Posts

6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

Establishing trust with your customers is the first step on the sales journey. If people don’t trust your business and your brand, they’re not going to buy products from you, it’s as simple as that. People tend to approach businesses with an attitude of distrust until they are proven wrong because there are a lot of businesses out there that will use underhanded tactics to make a sale or mislead people about the quality of their product. So, unless you can build trust, you’re not going to get any sales, but how exactly can you do that?

The majority of people have their first interaction with a business online these days, whether that is through social media or on your website. That’s why your online presence is a good place to start when trying to build that relationship with potential customers. These are some of the best ways to build trust online.

Search Engine Rankings

6 Ways To Use Your Website ToStrategyDriven | Build Trust With Customers

We all put a lot of trust in the algorithms that determine search engine rankings, even if we don’t necessarily realize it. Think about it, when was the last time you went beyond the first page of a Google search to find a business? You might do it on occasion but usually, you naturally assume that the companies listed on the first page are the most successful and trustworthy businesses, that’s how they earned their place. That’s why the most important way to establish trust is to boost your SEO and make sure that you rank on the first page of results. It’s important for driving traffic to your site as well but even if people find your website through other means, like pay per click ads, they might still do a quick search to check you out afterwards. If you appear on the first page, they’ll be happy, but if they can’t see any mention of your company, that’s a bad sign for them.

Customer Reviews

You can go on about how amazing your product is all you like, but why should people trust you? Of course, you’re going to say that it’s great, you’re trying to sell it to them, so your word doesn’t really carry that much weight here. If you really want to convince people that your products are worth buying and you’re a company that can be trusted, you need an impartial opinion, which is where customer reviews and testimonials come in.

When shopping online, around 91 percent of people will look at the reviews of a product before buying it so they can get an impartial opinion on it. In fact, 84 percent of people say that they trust online reviews just as much as their friends. That’s why they are one of your best tools when trying to build trust in the online world. If you don’t already include customer reviews on your site, you absolutely should. As long as you’re offering good service and a quality product, you shouldn’t need to worry about bad reviews too much. You’ll always get a few and that’s fine, as long as the majority of them are positive. You should display these reviews and testimonials clearly on your website. A lot of sites have a rolling bar along the bottom of the page which shows different reviews, and you should always include them on product listings as well.

People don’t always bother to leave a review but there are a few things that you can do to encourage it. Firstly, send a follow up email a few days after a purchase has been made and kindly ask the customer to leave a quick review. If people are still reluctant, you could offer a small discount on their next purchase in exchange for a review.

Content Marketing

When you’re trying to gain the trust of your customers, it’s important that you prove to them that you know what you’re talking about, which is where content marketing comes in. Content marketing is a great way to generate traffic for your website, but it’s also a good way to offer a potential customer something of value without asking for payment in return. This shows them that you don’t just see them as another sale and you’re willing to put work into building that relationship before you start marketing products towards them. More importantly, good content demonstrates that you’re a leading expert in your industry, which means that they will trust in your products as well. If you can produce regular content on your website which gives useful information relating to your products and services, customers will be far more likely to come to you when they’re ready to make a purchase.

You can still use this as an opportunity to market your products, but you do it in a more subtle way that doesn’t put people off. People hate being bombarded with pushy marketing materials but an informative piece of content that gently suggests that your product might be of use to a customer will be well received.

Focus On Security

StrategyDriven | Online Marketing and Website Development | 6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

Online security is a big concern for everybody right now and people are always worried about the sites that they visit. This is especially true if they’re putting their credit card details in to make a purchase, so security on your site is vital. The most important thing is to make sure that your website is HTTPS secure. You might not recognize the term but if you check the web address on most sites, you’ll see a green padlock icon in the left hand corner. That means the site is HTTPS secure, and it’s one of the first things that people look for when they enter a new site. Most modern websites will be HTTPS secure so if yours isn’t, you need to rectify that (you can use this guide to help you).

The payment platforms that you use on the site are important as well. If you offer secure payment options that people recognize, like Paypal, they will feel a lot more comfortable making a purchase. If people have even the slightest doubts about the security of your website, you can easily lose a sale.

Add An ‘About Us’ Page

People like to have a sense of the people behind the logo when dealing with a new company. Social media has a big part to play in that because it allows you to show your personality a bit and connect with people more. But there are also some simpler ways to show people who you are, like an ‘about us’ page on your website. This gives you the chance to tell people about your company, why you started it, and what your core values as a business are. People are increasingly concerned with the ethical standpoint of the businesses that they deal with and it affects their purchasing decisions, so letting them know a bit about your company ethos is very important.

