Credibility Crisis: 4 Sure-Fire Strategies for Cultivating Consumer Trust

While the retail industry crisis has been well-reported, particularly with respect to dwindling foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. However, even as consumers turn to shopping online and via mobile devices in droves, it’s shocking to learn that fully 97% of visitors to eCommerce and other sales-minded sites bail out without purchasing on their first visit. As concerning is that approximately 70% of shoppers who do add items to their online shopping cart do not complete the purchase. Amid improved consumer confidence, with the April 2015 confidence index of 95.2 well above April 2014’s 81.7 rating, clearly there’s a severe disconnect between vendors and the marketplaces they hope to serve—a situation resulting in some serious economic opportunity loss. These disparities are also among the biggest misperceptions that both online and offline marketers hold.

Far too many companies are churning out traditional sales lingo laced with fluff and vague, or entirely overinflated, claims, spending paltry little time and energy establishing credibility with prospective customers. And, the mission critical nature of credibility cannot be overstated, as it establishes a company or brand’s integrity, reliability, validity, soundness and a host of other image-including indicators of an entity’s moral and ethical code, and the standards by which it operates. At the most fundamental level, credibility translates into trust, and trust translates into sales.

“Today’s consumer is quite savvy, but are often overloaded, over-committed, overdue for a vacation and, thus, easily annoyed,” asserts Brian Greenberg, a multi-faceted, serial entrepreneur who has spearheaded and oversees a variety of successful businesses. “From telemarketer calls coming in at dinnertime or, worse, before the alarm sounds in the morning; an endless stream of SPAM e-mails jamming inboxes; and mailboxes overflowing with white mail that proceeds directly to the recycle trash bin, statistics show that consumers can be bombarded with more than 300,000 messages every day. This overwhelming demand for consumer attention and dollars has created a market filled with cynics, whose defenses are on full alert.”

This heightened emotional state is working against commonplace sales tactics that are hyper-focused on getting to the close, rather than getting to know the consumer—and vice versa. Often, brand marketers fail to realize the sale begins and ends with authentic connection on both sides.

“Consumers need an advocate,” Greenberg says. “Amid all of the marketplace ‘noise,’ there is an incredible opportunity right now for customer-centric brands to cut through the clutter. One way to do this is by establishing credibility with consumers. Companies that do this effectively will most certainly amass market share.”

“What I’ve learned over the years is that shoppers go through different phases, such as interest, awareness and action, before transitioning to the ‘buying’ stage,” he continues. “However, the successful marketer offers multiple ways to prove the company and/or the product’s credibility through meaningful and relevant engagements that will carry a consumer through the emotional continuum of interest to final sale…and referrals and recommendations to others beyond.”

Below, Greenberg offers four proven tactics he’s learned on the sales and marketing front line, which are critical to building a loyal client base and ultimately boosting revenue in kind:

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About the Author

Merilee KernMerilee Kern, MBA, is Executive Editor of “The Luxe List” International News Syndicate, an accomplished entrepreneur, award-winning author and APP developer and influential media voice. She may be reached online at Follow her on Twitter here: and Facebook here: