What is the most important building block when it comes to creating a successful small business? For many of our SUCCEED: Small Business Network community members, the answer is trust: "Trust is the single most important ingredient in building a successful business. It’s the hardest thing to gain and the easiest thing to lose, and it’s pretty much all that matters in the long run.” Patrick McFadden, Small Business Consultant, SUCCEED: Small Business Network Member How do you build that invaluable foundation of trust? Here are seven best practices that will help customers invest their confidence in your business—giving your company the power to expand and thrive.
Text of 7 Tips for Building Trust with Your Small Business Customers
7 Tips for Building Trust with Your Small Business Customers
What is the most important building block when it comes to creating a successful small business? For many of our SUCCEED: Small Business Network community members, the answer is trust: Trust is the single most important ingredient in building a successful business. Its the hardest thing to gain and the easiest thing to lose, and its pretty much all that matters in the long run. Patrick McFadden, Small Business Consultant, SUCCEED: Small Business Network Member
one & two & three & four & five & six & seven How do you build that invaluable foundation of trust? Here are seven best practices that will help customers invest their confidence in your businessgiving your company the power to expand and thrive.
01. Undivided Attention Dont multi-task when you are trying to build relationships. Set aside dedicated time for any face-to-face or phone interactions. Trust starts with really listening to people and being in the present moment. When you spend time to talk or discuss something with someone, your focus is on them and youre mentally there in the moment with that person. Offer genuine help, attention and words of wisdom to help them. Thuy N Ton, CEO of 3treeDesignLab, SUCCEED Member
What are your customers looking for online? Via your web analytics tool, track the keywords and queries visitors are searching for when they arrive at your site, then try to meet that need with customized (accurate) web content. Create blog posts, reports or white papers to address common questions. By offering potential customers the valuable information they need, youll start building rapport and trust. 02. Provide Valuable Information
There are five billion Google searches every day with people searching for information that they want and need. If you offer meaningful information that is truthful, unbiased and serves their interests, they will ask you to tell them more. That leads into a conversation, then rapport and finally trust; it is only at this point that you have earned the right to ask them for their business. George Vodin, President & CEO at Global Market Ventures, SUCCEED Member
04. Set an Example Dont forget your internal customers your employees. Their trust and respect is absolutely essential. Sit down with your employee handbook and be honest with yourself about how often you break your own companys rules. Make a commitment to be a better example.
You have to be able to put yourself in your employees shoes. You have to be the person you want them to be and do the things you want them to do before you can have the trust you want from them. Mike Duncan, Independent Home-Based Business Owner, SUCCEED Member
05. Check Your Ego Even as an expert in your business, approach each customer as an equal partner. Customers arent always right, but they always deserve to be heard. My father told me,Few things can be as powerful as the equal treatment of unequals. This was not condescending in tone, but merely him telling me to not let ego inhibit connection. Never let status or position convince you that you are better than another. Humility can lead to trust. Brian Todd, Regional Manager at Coastal Beverages SUCCEED Member
06. Tell It Straight Nobodys perfect, so dont be afraid to say, I dont know, but make sure to follow up with an offer to find out. If you accidentally make a commitment you cant keep, tell your customer as soon as possible and come up with a solution.
People may hear what you say, but they believe what you do. Building trust may mean admitting that you are unable to do what you say, [so long as you have] an alternative that is sure to work, whether its you who does it or someone else. W. Nikki Pearson, Public Speaker, Preacher, Mentor Recruiter/Trainer, SUCCEED Member
07. Trust Your Customers Look for ways you and your business can extend extra trust to your customers. It can start with something simple, such as providing a take a penny, leave a penny tray at the cash register, which relies on customer honesty (and therefore your trust) in order to be successful. Being honest and extending trust to others can work wonders. Geraldine Henze, Writer and Communications Coach, SUCCEED Member
Take a look at the online reviews for your business and see if any complaints have to do with broken trust. Take action to make things right and start rebuilding consumer confidence. Advice InspirationAction Consistency is key. Your business policies and communications should match up with your values and your actions. Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist. Mary Kay Ash
How do you build trust with your small business customers? Tell us your expert tips and read more from your fellow entrepreneurs in our SUCCEED: Small Business Network Community. Share this SlideShare with a fellow small business owner.