As well as the company itself, you should devote some space to your employees as well. Showing a photograph and giving a small description of what that person does and a little bit of personal information like their hobbies outside of work helps to humanize your company and builds trust with customers because they feel like they know you a bit more. Helping customers put a face to a name goes a long way when you’re trying to build that relationship with them.

Simplify Your Website Design

StrategyDriven | Online Marketing and Website Development | 6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

The design of your website has a big impact on the way that people see your business and they will make a lot of assumptions about you as soon as they enter the site. If they see a very outdated website that is difficult to navigate and has a lot of broken links, that doesn’t do you any favors. They will assume that you’re an unprofessional company and you don’t have the money to invest in a good web design agency. An overcrowded website is one of the things that puts people off the most because it makes the site so hard to use and it looks incredibly amateurish.

When it comes to web design, simplicity is key. You should only include information that is absolutely relevant and don’t overwhelm people with huge blocks of text. Make sure that everything is easy to scan so people can find the information that they’re looking for quickly and easily. Proper website maintenance is vital as well because if the site runs very slowly or images don’t load properly, that tells them that you’re not really putting much effort into the website. If you’re not putting effort into the website, they’ll assume that you have the same attitude to your products and your customers, so they will not have much trust in you at all.

Finally, you need to be careful with pop-ups. They can be beneficial sometimes, when building an email list, for example. However, if people are bombarded with lots of pop-ups right away, they will get the impression that you only want their money and you’re not interested in building a long lasting relationship with them.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to establish trust with your customers through your website and that will translate to increased sales.

How to Turn a “No” into a “Yes”

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Turn a “No” into a “Yes”You’ve met with a great lead and pitched your product or service, but all that’s coming back is a resounding “Thanks, but no thanks!”  Ever heard that before? I have (many times), and if you are an active business developer, then you have heard this, too – and will continue to hear it probably more times than you would ever want.

A friend recently asked me how my approach to developing business can help with the “Thanks, but no thanks!” situation.  Here’s what I told him based on my experience:

The first thing to do when prospects say “no” is to acknowledge something, namely that your job as a rainmaker begins when they say “no!”  This is how most rainmakers think.  They are not devastated. They don’t blame themselves or their prospects, and they certainly do not give up.  If you can simply make the decision to think this way in the “Thanks, but no thanks” situation, then you will be on your way to truly becoming a rainmaker.

Your ability to reset your mind like this should be driven by your underlying passion for what you do, your commitment to the process of developing business and your confidence that you cannot only secure the prospect but can take care of that person far better than your competitor – all things that my approach to business development – Crux Rainmaking – espouses.

With your mind reset you can then move on to a practical approach to dealing with the “Thanks, but no thanks” situation:

1. Communicate your patience to the prospect immediately.  Great clients and customers are worth the wait. The prospect will respect your understanding of the current situation, and this will immediately take the pressure off that individual to do something for you right away if they simply cannot do so.

2. Request the ability to stay in touch with that individual.  It is rare that a person will say “No, never call me again, ever!”  Most people will welcome periodic communications. If the individual is open to this (most people will be), then proceed to No. 3 below.

3. Work to develop a Unique Business Relationship (UBR) with that individual.  A UBR is a relationship that is difficult, if not impossible, to replace.  To develop a UBR with your prospect, you need to understand who they really are as a person, what makes them tick, what moves them.  You can gain this understanding through your initial conversations with the individual, through independent research and through other people who may also know the prospect.  As your relationship with the prospect becomes more and more unique, that individual will be more willing to give you a chance with their business. The scales start to tip over time from the existing vendor to you.  But you must be patient. This does not happen overnight.

Bottom line: Acknowledge that your job begins when they say “no!”  By properly resetting your mind to think consistent with the rainmaker’s brain, you can then proceed to building a UBR with an initially-reluctant prospect.  Over time, you will gain a valuable advantage over your competitors.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Joe BrocatoJoe Brocato is a business development thought leader, prominent attorney, CEO of Intense Coaching & Consulting Worldwide, and author of the forthcoming book CRUX RAINMAKING: 3 Steps To Exponential Business Development.

