Creating Trust with your Marketing Message

Do you believe that trust is important when a customer is buying from you? Does your customer need to trust you?

Yes, trust is important.

So, “How is trust established?”

How do you get a customer to trust you?

When I have asked this question of others they say to me – trust is earned.

Correct, you earn trust.

Ok, so how do you earn the customer’s trust?

Again, most people will say things like, keeping our promises, doing a good job, being responsive, treating the customer with respect, answering their questions… things like that. And I agree, do all of these things and a customer will COME… will come to trust you.

Do you see the problem?

All of these things require the person to work with you – become a customer HOPING that they can trust you and then after buying figure out if they can.

This is where it starts to get interesting. Think about this for a moment. Great service… That happens after the sale. Showing you care… after the sale. THIS MEANS they need to become a customer to find out if they can trust you.

That means your customer is buying HOPING they can trust you.

Don’t worry your not alone here. Just about every business is caught in this trap. But, it does start to explain why sometimes a customer buys from you and other times they don’t. Don’t worry most businesses struggle with this.

Want to know how to increase the number of people that trust you, and therefore buy from you? The first step is to look at your marketing.

Is it all about Specials and sales? Do special sales build trust?

How about promotions? Do those make your customer trust you more?

Or do they make your customer feel like maybe they need to be careful when they buy from you? It might be cheaper next week? Maybe waiting is a good idea.

Does your advertising talk about the features and benefits of your product or service? Ok, that may get your customers interest. But does it make them trust you?

How about convenient location, late hours, free parking… Nope, none of that earns the customers trust.

Ok, friendly staff that can take care of your needs. Nope. How does your prospect figure out if your people are friendly? Right, they have to become a customer.

Everyone treats a prospect in a friendly manner. It is when they become a customer that things become dicey.

It is after the sale many companies fail to live up to expectations. In fact, many companies promise to exceed expectations. What a bunch of liars. They do not know my expectations.

How about years in business. Ok, means you are not fly by night. Slightly better but not great.

Knowledge and experience. Means you are smart. But still does not say trustworthy.

How well do these promises build trust


Right about now most business people chime in – but I have testimonials – 5 star reviews – all with a sigh of relief. They feel saved. That is how the business is going build trust. Or is it?

Does an anonymous 5 star review really build trust. Or is trust better built when they read why the low star reviews? Or maybe it is how the complaints are handled? Or maybe it is….

Look, use reviews. Encourage them. They are important but don’t be delusional. Reviews are looked at the END of the buying cycle. If your prospect really trusted you they would not read the reviews.

Here is the other kick in the chops. Your reviews are likely not much better than your competitors.

You need them. But they are not the solution you hope they are. And besides, if you were winning. You would not be wondering what is missing. //

*****The good news is that you are going to learn the secret that when you follow will greatly improve this situation. Do this and you will build trust with your customers long before they ever contact you. There will be a lot of real life examples. Examples from owner operated businesses just like yours.

But first…Let’s look deeper into trust.

How can you establish trust – with your prospect – long before they ever call you?

Think about these traits.

Do you trust someone when you think, hey they are just like me?
Do you trust someone when you know what motivates them?
Do you trust someone you know? How do you get to know them? Here is a hint, you know details of their life. Not just their credentials. You know who they are. Not just what they do.

People trust people they know, people they understand, people with share interests. Those are the people that you trust.

When you start building trust by sharing these things it changes everything.

Price negotiations disappear. Sales cycles shorten. Close rates increase. Business becomes easier. Clients listen. They take your advice.

Back to building trust. The problem is this. Building trust is not about your products or services. It is about sharing with your prospects what makes YOU tick. Why you do what you do. Your values and beliefs.

Here is another tip. You need to make it real. Don’t stand up there and say “I am great”. “I am wonderful”. That is just bragging. Share information that reveal things about yourself. Don’t be phoney. Be real. Real matters.

That also means saying things in a real way. The way you would say it to another person. Make your ads sound like you are speaking to your friend or neighbor. It needs to feel authentic and be honest.

Here are some examples. Examples from real business like yours. Business that are owner operated. Not the big, large multi national businesses with huge budgets and deep pockets.

These are ads that have been written by my partners. I want you to see what is possible. How you can start building trust ahead of the sale.

While most companies in the Heating and Air Conditioning business talking about being family owned, how long they have been in business, or how many people they employ. Here is an ad for Bonney Home Services in Sacramento California.

This ad was written by my partner, Jeff Sexton from Florida.

Allen really did go so far as being pre-med. He dropped out of med school to become a HVAC guy. On purpose. Imagine telling Mom and Dad that.

How do you feel about Bonney now that you know a little bit about them?

It is not what you say it is how you say it.

I am going to say this again. It is not WHAT you say but HOW you say it that matters. And everyone focuses on the what.

Here is an example.

Everyone wants to talk about how they care.

A perfect example is being family owned. The idea that because are family owned you are have more pride in the business. Means you are not a large faceless corporation. Do you really think that because you tell the prospect you are family owned they will automatically trust you. I get that owners have pride in their business. Have the prospect feel your pride.

How about saying this….

Do you believe that there is a lot of care and attention taken to this golf course? The place is awesome. By the way, that ad was written by another partner – Mick Torbay from Toronto.

Trust is formed when you share things about yourself.

My Ohio partner Tom Wanek wrote an ad that talked about religion on the radio!! But do you trust her more? Do you think she could ever tolerate someone not doing the right thing. By the way, they have had massive growth. So much so that they need to geographically expand to keep growing.

You can also tell your prospect what motivates you. Why you do what you do. This next ad was created by another partner. Roy Williams, the WSJ 3 time best seller author.

Notice how none of these ads talk about features, benefits, selling propositions or any of that crap. They simply build a bond that makes you trust them more.

Goettle is so successful they are expanding into other markets across the US. As a side bar. When Ken Goodrich bought Goettle they were in receivership and circling the drain. Today, they are a massive force in the industry.

This is going to sound very braggy. We are amoungst a handful of companies that are really good at that this type of marketing. And I can prove it. Listen to the radio, read a magaizine, go to Google and watch TV. How many ads build trust and bonds. Not many. And the reason is, most people do not know how to do this. And what I can tell you is that it works even better today than at anytime in the past 20 years.

To do this you need to think differently. Stop selling customer. Start bonding with them.

Right about now there is a little voice in your head saying “but my business is different.” “This won’t work for me”. That is completely natural. You are being asked to do something that your competitors are not doing. You need to be different. Actually, what I am asking you to do is to stop following and start leading. Are you a leader, or a follower?

If you are a leader here in an interesting offer for you. It is free and there is no obligation. This very easy to test drive.

Contact us today to book a How to Attract High Value Clients Starter Session. In this is a 90 minute one on one video conference meeting you will learn how to harness the power of trust to attract value clients.

Stephen Semple

The Wizard of Strategy
Stephen always sees the world through the eyes of your customers. His Four Strategic Marketing Decisions give you a lens to filter all marketing opportunities. Stephen’s articles and videos highlight the impact of marketing on your small business.