Tag Archives: trust

Trust – Fancy Website or Human Voice

11 Oct

A great comment from Barry Moltz:

“Many years ago small businesses wanted to appear large so customers would trust them. They produced fancy stationery and secured a respectable business address. This has all changed with the Internet, where customers value the human voice. Now every business wants to appear small and provide personal service to its customers.”

And I agree.  I was quite happy to stop the renewal order of new stationery and envelopes and instead spent it on a better website.  But still recognized that a website wasn’t enough, that customers expected a contact link that included phone and address.  It was acceptable that the address wasn’t local as long as there was a viable address.  More importantly was ensuring the phone was answered by a person instead of an automated system.  At my small companies, everyone was the receptionist because the call rang to everyone if the frontline people were otherwise engaged.

The next level of trust that customers are looking for includes customer ratings.  Think what eBay, Amazon and others started to ensure customer feedback is reflected back to prospects.  Having peer ratings for Inquisix referrals was a key point to the system.

To build trust in today’s market, make it easy for the customer to research and buy your offerings.  No more paper or offices but a well-designed website, a human answering the phone and trust ratings from customers are the new trust factors.

Pay for Relationships?

29 Feb

With the rise of various social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, the promise of easy and immediate connections seems realized. I connect to you, you connect to them and since I can see that connection, I want to get connected to them, too. Bingo, I have a prospect! The problem is that it’s too easy and therefore not really that valuable for business networking.

The names of my contacts are not valuable – there a lots of places where someone else can find those names – JigSaw, LinkedIn, Hoovers, Spoke, the Yellow Pages, industry trade organizations to name a few. What’s valuable is my relationship to them. I’ve earned that relationship and it’s valuable.

Jay Deragon, in his The Relationship Economy blog, posted recently about whether Relationships are for $ale. He argues that, “You don’t sell relationships you build and earn them.” I’d suggest that you can’t buy relationships, either. Certainly not valuable ones.

Jay continues to say, “Sales techniques have changed over time to meet the ever increasing demands from informed customers. It has become imperative in today’s business environment to gain the trust of prospects and customers by first focusing on building relationships based on common affinities and objectives.”

And thus easy access to names can’t be the easy way to generate sales.

So if that’s not the easy way, then what is? As Jay points out, “People aren’t for sale (although many act as if they are) and neither are their relationships.” Valuable relationships are not put up on the web for all to see. Rather, they’re kept secure and hidden behind walls and only let out when there’s a very good reason.

What’s a good reason to let a valuable relationship be known? When you meet another sales rep you believe can add value to your customer. And by adding value to your customer, you’ve added value and trust to your relationship with that customer. You won’t sell that relationship because if your customer finds out, your trust is lost. But you have built a new relationship with that sales rep that translates to them introducing you to one of their customers. And then they gain value, too.

That’s what Inquisix is all about – we keep your RELATIONSHIP with contacts safe and hidden while introducing you to like-minded sales people who understand that relationships are earned, not sold or bought. Who agrees with me?

Happy Selling!