Marketing Tactics And Sales Process Need To Feature Trust Building
Want people to buy from you? Then earn their trust. The big challenge is it requires hard work and a complete “click-to-close” experience that’s designed with trust in mind. Here’s more bad news: Your prospects don’t trust you, your marketing or your sales teams. That means the work to build that trust requires creativity, content and an authentic approach that you live every day, not one you pay lip service to.
Great, now what? Let’s start at the beginning. Since we agree that your prospects don’t believe you, then let’s get your clients involved. Let’s create an authentic, emotional message that moves them, and let’s shift the idea that you have to convince them to the idea that you have to guide and advise them.
Here are a few adjustments you can make to your marketing strategy today to help you build trust with your prospects, which will drive more leads, sales opportunities and new customer revenue.
Word of mouth is free. Take great care of your clients and customers and they’ll tell everyone about you. Better yet, deliver a remarkable and compelling service or product and they’ll tell even more people about your company. But this isn’t a scalable, predictable and repeatable marketing tactic. Today, we’re building revenue machines, and that requires programmatic replication of highly efficient marketing and sales tactics.
That’s where advocacy marketing comes into play. Instead of hoping or waiting for your clients to talk about you, let’s consider incenting them to help you. Let’s build a program that rewards them for their effort. Points, gift cards, swag or even discounts make wonderful rewards for their participation in your own sales and marketing.
They can earn rewards for references and referrals, participating in marketing events like webinars, helping you in the sales process or telling their story in case study formats. No matter what way they choose to help, they earn rewards. In some cases, you might ask them to create their own program. Do they want discounts on future purchases or personal incentives like gift cards? If they feel like the reward is worth the effort, they continue to be thrilled with your work and remain happy to share that story, it’s a win-win situation.
Emotional Messaging With Stories
No one trusts a company with a flat, vanilla sales message on their website. Saying “we do Salesforce.com implementations” isn’t evoking any trust, but saying “your business is stuck and we’ll get you get moving forward again” is going to appeal to people who feel stuck. It’s an emotional message. People need that emotional connection to start considering trusting you.
They need stories and they need to be the hero of those stories. In the example above, we’ve featured the visitor as the hero. By selecting this partner, they’re going to be the one to get their company moving forward again. They see how this will play out. As long as the rest of the story is consistent and they can continue to see how the story plays out, you’ll be in the game from a revenue perspective.
Being remarkable is critical. They’ll be looking for additional stories that validate your remarkable offerings and they’ll be looking for social proof from similar companies that had amazingly positive experiences. Again, advocacy rears its head. It’s all very interconnected and difficult to break apart. As much as we’d like to disconnect everything, the buyer journey makes it highly connected.
Content In Context
The sales funnel and the sales cycle are no longer linear. It’s more like a game of “Candy Land” with ups and downs, twists and turns, and detours and fast tracks. To deal with that change in the way people make purchase decisions, your marketing and sales teams need to deliver content in context.
That means when a prospect tells you about a challenge they have, you’re able to quickly grab a piece of content that helps them work through their challenge. This means that when prospects are on your website looking at pages designed to help them learn about specific issues they might be dealing with, the offers on those pages are in perfect context to those challenges.
It’s not hard, but it takes thought, strategy and planning to create the experience required to deliver trust.
A Sales Process That Guides
Trust is most often broken in the sales process, and specifically when the person is moved from marketing to sales. Marketing did a wonderful job with the website, content, lead nurturing and supporting the prospect’s buyer journey. But when the prospect finally asked to speak with a rep, sales put on the hard sell, dissolving all of the trust established during the marketing part of the journey. Don’t make that mistake.
Your sales teams need to continue guiding, advising and providing an educational experience. This means active listening with designed diagnostic and discovery sessions that get your prospects talking about themselves, their businesses and their challenges. This means co-creating the recommendations with them and not simply dropping a proposal into their inbox. It means creating a collaborative experience that is strategically designed to get them to feel safe and to trust you, your company and your team.
A Delightful Customer Experience
Finally, and definitely not least importantly, you have to take wonderful care of them as new customers. They need to be nurtured and they need to continue to receive the same amazing experience after they sign as they had before they signed.
Make sure you know what they need and how they want to work with you. Make sure you solve for the customer first and for the company second. This is going to foster faster growth and higher retention rates. Most importantly, you’ll be building an army of people who are thrilled to talk about your business in the highest terms and in the most compelling way, ultimately funneling more people to want to know about you, talk to you and do business with you.
When you look at all of the items included here, you should see a complete closed-loop experience that started with a client telling wonderful stories about your company and ended with another client getting a wonderful experience with your company. It’s end to end, and the better you are at executing the cycle, the faster the cycle turns and the faster your revenue grows.
Building this is going to take some time, energy, investment and, most importantly, strategic signoff from leadership and strong guidance from the top. CEOs must look at their companies and say, “We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.” Then they should drive it down into the organization. It touches everyone, but most importantly, it’s going to take new skills, new tools and new thinking.
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