For many businesses, getting noticed by your target audience will rarely generate an immediate sale. Unless they are an impulse buyer, anyone interested in your product or service will want to shop around and compare your value against your competitors. They may not even be ready to make a purchase just yet, and are just conducting some research.
However, because you have worked hard to get noticed, it is important that you capitalise on these efforts by demonstrating why your product or service is right for them. You do this by instilling trust and confidence in your potential customer, so even if your competitors are cheaper, they still choose you because you provide better value for their money. So, how exactly do you instil trust and confidence? By demonstrating expertise, experience and transparency.
Continuing with the example from my last post, here are some of the ways Sebastian the business coach instils trust and confidence.
On his website, Sebastian writes two articles a week on his blog. Each article normally addresses one or two pain points that are commonly experienced by his target audience. They speak directly to his potential clients and position him as an expert at solving a problem that they need to address (expertise). Where possible, he makes sure to include real examples from his current clients (experience), which is particularly effective when the example client is in the same industry sector as a prospect. His writing is honest, and a reflection of who he is, and he isn’t afraid of writing about any challenges or set backs that he’s had to overcome (transparency).
Monthly Email Digest
Sebastian harnesses the power of opt-in emails, because it gives him the opportunity to keep reminding his potential clients that he is still there, so when it is time for them to purchase, they’re more likely to remember him. His monthly emails feature a compilation of excerpts from his recent blog posts, which includes a mix of his how-to articles (expertise) and his own client case studies (experience). In each email, he invites his readers to reply directly to him with any questions, in order to give them a sense of how he works with his clients (transparency).
Every couple of months, Sebastian hosts a free webinar on the subject of business strategy and planning. These are video presentations that are streamed live in a web browser, and the audience can participate and ask questions by typing into a chat window. His webinars are informative (expertise), and are often in more depth than his blog posts and email tips, and again, he uses examples from his own client projects to demonstrate his points (experience). The webinars give his audience great insight into who he is – they can hear the confidence in his voice, and test him by asking questions directly (transparency).
Every quarter, Sebastian produces an e-book which explores a subject in depth. The ten page report often introduces a new trend in his area of expertise, something that his target audience has yet to learn about (expertise). The e-book features many examples from his own client projects (experience), and often reveals the direction that his company is heading in the next couple of years (transparency).
Sebastian actively seeks opportunities to speak at conferences, seminars, exhibitions, and business events. His presentations offer informative, practical advice (expertise), where he gives examples from his own client projects (experience). After the presentations, he makes sure to stay and meet members of the audience to identify any potential clients and begin to build their relationship (transparency).
The above activities demonstrate some of the ways to instil trust and confidence in your potential customers. Showing your expertise will reassure them about the cost of your product or service, and demonstrating your experience will strengthen their belief that you can deliver what you promise. Transparency makes them feel like they will be dealing with real people who understand their problems, rather than a faceless, corporate brand.