3 Ways You’re Compromising Your Customers’ Trust
Businesses are in a relationship with their customers. Some of these relationships will be short-term, but hopefully others will be long-term. Even if you’re only acting as an affiliate for another company, you must have a relationship with people to move that product or service. If you fail to do this, your business is dead in the water.
No matter how good you are at generating traffic or creating an irresistible lead magnet, those prospects and customers won’t do a thing if there’s no relationship blossoming.
Business growth and relationship growth aren’t mutually exclusive. Providing a good product or service and offering valuable freebies are the cornerstone of a business, but you have to be able to convince skeptical people that said offers are worth their money and time. In other words, they have to trust that you wouldn’t offer them junk or lead them astray by recommending something that doesn’t do what they think it should.
But what is the foundation of a relationship? It’s not being good-looking or having similar hobbies. Those are fine things and having something in common with another person is very important in a relationship, but they really are more akin to lead magnets in marketing terms. No, the foundation is trust.
Relationships where distrust plays a significant role are doomed. Even if you have so much in common or if the other person looks like he or she should be plastered on the cover of magazines, trust is essential. Sometimes, a relationship can survive some hiccups in the trust department, but only if both partners know the strengths and weaknesses of the other and are willing to live with the fact that, for example, they may not be able to trust one partner with money.
In business, however, there are no hiccups that can be overcome. In business, without trust, your customers will never feel wedded to you. This specially applies in something like affiliate marketing or network marketing, where many, many others are orbiting the same company.
But how are you alienating your customers and prospects? Here are three ways you’re killing trust in your prospects:
Too Much Hype in Your Sales Pitch
If you’re in the niches of working from home, owning an online business, marketing, or making money online, especially within the realm of digital products or as an affiliate, you’ve seen these ads. They mostly feature young men dressed casually, talking quickly and excitedly as they try and sell you something. It could be a product they’re promoting or something they’ve created themselves.
The goal is to feel relatable, like they’re no different from you aside from the success they’ve had. They’ll explain how they were nobodies, just like you, but had success drop shipping, selling on Amazon, selling as an affiliate, or building a fantastic downline in an MLM company. They’ll promote this image by showing pictures of themselves on exotic vacations, standing in the foyer of some beachside mansion, or showing off their sports car.
If these salespeople feel somewhat false to you, you’re not alone. Humans are used to sales talk, and most of the time can pick out a salesperson regardless of how they try to package their presentation. The aggressive sellers usually acquire sales through hype, as they skip the hard work and willingness to learn new skills that it takes to really be successful.
This works against you in two ways:
- It makes people’s radars go off and they won’t give their trust.
- It promotes making an emotional decision, and that easily leads to buyer’s remorse, which leads to bad reviews and a break in trust.
The antidote is to sound more real.
For example, Matt Lloyd drew many people into My Online Business Education (MOBE), of which he was founder, simply by being so down-to-earth. He was obviously a very knowledgeable young man, but he never sounded like he was trying to sell you a course. He never bounced up and down beside a new sports car or took selfies of himself in the foyers of mansions. He merely made you trust him with his calm voice and the abundance of information he’d give you.
This isn’t to defend the mistakes made at MOBE that eventually got it shut down. Many of those errors can be chalked up to the astronomical price tag of drawing in older prospects who had money saved up and the more excitable employees making artificial guarantees (MOBE also downplayed the length of time it takes to achieve success). The example was to show you that a quieter personality that doesn’t overhype their product and exudes knowledge and authority in a subject is more than capable of creating trust.
Too Many Upsells and Downsells
Upsells are part and parcel of many businesses, and no one will blame you for offering an upgrade or an additional service, but sometimes businesses take this way too far. They feature online funnels that stretch on for pages and pages, offering a new upsell every time a customer buys something or goes through the hassle of declining an upsell until a company’s entire product line is exhausted.
When businesses do this, it inspires distrust. After all, it starts to feel less like you’re being helped and more like someone is trying to squeeze every last drop out of you. Moreover, there’s no incentive to pay the initial price of anything offered because some businesses will downsell once or twice just to get a prospect to buy.
What’s the antidote? Never offer more than two upsells. If your upsell is for a better package than what they just bought, just lay out all available packages on the landing page and let the customer decide. Using McDonald’s as an example, can you imagine if their menu only consisted of one thing and every other item was an upsell in a funnel?
If you’re wondering how you’ll move your other products or sell your other services, this is where your email marketing should come in handy. Bring awareness to those customers through email marketing and bring in new traffic to those other products by making their own dedicated landing page.
As for downsells, don’t do them in your funnel. They hurt your credibility and integrity, so it’s best to offer them as special offers in your email marketing sequence. Build greater trust through your emails first, then draw attention to your other products or special prices.
Being Far Too Aggressive
No one likes pushy salespeople, and it’s not just your sales closers that excel in this, unfortunately. Excessive pushiness can crop up in your sales copy, your email marketing sequences, and even your social media. Some funnels require people to push buttons that say things like, “Yes, I know I’ll never see this offer again, and I know I’ll have to struggle because of it,” just to get to the next page of the funnel. It puts people on the defensive and makes them feel bad about themselves and even doubt the worth of the product they just bought.
Businesses have to make offers, naturally, to move your product or service. However, your customer should never feel backed into a wall. If a customer buys under pressure, they might feel buyer’s remorse as soon as they feel able to breathe again, and that damages you.
Your goal as a business and within sales is to help people. This means giving them the information they need to make the best decision for themselves. If you see people shooting themselves in the foot, pushing is fine. If you know they need you like an ailing person needs a doctor, that’s one thing. However, most people are capable of making decisions for themselves once you let them see the potential and pitfalls.
Be open and honest, and if people get that you’re putting them first, they’ll respond.
Trust is important, and it’s easy to break. Even if you trigger a sale upfront, you won’t do yourself any favors if your customer loses faith in you. Honesty, as they say, is the best policy.