One of the great challenges of running a business is establishing a trusting relationship with your customers. If you’re lucky, you have a product or service that is so great it leads customers to recommend you to everyone they know (and keep them coming back to you). But it’s not always that easy.
Consumers are barraged daily with “great deals” and reasons why they should buy this instead of that. So, how do you make your company stand out?
Be A Resource
Back in the olden days (the 1990s), just the fact that you had a website made you cool and hip. These days, that’s the very least that is expected of your company.
And, I hate to say it, but the old “brochure” style websites that just give basic information on your company are a dime a dozen. They may give customers a way to contact you, but probably not a reason to do so.
Here in the 21st century, I recommend that you go beyond just a standard 5 page website. I challenge you to become a resource for consumers.
What Does That Mean?
Chances are, you know more about your business than anyone else. You have insight into your industry that the lay person does not. So, why not share that with them?
Whether it’s through articles posted on your company’s own blog, email blasts or social media accounts, find a means to provide expert advice to your current and potential customers.
For example, you may want to share the following types of information:
- Industry trends and how they may affect consumers
- Reasons why one product or service may be better than others
- Case studies depicting how your company has provided solutions for clients
- Links to other articles of interest
Giving honest, helpful advice is a great way to gain the trust of your customers. If they trust your advice, they’re more likely to do business with you. And they may refer friends and family to you as well.
Save the Spiel
While the ultimate goal is increase sales, you should be careful with regards to any sales pitches you make in this forum. Overt sales pitches are a turn-off. A simple “contact me for more information” statement (with a link to your contact page) may be just as effective.
Earning the trust of a consumer should be thought of in a long term manner. It takes time to build this kind of useful content and it may take a little while for some folks to find it. But over time, customers may start to think of you as their “go-to” source for your industry.
Those kinds of relationships can help sustain your business and improve your reputation. And it all starts with sharing what you know.