Here are 7 takeaways from the "Know Like Trust" talk at the South Shore Conference for Women.
The goal of many businesses is to get more business. But to do that, you need to meet new people and then get them to trust you enough to purchase your products or services. Leading many of us to the big question here...
How do I get potential customers or clients to know me, like me, and trust me?
Unfortunately, there's no magic bullet or one single proven method of making someone like you and trust you. Unless you have the world's best product/service or you're the most charming person. The process of building relationships takes work and effort and can choose to participate in that process or let it happen by chance.
For some, the act of building a rapport with new clients comes naturally, while some of us struggle. Even the best of us can learn a few tricks and I hope the 7 ideas below will help you as much as they've helped me over the course of my career.
Send an email
Email is a great place to start and comes in handy if you start doing business together. Don't have their email? Ask for a business card or maybe a mutual connection can introduce you? When you do reach out, make sure to keep your email simple, fun, light, and don't forget to ask for what you want.
Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an extremely effective tool for helping you get to know a potential client. Check out their profile. What are they posting? Do you have any mutual connections? Maybe you share an alma mater or you've worked at similar companies? Look for things you may have in common.
Pick up the phone
While it may seem old fashioned to some, picking up the phone and having a conversation is still a great way to build a rapport with someone. Your conversation doesn't need to be sales orientated. Just ask questions and spend some time getting to know the other person and their business.
Mail them a postcard
If you have their address, make sure to follow up with something physical like a postcard or note. Thank them for taking your call and hopefully connecting with you online. Reinforce the idea that you enjoyed connecting with them. This is a great time to share something new or touch upon a similarity you share.
Connect on social media
Do a little snooping and see if you can find them on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and others. Maybe they're sharing content regularly? It never hurts to like, subscribe, comment, and share. It's a subtle way to stay top of mind and it may help them out too!
Meet in person
Once you've established a relationship, asking someone to meet you for a coffee, tea, or even a round of golf is a wonderful next step. Get out of your offices and meet at a neutral location. Make it social and laid back. Bring some examples of your work or products too. And, if there's a global pandemic, Zoom works well too!
Send them a gift
If you've made it through touchpoints 1-6, you probably know a good bit about this person and you're hopefully comfortable enough that a small gift won't feel awkward. Send someone on their birthday, a holiday, their work anniversary, or for no occasion at all. It doesn't need to be big, just a small gesture of kindness. My clients love Wine, Golf balls, Water bottles, Mugs, Candy, and Snacks.