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Trust is a Story


What is trust anyway?

We all know that trust is about keeping our word and doing a great job and maintaining our integrity. But that’s only the foundation. All of that is required just to stay in business.

Much more important is understanding that trust is a story you tell your prospects and clients every day. And if you tell the right story, the ultimate outcome is that people feel good about doing business with you (and then tell others).

Very few people actually think, “Can I trust this person, can I trust this business?” And even fewer people ask for solid evidence on which to base this trust (credentials, education, track record).

No, instead we listen to the story the business is telling us. And if the story fits the way we see the world, if the story is authentic, and if the story makes us feel good, then trust grows automatically.

In fact, we make decisions about trusting a business or a professional in just a few moments. You see, the story of a business is conveyed by every single visual, verbal and sensory message delivered to the prospect.

And the reaction is almost instantaneous.

You shake someone’s hand and they don’t look you in the eye. You come to their web site and the design is dull. You read the headline on the site and you feel confused. When you send an email asking a question, the answer takes days and doesn’t really give you the information you were looking for.

How does all of this make you feel?

Any brilliant story about your services was drowned out by the delivery of that story. Trust plummets. And it doesn’t matter to the prospect how great you are at delivering your service or what wonderful results you’ve had with past clients or how many diplomas are hanging on your wall.

The story you communicate goes way beyond the content of the story. The story, as far as the prospect is concerned, is the way the story is packaged. In fact, the story IS the package.

So if you want to build trust, you’ve got to tell a story that makes your prospect think, “Wow, this makes sense, this feels good, this feels right, this is exactly what I’m looking for!”

And then you need to keep telling that story at every single step of the marketing process: when someone asks what you do, when they look at and read your web site, and when they call you with a question.

When you do all of this, believe me, they’ll end up doing business with you and telling others, because it FEELS GOOD doing business with you. You’ll be giving them exactly what they want and they will put themselves completely in your hands.

Now that’s trust.

Make it your highest priority to build trust by telling stories that engender trust. Make your story authentic. Make it passionate. Make it sincere. Make it fun. And realize that, above all, your story goes way, way beyond words.

What story are you already telling your prospects? Look at how you’re presenting your business in person, on the phone, on the web, in print, and by email.

If someone else were telling the story you are currently telling, would you trust them? Or would you run the other way?

The More Clients Bottom Line: You communicate trust through the stories you tell. And if the story engages your prospect and makes them feel good, you can consider yourself a master marketer.

Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing has been helping Independent Professionals attract more clients since 1984. Robert is the author of the online bestsellers, the InfoGuru Marketing Manual and the WebSite ToolKit. Robert’s site is a great resource for any self-employed professional. Get Robert’s free report, “The 5 Key Strategies to Attracting More High-End Clients.”