This is a guest post by Todd Jones, a freelancer writer specialising in WordPress and business.
He sent me three emails after we connected on Linkedin. I didn’t know the guy and I didn’t know anyone who did. Connecting on Linkedin is a good thing and can be something that really helps businesses, but this guy was pretty aggressive. I was a little taken back by his persistence.
A quick glance of his own information, his website, his blog, etc. told me he claimed to help people get more out of using Linkedin.
Marketers ruin everything, right?
This is a new world when it comes to business, the customer, buying and selling. People need to feel like they trust someone before making a purchase. This guy really didn’t even know what my pain point was. How could he sell me something so soon?
I thought about booking time with him and then, telling him my hourly rate.
The first time I bought a car by myself, I went to a local car lot. The guy who we bought the car from was extremely gregarious. He had a way to make you feel at ease and completely suspicious all at once.
I told him that he was going to determine my car buying experience for the rest of my life. He didn’t care. He just wanted the sale.
The car we bought had lots of issues while we had it and it was put out of its misery when someone t-boned me on a major road in Fort Worth, TX. I wouldn’t trust that car salesman as far as I could throw the car. The guy was a major showman.
Dealing with him, after the car was bought, was a little messed up. He cared, up until I signed on the dotted line, then, it wasn’t his problem anymore. Just one more sale.
Buyers in today’s market are some of the most skeptical in generations and for good reason. They have had many experiences like the ones I just described. They don’t trust anyone selling something.
Today, online marketers seek to engage in permission marketing. In other words, they are trying to get permission from those who need what they have for the purpose of buying.
“If you build it they will come.” Not here, not at all.
The famous line from the Field of Dreams does not characterize buying and selling, or even marketing, on the internet.
Just like in real life, we have to find a way to gain the trust of the buyers. We have to engage in the process of establishing authority and building trust.
How do you approach the sale on your website? Do you just jump to the place where you ask for the sale? That is, essentially, equal to the guy who messaged me on Linkedin and sent me three emails. I haven’t built any kind of rapport with him and had no interest in jumping into a conversation where he will try to peddle his services.
We have to establish authority.
We have to build trust.
How can we do this?
Here are three ways you can help gain your buyers’ trust.
First, show that you know what their pain point is. Since you know your target audience (you do know your target audience, right?), you know what their problems are. You can reflect that in the blog posts you write on your website. Show them ways they can solve problems. This establishes you as an expert.
Second, show that you know your area of expertise. This further cements that you are an expert in your industry. You do this by regularly producing content that reveals that expertise. It might be a blog post, an e-book, a short video or a podcast or any other kind of content. Be your own expert.
Third, connect with your audience. Connect with your audience by giving them multiple ways to connect with you including social media and an email newsletter. Ask them for feedback and what question they have. Write blog posts with your answers. Be helpful. Offer a five to ten-minute phone call. In doing so, not only do you build authority, but you begin to establish their trust.
The road to the sale, the path through the funnel, is paved with building authority and establishing trust. We have to gently guide our friends through the funnel to get to the point where we ask for the sale.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with asking for the sale. Just remember, people will buy online when they know you are an expert and they trust you and your words. Use this information wisely.