The Trust Factor
Let’s face it ….people do business with those they know, like and trust. As a business owner, your reputation can make or break you. With on-line reviews and feedback, more than ever, we need to keep a pulse on our reputation.
So how do you establish a good business reputation?
- Make your communication clear and understandable. Know your product and/or service and communicate that consistently across all channels – social, print and web. Know what objections prospective clients may have and be prepared to overcome those objections.
- Testimonials from customers and/or a third parties go a long way. How often do you see on Facebook – “Can You Recommend a Good….?” People trust what others have to say – even if they don’t know them.
- Address negative reviews or comments. Acknowledge the mistake (let’s face it we all make them). I tell people when I screw up I make sure it counts! Then take the conversation off line and make the situation right. There are some customers you will never please, but you at least need to try and remedy the problem. If that customer returns and you have the same attitude from them – perhaps it’s time to say you may not be the best fit for their needs. In nine years of business, I’ve had two clients that we weren’t a good match.
- What does your website say about you? Is it all about making the sale, or does it describe your process in developing relationships with your customers, company values and philosophy on how you run your business? The About Us page is where prospective customers may first go to learn about you and your company.
- Follow-up when you say you will. Return phone calls and if you tell people you will make an email introduction for them, write it down and do it. Putting others first instead of the short sight of your sale will enable you to be the “go to” person when others are looking for resources and connections. Those people that you connect will remember what you did for them while asking for nothing in return.
Building a solid reputation is like anything else….it takes time and persistence. But at the end of the day, I know that I’ve done my best to do what’s right by my clients, as well as my own business. Wishing you success as you earn trust for growing your own business!
About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.