"What business are you in?", how would you answer?
You may start by telling me about the products or services you offer, the target audience you serve, or how you differ from your competition.
That sounds about right. Right?
Well... not so fast.
I recently attended a conference in Chicago where Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask, You Answer, was giving a killer workshop. A workshop I've seen at least a dozen times over the years, and could probably recite most of it word for word. But, this time, he added something new (to me anyway).
He asked a gentleman in the audience, "What business are you in?"
Before he could utter more than a couple words in response, Marcus interrupted him almost immediately with a booming, "No. You are in the TRUST business!"
He did this a few times at the They Ask, You Answer Summit, until attendees finally caught on, and answered correctly the rest of the event.
I cracked up every single time Marcus did this. Not laughing at the attendees being playfully picked on, mind you. No, I was cracking up at the instant throwback (and I mean way back), of my fascination for all things WWE (wrestling) in the late 90s.
I kept thinking about The Rock, and his legendary catchphrase, "It doesn't matter".
Similar to Marcus that day, The Rock would ask someone a question during the broadcast and cut them off immediately, busting out "It doesn't matter what you think" (or "what your name is"). So this blog post title is a nod to The Peoples Champ, and to Marcus for his killer timing and delivery of his workshop and summit. Thanks for the laugh, friend.
Now, let's talk about trust.
The most important currency of every business.
How to Become a Trustworthy Business
Here are eight ideas you can use right away to jumpstart your journey of becoming the most trusted voice in your industry.
1. Have a Sincere Desire to Help Your Customers
This is where trust begins, folks. If you genuinely care about your customer's needs, wants, desires, goals, etc, you will naturally want to provide them with the best possible solution, product, or service.
With the desire to help your customers at your core, your intentions are pure. Your customers will sense that. They will trust you. And, if what you are selling is a fit, they will buy from you.
One way to help your prospective customers is by going above and beyond to answer their questions, address their concerns, and offer valuable advice.
But, how do you do that at scale? Start with...
2. Answer Every Question Your Customers Asks On Your Website (aka They Ask, You Answer)
This one is simple. it's at the core of what I coach small businesses to do. Your prospective customers have questions, worries, and concerns. It's not just about the price or the product. They're thinking about usability, compatibility, reliability, comparisons, customer support, solving their problem, and probably a hundred other things.
And guess what? If you're not answering these questions on your website, someone else is. Maybe even your competition.
Simply put: You need to obsess about answering your customer's questions on your website.
This leads to...
3. Become a Trusted Advisor + Educator via Content
As you focus on answering your customer questions on your website, don't just post them to your blog or on multiple site pages and call it a day. Create a learning center and have it be front and center on your main navigation. Structure your educational content on this page in a way that's easy and obvious for customers to find the next logical piece of content that will guide them in their buying journey.
When you do this properly, a customer will inherently read more content on your site. This helps them become a highly educated buyer, and when they are ready, they will reach out for a conversation, resulting in a much better sales conversation.
With that said...
4. Change Your Sales Model (OMG, Please)
When was the last time you purposely sought out a salesperson, whether in a store or on a website? For me, almost never. In fact, most buyers would prefer to never have to deal with a salesperson ever again. I bet you can relate.
Add to that, prospects are usually not ready to buy when you want to sell. They don't care about your timetables or your quotas. They have their own timetable and may begin the research phase days, weeks, or months in advance before they actually need to talk with someone at your business. They want to be in control, not be controlled.
So, here's a radical idea: Sell the way customers want to buy.
The days of hard sales pitches, being overly persuasive with the wrong intentions, and pushing products and services you want to sell vs what they want or need, are over.
Instead, as best you can, create a "sales-free" experience by allowing your customers to educate themselves. They'll trust you even more. You will go from being a traditional salesperson to a trusted advisor closing deals faster, with customers who are ready to buy (not be sold to).
5. Use Video, Seriously
Yes, it's the "year of video". Again. For like the 10th year in a row. 😂
But, seriously. I can't stress this enough: Start creating and posting videos on your site.
Let your customers see the humans behind your business. Allow them to "meet" and get to know the owner, sales, or customer service teams on your site before they decide to have their first call and/or buy from you.
Video is the unlock, or cheat code, to move that trust needle in your favor, fast.
Don't overcomplicate the videos at first. Videos don't have to be overly slick, professionally done, or cost you an arm and a leg. Authenticity paired with a smartphone, decent light, and good audio wins over perfection every time. Don't let perfection hold you back.
If you can talk to a customer on the phone, or in person, you can do it on camera. Yes, I am talking to you.
Where to use video on your website.
Demo/book a meeting pages
Contact Us page
Product pages & common question or product explainer videos
1:1 videos to customers from sales during the sales process
and many more
6. Address the Elephant in the Room
There's no point pretending your business is perfect. It isn't. Your customers know it, and so do you. So, write unbiased content that addresses these imperfections. Show your customers what makes you different, both the good and the bad. They'll appreciate your honesty.
Addressing the elephant in the room also refers to talking about the things no one else is willing to talk about on your website, such as cost and pricing, your competitors, or possible problems with your product or service.
Be a trailblazer and befriend the elephant in the room. Trust will follow.
7. Deliver Consistently
Trust isn't built in a day. Trust is built over time, with consistent actions. Whether it's delivering on your promises, providing excellent customer service, adjusting your sales process as needed, creating great content, or being radically transparent about your operations.
Consistency is key to building and maintaining trust.
8. Feedback is a Gift
Encourage your customers to share their thoughts and experiences. Feedback, whether positive or negative, gives you a chance to improve and shows your customers that you value their opinions and want to do better.
Regardless of the industry you are in (B2B or B2C), or the product or service you sell, trust is the foundation that supports everything else in your business.
Trust is the key to business growth today, tomorrow, and always.
So, I'll Ask One Last Time. What Business Are You In?
It doesn't matter what business you are in.
Shhh, Rock. It absolutely matters.
You, my friend, are now in the trust business!
🙌 Now, go ahead and give yourself a high-5 for reading all the way to the end.
If you found this post helpful, consider sharing it with someone who could benefit.
Much appreciated. 👍
Until next time, I'm rooting for you.
PS. As thanks for reading, or just scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page, here is a one-minute compilation video of The Rock, dropping some "it doesn't matter" on a few unsuspecting people. These still crack me up! 😂
The kid at the very end, though. He looked crushed. 😔 At least we can be pretty confident it was scripted. and his feelings were not actually hurt during the taping. Enjoy!
Owner/Head Coach @ Bernco Media. Digital sales & marketing since 1997. Passion for teaching companies to be the most trusted voice in their space. They Ask, You Answer Certified Coach & HubSpot Certified Partner & Trainer. Reversed Type 2 Diabetes doing KETO. Wears Mickey Mouse Daily. Daydreaming of next Disneyland Trip.