What’s Trust Got to Do with It?

Think about the last tradeshow or a networking event you attended and answer this question:  When were you done with the event?  If you answered that you were done the minute you got in your car and drove away, think again.  Wrong!  You are not done with the event until you have executed a plan to build trust with the key prospects you wish to convert to clients.

Let’s take a tradeshow as a sample.  Imagine you’ve drawn people to your booth. You’ve talked with a lot of great business owners.  You’re super excited about the response you’ve gotten, and you’ve determined who your prospects are…and you’re sure you’ll be hearing from them.  You can almost envision yourself on that new boat with all that extra revenue from those prospects.  There’s one problem with this scenario.  You are NOT done.  The trade show was only the vehicle to start a conversation.  The most important step is yet to come.  The all-important follow-up.  The follow-up is your opportunity to make a promise, deliver on that promise and earn TRUST.  So what’s trust got to do with it?  Simple – it’s the foundation of your business relationship.

Steps to Build Trust with your Prospects:

  • Draw people to you and determine key prospects.
  • Let the prospects know how you will follow-up and within what timeframe.
  • Follow-up in incremental steps to build trust.  Start with a call, send an email, and schedule an appointment.
  • Did the prospect end up not being a good match?  Give a referral.  Ask for a referral.
  • If you follow these steps, even prospects who ended up not being a good match can remain in your circle of connections.

Have a Plan on How to Follow-up:  Too often, we have the intention to follow-up after a tradeshow or networking event, or even from a referral, but we put it off until tomorrow.  The next thing we know, we’ve missed our critical 2 week follow-up period, and that warm lead is now a cold lead.  Avoid procrastinating by putting a process in place before the event for follow-up.  Have email templates, phone logs, and marketing materials ready so you can easily execute.

If you and your team lack the resources to focus on the follow-up, outsource the project.  Think outsourcing is an unnecessary expense?  Then do this simple exercise:  How much income would you gain from one new client?  Is that new client worth the investment to ensure that you can follow through with simple promises, build trust, and gain that prospect as a client?

Have questions about how to outsource or establish processes, the Edmiston Group can help.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group ~ The Edmiston Group provides 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.

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