5 Functional Ways to Market and Grow your Business without Breaking the Bank

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Functional Ways to Market and Grow your Business without Breaking the Bank It takes a lot of time and commitment to start a business. Probably that’s the hardest part that most aspiring entrepreneurs have.

Growing a small business comes with numerous challenges. You might be trying to think of the best marketing strategies you can embrace.

You may be on a budget, yet you want to market and grow your business. In this post, we are going to explore five affordable marketing strategies that you could use.

Here we go.

1. Have social media presence

Social media is getting more popular day by day. Most people use it to connect with friends, colleagues and family members.

Of late, there has been an increase in the use of various social media platforms for business purposes and building careers.

For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are among the most popular social media platforms. As a business, you could make use of social media to market your business.

Facebook and Instagram are also the cheapest platforms you can use to grow your business. These platforms are simple to use.

All you need is to create a Facebook page or group relating to your niche. A Facebook page is more effective if you are starting out. You can invite your friends and close contacts to follow you.

You could as well create informative posts that aim to solve people’s problems in your niche. Boost the post by paying a small fee, and that will help you reach out to many people.

The goodness about Facebook ads is that you can target people from various geographical regions. Doing this will make people want to know more about your business and will like your page to follow your posts.

You, therefore, need first to have an active account with informative posts. Within a short time, your audience will grow, and you won’t have to boost posts regularly to reach many people.

Create social media profiles with Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram as well. Having a social media presence is one of the inexpensive ways of marketing and growing your business.

2. Create a website

Having a business without a site is like trying to get noticed in the dark. Did you know that people can know about your business through organic search from search engines?

That’s another cheap way of selling your business out there. However, you need to find ways of getting traffic to your site. You need to learn SEO basics.

For example, you should create content that aims to solve people’s problems in your niche. One of the solutions to those problems could be your products or services.

Use relevant keywords so that you can rank high on Google. Remember, you have other competitors, and you should aim to give the best.

You can include your website URL on your Facebook page about info. Make sure that you are promoting your blog posts using your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

3. Make use of email marketing

If you are looking for another affordable method of making your business known, email marketing works like magic. While it takes a lot of time, it won’t need a lot of money.

But before starting email marketing campaigns, you need to make sure that you are marketing to the right audience. You might want to create a lead magnet first.

This could be a freebie like an eBook in your niche that solves some problems your audience faces. Create a landing page on your website where you offer the freebie in exchange for their email addresses.

This will help you get people who will be glad to receive emails from you in future. You should find out about lead generation strategies that can boost your business.

Try to avoid marketing emails throughout. Let three-quarters of your emails be educational content, while a quarter of your emails are promotional emails.

Doing this consistently will help you get many subscribers who will turn out to be your customers.

4. Organize a trade show

Would you like to showcase your product one on one to your customers? A trade show is the best place you can use to get instant feedback about it. It doesn’t have to be a big show.

You can plan and start with a small trade show and a few products to test. Later, you can organize a big trade show.

However, you need to prepare well. First of all, you should have a great product that no one will resist buying. Create something that someone would love to use again and gain.

When you showcase the product and give them for testing, they will be glad to use it again.

Before the trade show, ensure that you also have some essential printed marketing materials. You don’t want your customers to lose your contacts after the event.

Since most of them can’t memorize them, you could create attractive business cards for your business.

You could as well create booklets which should have detailed information about your business. Ensure that you mention your products and services and how your clients can benefit from them.

Towards the end of the booklet, include your social media profiles so that people can connect with you. Don’t forget to add your website links and contact details.

Don’t worry about the cost of printing. You can opt for cheap booklet printing and sort out the issue. Just ensure that the booklet has an attractive colour and all the details about your business.

5. Have a loyalty program

Have you started rewarding loyal customers yet? If not, you are missing a lot.

Create exclusive offers only for customers who come back to buy from you. This will help you retain new and old customers.

Every time a former customer comes back, reward them something small. You should also tell your new customers about your loyalty program so that they can come back.

You have taken a crucial step to start your business. That is what you needed because starting has never been easy.

To grow the business, you should make people know about it through marketing. The above marketing tips are affordable and should help you start your marketing journey.

Have you ever marketed your business before? What are some of the budget-friendly marketing techniques you used?

Tips For Planning A Successful Business Event

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Tips For Planning A Successful Business EventOrganizing a successful business event takes time and careful planning, whether you’re holding a small event for 20 people, or arranging a huge company-wide conference for hundreds of attendees. Whatever your reason for holding an event, here are some top tips to help you plan a successful business event and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day.

