Trust is a central point in marketing. Without trust in your message and your product, the whole exercise of marketing is fruitless. But the question is:
How do you build trust in marketing?
You can do that in so many ways. But for purposes of this article, let’s look at these areas:
*Use testimonials – yes, this is an old technique and yet it still works. These testimonials are praises from past satisfied customers. Your word against a customer’s word, who do you think people will trust? Of course, the past customer. After all, he is the one who has tried your product or service before. Nearly all human beings depend on the experience of other people to make their decisions. This includes their buying decisions. We all want to experience the good things other people have experienced and avoid the unpleasant ones. So there’s no doubt testimonials carry tons of persuasive weight in marketing. But is it all testimonials that will do? Of course not. Any testimonial that stinks of manipulation and hints of insincerity is counterproductive. Testimonials should come from the heart of the customer and be sincere. They should not leak traces of ulterior motive.
So how do you make testimonials really solid marketing pieces, ones that are credible? Here are a few things that will be helpful:
- Use full names of customers for testimonials – with their permission.
- Give location of customers and contact details, if possible. The chief aim of testimonials is to show proof that real human beings have benefited from your service or product. This why you should consider including some details so that past customers can be contacted to confirm their experience with your product or service.
- Provide their job descriptions and titles. Authority carries marketing weight. Titles such as Doctor, Engineer, Professor etc. all add a lot of weight to your claims. Don’t forget that.
- Use specific testimonials, but not general ones. A good testimonial should spell out clearly how your product or service helped the customer achieve a particular thing. Achievement must be shown in terms of real figures and percentages and within a particular time frame.
*Show measurement – tell customers how they can measure the effectiveness of your product/service. What instrument can they use and what’s the scale of measurement? How does it compare with the standard in the industry? Show, don’t tell.
* Get and display the endorsement of experts and authorities on your product/service. It’s needless to say that these people should be seen as people who have no ties with you – no family, social or business relations. Any hint of some relationship with you reduces the credibility of their claims.
*Throw a challenge – Invite customers to put your claims to the test. Tell them your integrity is on the line. If it fails your trust is lost. And you don’t want that to happen.
*Include a good guarantee policy. Tell the customer what you stand to lose if they’re not satisfied with your product/service. Absorb any risks from their side. Make it easy for them to trust you.
*Seal it with your name and signature, if possible. No one wants to be identified with an inferior thing. So by giving the product your name or embossing the label with your signature, you demonstrate your trust in it. You trust it so much to lend it your identity. You aren’t ashamed of it.
There you have them – some common ways you can build trust in your marketing efforts. On the pitch of selling, trust is everything. Once you lose it, you can forget about great sales figures.