When I started o2 Media, a lot of people told me I’d never make it. I wasn’t tough enough to make it in business, they said.
Here I am seven years (and counting) later, a little older and a little wiser. And even more determined to prove that nice girls don’t always finish last!
And here’s why…
People choose to do business with people they know, like and trust.
And in our social media-saturated world, trust doesn’t come easily. It requires a steadfast commitment to being genuine in everything you do.
Here are my top 10 tips for building trust with your customers and prospects.
Do what you say you will do. Make the call you said you’d make. Finish the project when you said you would. Visit the client you said you’d visit.
Be candid and forthright. Clarity of communication won’t leave any room for ambiguity or guesswork.
Be respectful. Of your clients, your colleagues, your suppliers and pretty much everyone else! Nobody is above anyone else, after all.
Become a good listener. Hear what your colleagues, your employees, your customers and clients have to say. Act on that information.
Give stuff away. Whether it’s product samples or your knowledge, the quickest way to overcome barriers to purchase is to prove the value of what you’re offering.
Ask for referrals and testimonials. People trust the recommendations of people they know.
Provide a guarantee. Take away all risk for your buyers by offering a no-strings money back guarantee. And make sure you honour that promise!
Be a leader. Demonstrate sound leadership in your business and in your industry by taking your own calculated risks.
‘Fess up when you make a blunder. We are all human. People are far more likely to trust those who own their own mistakes.
Be authentic. Allow your real self to shine through in all your business dealings. And never be afraid to let your personality colour your marketing messages.
It takes a lot of moral courage to be true to yourself, particularly if ethics are important to you.
I never did buy into that old adage that to be successful in business, a woman needs to be aggressive and tough.
In my professional world, being kind or accommodating does not equate to being weak.
It equates to being genuine.
And there should be a lot more of it.