Happy New Year!
We're at the door of 2020 and this is the last of my posts in the Foresight is 2020 series. Today I want to talk about how building trust is important to sales – especially in this upcoming year.
Recently, I had a new customer contact me. They wanted to figure out how to use SEO to build up traffic to their website, which totally makes sense. I mean it can, and it's great for that kind of stuff. The key question I had to ask them is, “Why?” Why do you want to build up traffic? What do you expect to gain from increased traffic?
He'd attended a presentation on SEO and heard how much traffic it can drive. The agency they're currently working with is a company that focuses on B-to-C companies. They're really good at doing websites, but they don't really understand what's important to a business-to-business company, as opposed to a business-to-consumer company.
SEO Is Not EASY
SEO is great. I have nothing against it. But when it comes to business-to-business, it has a couple of challenges. The first one is it can be hard to get complex ideas across, insert keywords or phrases if you're trying to create a campaign around something that's fairly common.
For example, I work with a company that sells bras. Those are very common. I think about 50% of the population probably are into those. But, there's a difference between a consumer bra and a business-to-business bra. Those would be ones that you sell to hospitals that have surgical implications, and the niche is very narrow. You can still capitalize on the big amount of search on that keyword, but you can narrow it down to something very specific like a mastectomy bra or a cancer bra or a compound keyword phrase in that niche.
It's easier to use that kind of terminology in SEO. When you're talking about obscure things that have a very low search volume, no matter how much SEO you do, you're going to get a very limited amount of traffic.
The other thing to consider is whether or not the new traffic will be specific to your business. In other words, will it serve to find the right customers at the right time, that need to purchase what you sell, without having to educate them through concepts like SEO. This is the challenge.
New Book And Podcast Series
Starting in 2020, I'm going to launch a new podcast series based on a book that I'm writing. This new book will be about what I believe is different in B2b sales – “You're not in the SALES business… You're in the TRUST business!”. Trust means you're competing for hearts and minds of current and future clients. This is the primary difference between a sales based business and a trust based business. Essentially, what I'll be doing in this podcast series is going step-by-step through a lot of the core concepts of the book.
Keep in mind that a lot of businesses try to use consumer tactics when trying to sell to the business-to-business market. Advertising is a one-to-many strategy. You get your ads out in front of as many people as you can, and they'll self regulate. Content marketing differs in that it's really targeted to talking to your perfect customer. The goal is capturing their heart while engaging their minds – all while they are, hopefully, at a point where they're ready to make a buying decision. If they're not ready, you have to remain top of mind until they are in the marketplace looking for the help you can provide.
Trust Has To Be Earned
Let's talk about some of these concepts today. The first thing you have to understand is – trust has to be earned. It's not something that you can just buy with an ad. I'll give you five different ways that you can earn trust in a little bit.
In a recent Foresight 2020 podcast and blog, I talked about how email is what I'm predicting to be the big thing this coming year. To build upon that, I want to talk about why I do not trust Facebook anymore and why I do trust LinkedIn. Let's start with Facebook.
Facebook Vs. LinkedIn
I heard Mark Zuckerberg's speech at a college, and one of the things that he said is, “You don't want your social media company filtering out what they think is true or not.” In a sense, he's right. However, I think he's conflating free speech with advertising. In other words, they take ads that are completely false. Since we're on the cusp of a huge election year, that is going to be a big, big moneymaker for them. He doesn't want to stop the funds from coming in. In reality, when you look at Facebook, it is very divisive.
I try to sidestep that divisiveness by posting a quote of the day and a caption contest. Those things are supposed to be fun and inspirational. Even those are getting divisive. The key thing about social media, especially in the Facebook world, is it's going to get worse – not better. The chances of our business messages actually showing up in people's feeds are going to slowly diminish as they start to break off into camps that only want to talk about one or two things.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a business-to-business network that makes most of its money on jobs. They want your content because people spend an average of 22 minutes a day on Facebook but less than 10 minutes a week on LinkedIn. Your content has a higher intrinsic value to the platform. The thing they don't like you to do is take people off the platform because they want them to stay there and buy things. You have a better chance of being seen there.
That's why I trust LinkedIn more for B-to-B networking and B-to-B content marketing.
5 Ways To Earn Trust
Let me give you the five things that I think you can do to earn trust in your business this year. Here they are:
- Give away free value up front. Give away great articles, podcasts, blogs, eBooks – whatever you can to educate people and make them feel like they get something of value without having to actually give anything away.
- Offer a money back guarantee – no matter what you do. One of the things that I don't do in my business is long-term contracts. I bill month to month. If the client's happy, they pay the next bill. So far I have not had anybody not pay the next month's bill.
- Build case studies. Show how you have helped other people, but do it in a way where you know your target audience can benefit from those case studies.
- Gather as many testimonials as you can, but make sure they're focused on the key things that are keeping people up at night. What is their problem and how does that testimonial build trust that you are the right solution?
- The last one is referrals. The easiest way to get people to trust you is when somebody they know, like, and trust already trusts you, and they recommend you. Think about how you can use that as a tool this year.
Finally, I hope you come along for the ride with me as I write this book on my podcast and blog. I will be interviewing other business owners and guests who can help us get our arms around what's going to work in 2020. I hope you'll follow along.
I'd love to hear how you create trust with your clients. Comment below and share your ideas or questions about my 5 way to earn trust. Have you already implemented some of these steps? Do you have any additional ideas or insight you can share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/