Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Most Important Asset In Your Business - and Life

Thought this would be a fairly short post - went a little longer than I originally thought. It's a timely topic, with an ingredient you must have in your marketing to have more qualified customers buy from you.

I used to believe that if you got a prospect's attention - and got him to read through your sales letter or marketing message - that was enough. But nowadays, that's only part of the battle. Whether it's in business, politics or any other area of life, we live in a very "low trust" environment.

You absolutely, positively, must provide proof that you and what you're marketing are credible and trustworthy. That means providing real testimonials from satisfied clients, and as much 3rd-party documentation (through articles, medical studies, and proven results) as possible. A fairly well-known copywriter said a year or two ago that you didn't need testimonials in your sales copy. Maybe you could get away with it back then, but now, I believe it's a necessity in your marketing message.

I believe we're coming into a time in business, marketing and our culture, where people aren't buying into hype, flash and "bling" like they used to. It's more like the days of the Old West, where you did business with someone based on the product or service they provided... and the reputation they had around town. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this, and actually giving a rat's a** about how your product or service helps your clients.

So what is this critical asset necessary to business and life success? Trust.

Confidence and trust in a person, product or business takes a long time to build up - but can be torn down quickly. Do everything you can in your business and relationships to inspire and maintain trust. Have your clients' best interests in mind... provide the best content and information on your product, service and industry... and keep the focus on what's in it for the client - and NOT about you.

Some people who are self-promoting shills really annoy me. They always seem to talk about themselves and, have to put their "brand label" in every video, web page or Social Media tweet or post. Dude (or Dudette), I don't care if you're the "rockstar" or self-annointed royalty of a Social Media platform... get to the damn point, and explain how what you're saying benefits me - NOT how cool you or your "brand" are.

Good marketing, salesmanship and yes, promotion is important - don't get me wrong. However, if you don't provide enough proof - and build up sufficient trust in who you are and what you do - it'll be a longer road to business (and life) success.

I've probably irritated some people by saying this, but I don't care - it needs to be said. I'm not sure when the next post will be, probably the middle of this month. Time seems to fly by nowadays, it'll be here before we know it.

Do everything you can to cultivate - and maintain - trust in your business and personal life. Feel free to comment on the best ways you know how to be trustworthy to your friends, family and clients. Until next time, I hope you're enjoying your summer.