Developing trust and confidence

In this era of Bernie Madoff, identity theft, and 411 scams, consumers are increasingly leery of businesses. The economic downturn has many consumers holding onto their more tightly than ever. This presents a significant challenge for the small business seeking to maintain or grow its sales.

A key component of successful sales, even in the best of times, is developing trust and confidence. When a consumer has trust that your product or service will meet his needs or desires, and confidence in your ability to deliver, he is more likely to buy. But how do we develop trust and confidence?

Many small business owners take the direct approach: They tell the consumer dependable and trust-worthy they are. However, it is quite easy to make such claims–anyone can do the same. The most effective way to develop trust and confidence is to demonstrate that one is trust-worthy. In this context, actions truly do speak louder than words.

For example, if you are always on time for appointments, you demonstrate dependability and promptness. If you return phone calls quickly and keep a customer informed, you demonstrate good communication. If you answer questions patiently and in detail, you demonstrate interest in the customer’s concerns. These actions–and many more like them–are far more powerful than long-winded monologues about how great your company is.

A similar way to develop trust and confidence is through an e-book, special report, or similar materials. Such documents allow you to demonstrate knowledge, answer common questions, and demonstrate your expertise. An excellent example of this can be found in Harvey Segal’s free e-book, The Ultimate SuperTip.

Developing trust and confidence can take time. They must be earned. And the most effective way to earn your customer’s trust and confidence is by showing, not telling.

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