November 23, 2012
Trust is a key element in building business relationships with potential customers. The Internet is a great way to begin to build that trust. The days when your business could depend on finding new customers simply by placing an ad in the Yellow Pages are long gone. Today’s customers are more particular than ever about the brands they buy and the only way to really market to them is through trust.
The Internet provides many tools that can help you in building business relationships based on trust with potential customers.
1. Let’s Get Social!
Social media is a key communication platform in building relationships in business. Let’s think about it – social media allows people to have conversations with friends, family and even brands. If used correctly, you can build trust in your business using tools like Twitter and Facebook.
A few suggestions I must include: Try jumping into existing conversations to re-direct the dialogue. Everyone always has something to say. That’s what social media is for. Intercept. Jump in and say a word or two. Ask and answer questions in building business relationships. Don’t stick to business! Please don’t or they will be running the other way. Be personable to show the human side of you and your company. Respond in a timely manner to any comments on your profile. I know we get tied up in our busy lives, but try to respond and engage.
2. Building Business Relationships
Blog your butt off. Let’s say that you are in the business of selling purses, as are a number of competitors. Let’s say you sell your purses for the same price as your competitors. Let’s think, how can a customer choose your brand if all are virtually the same? All things being equal, if a customer finds your blog on fashion and accessories and enjoys reading it, she will choose your purses over a competitor who does not blog.
Why? You have established a degree of trust, simply by providing content your customer finds informative. Sometimes a blog is the only differentiator between you and the competition, so use it wisely.
A few more suggestions: try to blog on topics that your target audience cares about. Address their questions and concerns and solve their problems.
Always share your blog content through social media, e-mail and your website. Also, always respond to comments on your blog posts while keeping content fresh a couple of times a week with photos and videos to make posts more appealing.
3. Connect with Bloggers
Partnering with bloggers who already love your product and/or fit your target demographic is a great way to build trust. Blogger outreach helps your business connect with an influential member of the online community and the blogger, in turn, will tell readers about your products.
Typically, blogger outreach involves giving your products to a blogger in exchange for a review on their blog.
Sometimes the blogger may only want the product in compensation. More suggestions? Try to multiply your efforts by reaching out to several bloggers in your target audience. Quickly find bloggers already talking about your brand through social media. Next, partner with them by advertising on the blog as well as writing a few blog posts.
4. Stay on Top of People’s Minds with Email Correspondence
Another effective online trust-building business relationships tool is e-mail. By sending out a monthly e-mail, your business will be easy to remember. Then, when subscribers are ready to buy, your brand is the first that they think of.
Provide value in your newsletter. Try to include informative articles that can make the difference between a subscriber opening your e-mail and deleting it.
5. Suggestions, Suggestions
Create a compelling subject line for your newsletter to ensure subscribers open your e-mails.
Try including a subscription widget on your website and blog so people can sign up for your newsletter.
Offer a freebie – something to offer as a reward for signing up for the newsletter.
Track which e-mails get the best response, then duplicate them. You always want to keep a tally. I usually keep an Excel sheet handy to document the successful topics.
Remember trust in building business relationships takes time, similar to building trust in personal relationships. Don’t worry about pushing for a sale; with trust marketing, the sale will come if you if you work at developing a relationship with potential customers.
Courtney Wood is a Polymer Chemist by day and a network marketer by night. Courtney advises and shows people the tools they need to succeed in business. She is the one telling you, Do Not Give Up.