Imagine you walk into the exhibition at GEO Business 2017 this May and you see two stands in front of you advertising aerial photography and photogrammetry services.
As it happens, these are exactly the services your company needs at the moment. And on the face of it, they seem to be offering pretty much the same things. So: which one are you most likely to trust?
Now imagine that one of the stands has some banners set up with pictures of the products they use, and a couple of people who have been hired for the day milling around to hand out leaflets and take your details to follow up later.
There don’t seem to be many people at the stand and by the time you get a call from a salesperson a week later, you can’t really remember much about what they do.
The other stand has screens set up with demos showing you how the products work, the quality of the images you get from the drones, and exactly how the different elements are pulled together to create 3D models.
The artwork on the stand has quotes from testimonials by a bunch of companies you recognise from your sector. There’s a bit of a buzz around the stand and when you come over, you’re introduced to senior people from the company who can tell you all about the technical development of the products and some of the large-scale projects they’ve worked on that sound like yours.
They note down your details and email you a few days later with links to some of the case studies on the company blog they were telling you about. You have a look through the blog and the website, learn a bit more about what they do and see that their R&D team post regular, in-depth tutorials explaining how to get the most out of their equipment.
The next day, the Sales Director sends you a LinkedIn contact request and invites you to join an aerial photogrammetry group that they’re members of on the site, which posts about new developments in the industry and different ways of using the tech.
Then, they follow up with a phone call to see if you’d like to meet in person.
So: let me ask you that same question again: which of these companies are you most likely to trust?
I think the answer’s pretty obvious, right?
Okay, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a GIS-Mapping-Tech one at that) to figure out that having your top people meet potential customers face to face will help you to develop client relationships faster. We all know that people buy from people, after all.
Neither does it take a genius to know that getting a bit of a buzz around what you do will encourage others in your industry to trust you.
And it makes sense to demo your tech to clients so they get a clear idea of how it works and how great it is if you want to convince them to buy it.
But here’s the thing: it’s not just in ‘real life’ that you need to do these things. And that’s what many B2B companies often forget.
You can’t always meet new clients at industry events where you can wow them with an amazing first impression. And it’s not realistic to have your management team dedicate hours and hours of their valuable time to every single lead before they know if it’s even going to go anywhere.
The trick is to recreate these all-important, early-stage, trust-building tactics online… without losing any of their impact.
Let’s have a look at how that’s done.
First up, you need to find a way to build a personal connection with clients.
Yeah, yeah, don’t roll your eyes: this isn’t new age marketing jargon, it’s just a fact. Your customers are much more likely to buy from you if they feel like they know you. They’re much more likely to remember what you do if they feel like they’ve had a direct conversation with an actual person.
There are a couple of simple ways you can start doing this. First, have an up-to-date About Us page that doesn’t just state what you do, but gives an interesting overview of how your company came to be, what your goals are and what you stand for as a team. Include photos and a short bio of your team. Atlantic Geomatics have an awesome ‘About Us’ page.
“Once prospective customers have a certain level of interest in your products or services, many will want to know more about your business and company culture. Essentially, they want to know who they’re potentially doing business with.
It’s smart to include any awards you’ve received, major accomplishments, and organizations of which you’re a part. Adding some images of team members along with brief biographies can further develop trust by humanizing your brand. The tone is also important. You need to consider the industry context, but let’s revisit our earlier observation: People do business with those they like, know, and trust. It’s much easier to like, know, and trust a person behind the brand, rather than a brand itself. Wherever possible, allow prospects to see the people that power your brand.”
Hearing how great you are from someone other than your company is really important, too.
“People trust other people, but sometimes a face isn’t enough to convey authority and trust. According to a recent survey, 39 percent of online users regularly consult online reviews before buying anything, and another 49 percent of people do so occasionally. That’s a whopping 88 percent of people who consult reviews before buying on at least an occasional basis. Reviews and testimonials, as long as they’re genuine, are an instant way to win trust. Be sure to include some in your ads, landing pages, and social media feeds.”
Finally, remember that consistency is key. Once you’ve made a great first impression, you can’t afford to drop the ball.
That means putting out regular, up-to-date, high-quality content on your blog and social media pages.
It means answering every comment and question you get over social media fast and following up with useful links, recommendations and other comments to move the conversation along and build relationships.
And, most importantly, it means recognising that you don’t have a separate ‘online’ and ‘offline’ brand.
At least, your customers don’t see it that way. For them, they’re talking to you, whether they’re on your website, speaking to you in person or commenting on a Facebook post.
You need to make sure you’re being the same person in every single interaction, no matter how you’re communicating – a person that’s approachable, professional and an expert voice in your field. Do this, and you can’t fail to build trust.
Want to have a no-strings chat about building your brand presence and building relationships with your clients online? Give me a call on +77825517850 Skype: elaine_ebtm or Twitter: @Eballball