If you are still a beginner entrepreneur you might wonder how could you earn the trust of people, future customers. Especially if you only have a one page website that could be frightening. This post is for you. I am going to show you 13 steps that will help you feel more confident and definitely earn the trust of your prospects.
We tend to think that the bigger the website the more trust it builds – but that is not the case. The fundation is quality in the way you stand up in your business, the way you act and show up for your customers, the way you treat them and the way you communicate with them..
The goal of this post is to show you small, but actionable steps that will help you earn and keep your clients’ trust.
1. Your brand is you
The first way you can earn your customers’ trust is to focus on your brand. Your brand represents you. Represents who you are, what you believe in, what you stand for, what is you vision. Be mindful of how you treat yourself and your business, because this gives a very good insight to your customer about the ways you might treat them.
As Tilmann Fertitta says in his Shut up and listen book, use the 95-5 rule if you want to thrive in your business. (https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/houston-rockets-owner-business-mogul-tilman-fertitta-why-i-live-by-the-955-rule )
You’ve probably heard of the famous 80:20 rule which suggests that 80% of the results of something are attributed to 20% of its causes. But there is also a variation called the 95:5 rule. It suggests that 95% of the results come from 5% of the causes. Use this as a daily practice to focus on the 5% of your business to thrive in the 95%.
How does this look like in real life? Let’s say you have hair salon where you want your customers to feel valued. Make sure you dress up just a little bit better than your most fabulous customer. When you give this attention to yourself and your outfit / appearance you will instantly boost your confidence. Who doesn’t like to go into a hair salon where you feel the owner is confident in what she does and if you keep adjusting little things based on the 95-5 rule your customer will feel a lot more valued and they will percieve your services as more high-end.
2. Prepare yourself
The second most important way to earn your customers’ trust is by preparing yoursels. I mean train. Not just your body, but your mind as well. There is always room for growing and learning new things. Even if you think this is useless or you are just too overwhelmed right now and is a waste of time. Believe me, when you put yourself and your well-being first , that changes everything. After all we all want to drive our business with joy – otherwise what’s the point in it?
Trust me, everyone has it’s own fears when it comes to selling something. You are afraid of not being good enough, not knowing the answers to your prospects question. The best way to avoid these feelings is to do constant little actions. For example: when you are pitching someone with your product or service, make sure you prepare for all the scenarios possible and try to come up with possible questions your clients would ask and find the right answer to them.
Check out this video from Rachel Hollis, she will give you way more amazing ideas on how to sell your product and service and grow your business.
Always look for new things to learn – either something that helps you grow your business or something that would just purely fun to do (like dancing or knitting or whatever you’d like 🙂 ). The things you learn outside your profession and comfort zone can boost your creativity and help you come up with new ideas. Don’t be afraid of doing what you like and enjoy.
If you want to earn your customers’ trust you should take some time and do some research on your target audience. You probably did something already when setting up your business and if you followed any entrepreneur’s tips on how to build you business there was definitely a point when they suggested you to figure out who are you selling to. If you did it, then it is fine, you just have to take your notes out and go through them again.
If you skipped this step, I encourage you to take the time and do it now. I know it takes time, it is boring and anyways, how on earth should you know who would buy your product? And what if you are convinced that your product and service would be perfect for everyone. That is also possible, but even if you think your product and service is for everyone, there are definitely people who won’t buy it.
Just make sure you highlight 5-10 main points that are common in these people and focus on them. When you know your target audience you can figure out more easily how to talk to them and how to sell your products, services. When you find the voice that resonates with them, making meaningful connections will be made easily and selling will become a lot more natural.
4. Provide valuable content
One of the most important steps overall in earning your customers’ trust is to provide valuable content to your customers. If you did the previous step and went deep on the research part, you most probably know by now what is that your customer wants. What are the problems they are having, challenges they are facing, what are they struggling with, what makes them feel good, valued, appreciated, happy, etc.
Knowing your customer is crucial in terms of providing valuable content, so do not skip this step. Sit down and go thourgh the results of your research and try to come up with at least 10 ideas what would be valuable for your customers. When you are done with this, go back to the “prepare yourself” point, where I suggested to you to look for questions they might ask. When you go through those questions, try to come up with another 10 ideas, answers that could possibly be really useful to your customers.
Finally if you managed to do things you like and enjoy – also suggested in point 2 – things outside of work, that you like (it could be anything from dancing, drawing, meditating, running, group classes, whatever), then try to list 10 things you really enjoyed while doing it. Answer the following questions:
- Why did this make me feel good?
- How is the customer service?
- How is the product/service overall?
- How could that be improved?
- What part of it that I could implement into my business?
- What attitude should I build to deliver similar service to my clients?
5. Be credible and truthful
Earning your customer’s trust is a long term job, but losing it can happen in a second. Always be credible and truthful. Keep your words, hold onto your promises and always overdeliver. If you do so, you are going to be fine, so will your business. But when you start being shady, hiding information and not being honest, that can cause a huge damage on your business and your personal reputation as well. Don’t forget, this is really fragile, so take good care of it.
