of your brand touchpoints and chooses to engage, it wasn’t because of your competitive price point or fancy features. Most likely, your customer glided in because your touchpoint addressed a true pain point that they were experiencing.
For example, your customer is struggling with finding a reliable coffee mug for their commute to work. Here are two approaches:
The “Hard Sell”:
Buy our new coffee mug for $10.00. Act Fast!
This approach is:
- It’s cold and general
- Not specific to who the customer is and where they are in their buyer journey
- It is flat, there is no value proposition to the customer
- It won’t help them convert! This message is a dime a dozen
The Authentic Approach:
Your mornings are busy when you are a Mom on the go. Let your first cup of coffee be savored. Commute to work with our Coffee Mug and experience the joy of warm coffee. Start your day with us!
Why this approach works:
- It’s conversational
- It’s human. This potential buyer to be thinking “this is me…”
- It’s specific to a persona and a point in their buyer journey (Consideration)
So, ready to build a more natural, authentic relationship with your customers? Treat them like humans and they will reciprocate. Try these tactics and your sales will thank you later:
- Build a conversational style into your brand touchpoints and technology
- Align your sales and marketing teams to create a smooth experience across the sales funnel
- Treat your customer like a friend and they will thank you with a sale