It’s Valentine’s week on Copyblogger! This week’s posts will focus on how to improve reader and customer relationships to grow your business.
Dating and business are both all about forming relationships. You need to get out there and be seen. You need to “romance” potential customers and get them comfortable with what you have to offer.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably heard the concept of know, like, and trust. Salespeople often talk about it as a lead-generating tactic used before the sale. Good salespeople know that a prospect needs to know, like and trust you before she’s willing to complete the sale. And it’s a key component of good content marketing.
But the most important moment for know, like and trust isn’t before the sale … it’s after.
Creating more love … when it counts
Everything’s all roses and candy during the romantic “does he like me?” courting phase. And any competent salesperson gives “great customer service” before the sale.
It’s what happens the day after that really matters.
Here are five ways know, like, and trust works during and after the “transaction” in both business and dating.
(And for any readers who have been striking out romantically, these tips just might come in handy there as well.)
1. Go beyond small talk
I’ve been married for a long time and my husband has given me insights on how scary it is for guys to ask women out on a date. No one likes rejection.
You can go into a lot of bars, but if you actually want a date, eventually you’re going to have to get beyond small talk and ask someone out.
Making small talk in business is easy. You give away all that fabulous cookie content and have a good time chatting up commenters on Facebook, twitter, and your blog.
But eventually you have to ask for the sale. If you don’t, you aren’t in business, you have an expensive hobby. And those don’t pay the mortgage.
2. Don’t mess up the big moment
The person of your dreams says Yes — she actually will go out with you!
You feel fantastic about yourself and walk around like a proud peacock.
Now don’t screw it up. Do not take the object of your affections to a grimy dive bar for your first date. Or to your mom’s basement to watch Biggest Loser.
Go somewhere nice. Make a great first impression.
In business, when someone finally says Yes and clicks the magical Add to Cart button, everything needs to work seamlessly.
A bad shopping cart experience kills sales.
- Make sure your site looks reasonably professional, with user-friendly design that conveys authority.
- Check your links. (All of them.) (Especially the Buy ones.)
- Make sure your online check-out actually takes people through the process quickly and easily.
- And make sure you’ve got a great support system (this might be you, in the early days) in place to handle transactions that have issues.
3. If things don’t work out, be gracious
So you go on your date and discover, Gee, although the guy does have all his teeth, he’s also got the personality of a Western Conifer Seed Bug.
We’ve all been on bad dates. It happens. When both of you agree that you have nothing in common and it’s time to move on, don’t be a jerk about it.
In much the same way, in your business life, some people who buy your products will hate them. Don’t make them hate you too. Offer a strong money-back guarantee, and be as gracious about returns as you were about the purchase.
4. Don’t lie
Almost every woman I’ve ever met has a story about the guy she dated who didn’t opt to reveal some important facts about himself.
Leaving out important information like “I’m married,” “I just robbed a bank and am on the lam,” or “I’m from the future” is a sure way to ensure a really ugly breakup. Bad idea.
When it comes to your business, you need to deliver on what you promised. If you say you are going to provide 10 Q&A calls in your training program, that means you have to get on the phone 10 times.
Don’t promise stuff you can’t deliver. It’s a sure way to kill trust. Word gets out about that kind of thing.
Sure, sometimes it’s really hard to honor your promises. That’s business. (And love.) Cowboy up.
5. Follow up
Assuming you go on a date, and maybe even more than one, eventually there’s that magic moment where you make the big connection. In the movies, we’d just fade to black here, but I think you know what I mean.
Here’s where know, like, and trust gets really important.
The day after, give her a call. If you don’t, you’ll be branded a schmuck forever.
Wham, bam, thank you ma’am doesn’t work well in business either. No customer wants to feel like a one-night stand.
Yes, you can use marketing techniques upsells and cross-sells, but that’s not the only way to follow up. Don’t underestimate how big an impression you can make just by saying Thank you.
When your customers know you care, they stay customers.
After the sale, the customer who knows, likes and trusts you is far more likely to buy from you again.
That’s how you build a business (or a romantic) relationship that lasts.
About the Author: Susan Daffron teaches people how to write and publish profitable client-attracting books at SelfPubU. Stop by and get a free e-course, the 7 Simple Steps to Finishing Your Book.
Want more ideas for getting potential customers to know, like and trust you … before and after the sale? You’ll find dozens of techniques and tips in the free Copyblogger newsletter, Internet Marketing for Smart People. It kicks off with a 20-part series on the most effective strategies for growing your online business.