In case you missed my last post: “Let me think about it” OR Why prospects don’t buy. When a prospect says the dreaded words, “Let me think about it”, our job is to figure out what the stall, excuse, or objection is and help (not push) them with their decision. I’ve got a model to analyze the situation and a script to structure the conversation.
That last post got a lot of feedback. Just to refresh, here is the key diagram.
There was general agreement that we can do little to move our prospects to the right on the Urgency/Need axis. They need our services when they need our services, right?
But several people asked how we could move our prospects up on the Trust/Believability axis. That seems like that would be more in our control, right?
So let’s see what we can do about building Trust into our marketing.
A study by MIT marketing professor Glen Urban has found that there are three elements of trust:
- Confidence – I believe what you say.
- Competence – I believe you can do what you say you can do.
- Benevolence – I believe you have my best interests in mind.
Here’s a diagram to better visualize this.
So, let’s put ourselves in our prospects’ shoes.
What can you do to create trust along these three axes?
Caring is a prerequisite to gaining prospect trust and their believing what you say. Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
I am going to assume that you run your practice treating others like you would like to be treated … so that you do care about your prospects … and that your caring is evident.
Trust is more easily established within a smaller client base because it’s easier to stand out as an expert or to gather referrals that hold weight from other BVFLS experts in that niche.
The more specific you are with who your services are for, the faster you can build trust with that audience. Yes, this is another argument for niching.
The prospect’s outlay is money and time. Is there anything you do in outlining your scope of services that shows the prospect you have considered these factors?
I usually try to start every non-tax-purpose valuation engagement as a Calculation … because it is my least expensive level of service that I can deliver in the shortest time frame … and it just might solve the prospect’s problem.
All of this is great, in theory. But how do we build prospect trust into our marketing? Easy … relatively speaking! Request recommendations via LinkedIn for the specific elements of trust from your past/current clients.
I know. You’re thinking: THIS IS SUCH A PAIN! But why? If you delivered a project you’re proud of – on time and on budget – why is this a pain?
And if you want to make it easier for past clients to write recommendations, tell them what you want the recommendation to say.
Here’s how to do it. You are in the LinkedIn recommendation widget. The default request is: Hi Rod. Could you write me a recommendation? Not helpful to the person writing the recommendation!
Try this. Hi Rod. Do you remember the valuation we worked on for The Estate of Jane Doe? We both thought the project went well. So I was wondering if you would write a recommendation for me. If you’re not sure what to write or how much to write, could you simply say why you trusted me to do the work that I said I could do OR how I demonstrated that I had the Estate’s best interests in mind, e.g., time- or money-wise? Thanks!
These recommendations can then become testimonials on your website and other collateral marketing materials.
In real life
You are an expert at BVFLS, but your prospects are not. That is why they are asking for your help. If they had spent your years learning the BVFLS craft, and had seen everything you’ve seen while doing that, they wouldn’t need you. But they aren’t experts, and that is why they are considering engaging with you. That requires a leap of faith, aka trust.
Reading that can help
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Join me next Friday at 1pm ET on Practice Development INSIDER for my interview with Jim Koerber. Jim is a master of understated marketing … the little touches that don’t cost much but go a long way toward filling the know, like, and trust buckets of his clients. Things that many of us forget about doing in today’s fast-paced, online world – like handwritten thank you notes. Here’s your chance to learn more about how he built his practice and why it works for him.
Where I will be
If I’m coming to you, let’s meet up!
Mar 04-07: Del Rio, TX
Mar 08-17: San Antonio, TX (speaking at Central Texas ASA Chapter on Mar 12)
Mar 19-24: Tucson, AZ
Mar 25-Apr 08: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 09-15: Lake Havasu, AZ
Jun 10-12: Toronto, ON (speaking at CBVI Congress on Jun 11)
Jun 17-20: Philadelphia, PA (speaking at NACVA Conference on Jun 19)
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