Consider your budget

Before you can start planning your business event, it is vital that you determine what funds you have available so you can create an event budget. You need to plan carefully to ensure that every necessary element of your event is covered. For example, you could consider cheaper catering options to allow you to invite more guests to your event. However, on occasions where brand image is essential, you may choose to host fewer attendees to allow higher-end catering at the event. Remember that your budget should include things like catering, venue hire, guest speaker fees, equipment rental, and supplies. You can look online for advice on how to create an event budget.

Choose the perfect venue

Remember that first impressions count, so wowing your guests with an impressive venue is definitely worthwhile. For instance, the award-winning Adelaide Hills Convention Centre offers the perfect conference venue with its modern high-tech facilities and stunning views over the picturesque Mount Lofty Ranges. If you have a small budget, then you can always help dress up a simple room and create an atmosphere with a few finishing touches like flowers and lighting. It is also important to carefully consider the location of your venue; try to choose somewhere that is centrally located and convenient for all attendees to get to. Make sure that you also check for things like free onsite parking and public transport links in the area.

Provide food and drink

When people are attending an event, they will expect some food and drinks to be provided. The style of catering you offer at your business event will largely depend on your budget and number of attendees, but it’s important to remember that quality is generally preferred over quantity. For instance, champagne and canapes will usually give a far better impression than a cheap 3-course meal. Whatever you decide to provide, be sure to make your attendees aware before the event. People are likely to be unhappy if they turn up to your event expecting to be fed, then find that no substantial food is being provided. You should, therefore, include a quick line in your invite outlining what food and drinks will be served at the event.

Think about the guest list

Planning a guest list can be a challenge, and it’s important to think carefully about who you’re going to invite to your event. Remember that the size of your guest list will largely depend on the budget you have available, so make sure you consider which people are your priority. If leaving certain people or groups of people off the guest list is going to cause problems, then you could look for ways to cut back on other areas of your budget to allow you to increase the guest list.

How to Boost Your Business’ Appeal

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How to Boost Your Business’ Appeal | Curb AppealRegardless of how hard you work or how good the service you provide might be, if your business doesn’t appeal to potential customers, you will find it increasingly difficult to garner customers. Boosting your company’s appeal should, then, be one of your top priorities.

To see how you can make your company far more appealing, to both your target audience and the passing one, make sure to read on.

Showcase your success without showing off

In order to appeal to potential customers in the future, you need to attempt to show them just how successful you’ve been in the past.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a fine line between showcasing your past successes and plain-old showing off. Doing the former will prove to potential customers that you’ve worked hard to get where you are today, which will in turn make them trust in your abilities going forward. Doing the latter will show you to be egotistical and self-indulged, and nobody likes doing business with people like that.

You want to showcase your successes without showing off about them. To do this, you should resolve to make subtle hints about your affluence without being too overt about it. An example of this would be refraining from investing in the flashiest sports car available, and instead buying something a lot less conspicuous — fear not because buying, say, a 4×4 wouldn’t necessarily have to mean that your next car choice need be a boring one. Thanks to E.C.D. Automotive Design, you can design your own unique custom Defender.

Improve your curb appeal

Even if your business operates solely via the web, it won’t hurt to improve your office’s curb ap-peal. Amongst a host of other benefits, taking this action will help you to stand out to the foot traffic that passes your workspace — you never know, once they get home, the people that saw your display might just jump online and research the services that you offer.

To improve your curb appeal, you should:

Put some greenery out front

You need not go all out in this instance. A couple of hanging baskets or raised planters will do the trick — they will both inject life into your entrance and prove that your workspace is cared for.

Lay out a welcome mat

Laying down welcome mats is a simple, affordable, and effective change that will make customers feel welcome whenever they visit your site

Do a bit of redecorating

Has your paint peeled? Have our colours faded? If so, you could be doing serious damage to your brand. Refresh your signage, add a splash of paint, and bring your storefront back to life before passers by think your business is dead and buried.

Tend to your curb appeal regularly

You have to tend to your curb appeal regularly if you truly want to boost your business’s appeal in this sense. This means sweeping the sidewalk, watering your plants, and changing your window display every week or month.

Boosting your business’s appeal is one of the most important tasks you face as a company owner. Be sure, then, to put the above advice into practice, even if you have to make time to do so.