6. Be authentic
I get many questions about how to be more authentic and I always suggest the same as I did here: prepare yourself, do the research about your customers and list out your strengths and how are you different than others.
When you have the list ready, highlight all those that could be related to each other and make sure you focus on those topics in your communication. When you talk and write from your true heart, to your specific audience and you are prepared in the topic you are covering, it will turn out really authentic.
Make sure you ask for feedback. I know this can sound daunting, but trust me, if you allow yourself to get feedback it will help you grow. Obviously, make sure you ask feedback from those who you trust.
7. Make your brand more personal
One of the best ways to earn your customers’ trust os making your brand more personal. This can happen in various ways. The first one requires for you to have the results of your research and know your customers. When you know your customers well, you can personalize your messages in a more unique way, you can find your voice a lot better. Relate to your customers and let them see your human side.
What does this mean? It can mean for example that you share stories about yourself, your brand, your journey, anything you feel like sharing with them. You can either educate, inspire, go behind the scenes or build community. The overall goal here is not to sell directly, but to improve brand awareness. Studies show that it is a lot easier to remember a brand that shares stories than those who only promote.
I know you would tell me now, that the goal is to sell ,so why would you go for the stories when it doesn’t end up in sales?! I have good news for you – you can combine both. Let’s say you sell handmade chic bags that are made from reused materials. You could share a story of this idea becoming a reality – or you could talk about how the regular bags are low quality and often times lame. At the end you would add a slight sentence about people who appreciate the environment but still want to have chic bags – so, who would be able to offer them something like this? You, of course. Bamm, deal is done.
8. Share customer success stories
This is my favorite tip on how to earn your customers’ trust. If you don’t feel confident sharing personal stories, I encourage you to share stories from your customers. These are very good for testimonials and would avoid the feeling that you are bragging about yourself.
When you focus on these steps you will provide an outstanding service and it would be super easy to get testimonials from your customers. However often times these are just 1-2 lines. Encourage your customer to share stories about how your product and service helped them, made a difference. (don’t forget to ask for their permission to share it).
9. Show up as a pro
If you want your business to look professional, you have to act professional. And pros get to earn their customers’ trust easily.
Have focus: this all relates to the previous points (knowing your customers and finding the right voice to talk to them). When you are clear on you focus you get more productive, you can get in details with that focus and you can eventually be more confident.
Be consistent: consistency is key to brand awareness. When you decide to a strategy, stick with it, try it out, and always measure it. For instance you say you want to send out emails every Friday, then make sure you do so every week. This will also include all steps that should be taken in order to get that email ready.
Be ready to fail: nobody is perfect, we are all humans – and I could list more cliches like this. Still, it is true. I don’t wish it to happen to you, but it could and you better prepare for it. When you prepare for failure it won’t get you of surprise, you will be more calm, organized and already have ideas how to get back up. Imagine the worst case scenario(s) and start from there. It might seem scary at the beginning, but the more you think about it and the more ideas you gather how to handle them it will have less affect on you.
Answer the following questions:
- What is the worst that could happen?
- How would that affect me?
- What scares me the most about this?
- What can I do to avoid feeling like this?
- What can I do to avoid this from happening?
10. Be transparent with your policies
Either you sell products or you sell services, in order to be and look professional you need to have clear policies. It could be kind of a fact that in order to gain as much trust as possible you need to have really well laid down policies.
11. Improve your security
Protecting your and your customer’s data is a must. Not just because of the GDPR regulations, but because this is the fundamental of earning their trust. Just imagine how would you feel about a company if you’d know they treated your data poorly and now everything is available for the public, or even worse, they get hacked and you can be sure your data will be used for not the right purposes.
12. Make links work
This point is usually forgotten from the list of the ways to earn your customer’s trust. If you want to have a professional website, you have to make sure all your links and buttons are working properly.
You can lose tremendous amount of sales because of a broken link and it also discourages people to return to your site when this happens. I will write about this later in another post (how to make sure your website is working properly), but for now I suggest you to check your website links once in a while.
13. Go all in with customer service
This point is never repeated enough on how to earn your customer’s trust. If you are a beginner in entrepreneurship you might not have many/or any customers yet. But don’t be sad about it. If you take my advice,one of your main focus will be to always be 150% on your customer service. I know that when you are just a small business owner there is almost nobody to take care of, but at least you can talk about how you would treat your first client (and of course the rest of them). When you have less customers it is even easier to focus on taking good care of them.
Trust me, they will appreciate you taking the time and the energy to fix their problems, answer questions, etc. Always over-deliver on your promises. When you think that is all you can give, give more. Anything. If it is just a short note or a follow-up email or just a thank you card, that could mean the world to someone and make their days perfect. You don’t want to miss the chance of free marketing when these customers will tell their friends how amazing your customer service was.
If you made it till the end – congrats. I know this was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Now it is your turn: let me know which of the above points do you think is the most important in your business and why.
I would love to read your feedbacks.