Fake it ‘til you make it is quite possibly the most misused piece of advice… ever.
Even well intentioned business owners fall pray to this line of thinking. The idea being that presenting a front will attract customers and increase sales.
Your customers can sniff out bullshit from a mile away, and it’s not hard to pick out someone whose just blowing smoke. Throw in the Internet as your medium and your stage is even more difficult.
There’s a fine line we walk on as Marketers and Small Business Owners. We don’t always have the luxury of a storefront to give customer warm and fuzzy feeling – the one that makes you feel comfortable enough to hand over the credit card.
Many marketers try to band-aid this problem with tactics that do more harm than good.
But what are you supposed to do? I mean, you need to establish credibility. It’s a vital part of making the sale, right?
The only problem is most people underestimate the importance of building trust.
Fortunately, establishing credibility and trust is actually quite easy. Making 2 simple adjustments to your approach will validate you as an authority, while laying the groundwork for trust.
- Exploit the Power of Your Own Story
Never devalue how much you, as an individual, bring to the table. If you’ve lived through the current experience of your target audience, talk about it. This is an instant credibility boost.
As soon as they realize you’ve lived through the problem, they’re going to put more faith in your solution.
Consider why we look to those older than us for advice. Life experience, right? When someone’s gone through the same shitty situation we’re going through, we trust that they know how to deal with it better than someone who hasn’t. Therefore their proposed solution seems much more likely to work for us.
Disclaimer: it’s never a good idea to embellish your own story. Be real. And if there’s a place you fall short, tell them. Your customers will always appreciate your honesty.
- Don’t Poop On Your Competitor’s Parade
It’s very, very tempting to want to bad mouth your competitor – and at some point or another, many of us are guilty of making this mistake.
And the logic here is completely understandable. Talk about the downfalls of your competitor and your customers will be more likely to see your solution as the better option.
Your best move is to be transparent. Always be respectful when the competitor comes into the conversation (because they will!) and don’t try to hide your own shortcomings.
Your customer will naturally gravitate towards the brand they trust most – and your honesty will always shine through. When you approach a sale with the genuine intention to help the customer, they will take notice.
This is a defining moment for building your brand’s reputation. Use it to your advantage.
Being aware of these two functions in your business will have a huge impact on your success.
All too often people underestimate the value of honesty in their business, especially in regards to themselves and their competitors.
It will go against your better judgment to admit your shortcomings, because we’ve been trained to cover them up. The idea we should project a perfect image of ourselves and our business has been deeply ingrained into our mindset.
I’ll admit, there will be a huge pit in the bottom of your stomach as you spit out the truth sometimes. But never devalue what transparency will do for your credibility, trust and strengthening your customers brand loyalty.
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