Friday, November 22, 2013

The 10 Building Blocks of Trust

In any scenario, successful engagement begins and ends with trust. To motivate someone to move forward, go deeper, or reach higher with you over someone else, there must be trust. Below are ten areas where you can enhance your business’ trustworthiness and build your brand.

  1. Word of mouth: Recommendations are by far the most effective way to build a trusted business. The percentages are overwhelmingly in your favor and require no heavy lifting on your part. If some third party goes to bat for you, trust is already built into the equation before you utter the first word.
  2. Direct engagement: What kind of communication has taken place prior to your engagement? Was it passive or aggressive? This will impact how a prospect will interact with you. There’s a big difference between a response to spam and a response to a mutual introduction. 
  3. Visual appeal: For example, when a visitor comes to your website for the first time to learn about you, their engagement is limited to the visual. What does it say about your brand? 
  4. Intonation: In tandem with your visual appeal is the tone of your communication…copy, images, video, etc. Your tone should always be set by your business goals, objectives, and strategy.
  5. Benefit orientation: Give your prospect a reason to listen to you. What’s the benefit to them if they listen?
  6. Emotional Connection: How have you connected with your prospect? What values do you share or interests do you have in common? 
  7. Brand awareness: If your logo is recognizable, your name is frequently passed around via hashtag, or you’re regularly in the media, you are not only gaining brand awareness, but trust as well. Public recognition goes a long way in developing trust, even if you’ve not had direct engagement with the prospect.
  8. Transparency: Ever been to a site that declares the “Five foods you should never eat”? 10 minutes into their video spiel, you still haven’t found out what the five foods are. It’s deceptive and wrapped in a sales ploy. Declare your purpose upfront, answer the pressing questions quickly, and make sure it’s understandable. Otherwise you are undermining your own trustworthiness.
  9. The Prospect’s Investment: What are you asking your prospect to do? There’s a big difference between asking them to “like” or “follow” you compared to asking for their credit card number. The security for each of these requests and everything in between needs to be cradled in care and trustworthiness.
  10. Social ranking and search engine metrics: First page Google rankings and a large number of Twitter followers have proven to gain trust among online users. 

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