Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m going to talk about the profound impact of Trust in your business. This isn’t just about a buzzword, I touch on the intricacies of building and maintaining trust with your clients and how it can significantly influence the success of […]
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Speaker 1 (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and it’s another solo show. Today I want to talk about trust, and that sounds like a big fat hairy topic, doesn’t it? So I’ll be more specific. As a service provider, I want to talk about the idea of becoming the trusted advisor for your clients. I’m going to go into the benefits. I’m going to go into how to do that, but I’m guess let’s start with what I mean by trust in the context of business. Trust shows up in a lot of ways. It shows up in your reliability. Can somebody count on you to do what you promised to do? Comes out in credibility. I mean, do you have proof? Can you show that you’ve gotten results for other people that seem to have the same problem that I have or that your client or prospect has?
(01:02): It’s an element of intimacy. We deal with a lot of private information with clients. I mean, we get into their business so deeply. Sometimes I feel like we’re providing therapy, and I think that is a level that is wanted, but it also requires a level of vulnerability on their part, and that’s certainly something that you have to earn. There is an element of what’s a good term for it? Orientation and trust, meaning that a client comes to believe that you have their best interest at heart rather than just your own to make money. And how these elements that I’m defining as trust come about is varied. I mean many ways, but let’s talk about some of the dimensions of trust. And I made a list, so I’m going to kind of read from it. Competence, you build trust by demonstrating your capability and proficiency in your field.
(01:56): A lot of the way that we do that is by actually showing a proven system, installing a proven system for us. Consistency. We’ve been at this 30 years, so there’s a trail, a long trail. We hear it every day from people who come to us as you’ve been around for a long time, you keep doing this. There’s nobody saying anything bad about you. I mean, those are things that lead to the dimension of trust care. I mean, a lot of times people will think of trust as I can trust you because you care about our results. And that’s very true character that shows up every day in every word, in every meeting, even in your marketing. I think character shows up as a dimension of trust and then communication, certainly owning up to mistakes, being honest about what somebody can expect, celebrating the wins with folks.
(02:48): I mean, that’s all part of it. And then a level of commitment that you can show that you really are in it to win it, in it to help your client get the results or the value that they’re after. So those are all things that have to come into play in your marketing, certainly in your fulfillment to be a trusted advisor. So far have built up just what it is, maybe the definition of it, just for this context. I mean, I think we all growing up we’re taught what trust meant and what it didn’t mean. But in the business context, I think there are special elements that go with it. However, now I’m going to talk about the value of trust on top of it, creating what I think are much more fulfilling relationships with clients is far more profitable. Let’s just be honest. You can charge a lot more money if you have a reputation for trust, if people believe that what you’re, I mean, if you can prove that you’ve gotten results for folks, people are going to pay more for that.
(03:50): You think about the example of a referral. If somebody is referred to you quite often, I mean, we still need to ask what the reasonable price is going to be, but quite often price goes down the list. It’s not the number one component because there’s risk, particularly in service providers, right? I mean, you’re selling air, so there’s risk in engaging anyone. And so the reason prices is such a consideration is because we don’t trust that there’s going to get a result or we’ve never worked with you before, so we don’t know. So the idea that somebody who I already trust you allows me to borrow that trust, that’s why referrals are so, such a potent way really to build a business, word of mouth, such a potent way to build business because there’s a level of trust that is extended with that relationship. But I think that it’s also important for you to build that level of trust through your marketing, but also through your fulfillment.
(04:53): One of the things that we do is we offer strategy, but a lot of agencies just offer retainers. So you come to ’em and say, okay, it’s whatever amount per month the rest of my life, hope you can get the result. We have a process we call strategy first, and everybody goes through that process first. We don’t sell a retainer. We have to develop the strategy before we can really even develop what a plan or retainer engagement would look like. And what we found is that certainly that attracts a certain type of client, an investor client, which we have found to really be for our services, the best type of client. But it also gives us the space and the ability to develop a level of trust where we become a trusted advisor. So I encourage you, regardless of the industry you’re in or the business you’re in, can you have a way to have a, it’s really a trial in a way, a project or engagement or offering that would allow you to develop not only a level of trust in the results, but just a trusted, high level, trusted advisor relationship that is really going to allow you to then recommend maybe without much pushback what needs to come next and what needs to come next.
(06:13): And I think that if you have any issues with clients that they’re just not a good fit, they push back on things. They don’t take your advice, they hired you to consult, but then they won’t let you consult. A lot of times, well, one of the reasons is because they’re not the right fit. So that certainly happens. But the other element of that is they don’t trust you enough, and sometimes that’s on them. Sometimes that’s on you because you haven’t done whatever the step is that will allow you to build that. So let’s talk a little bit about, now kind of switch gears a little bit to how do you build trust with clients? Well, trust is one of those things I suppose that can be repaired, but it’s certainly one of those things that first impressions matter. I mean, how they see you, how they experience you, what leads them to even want to have a sales conversation with you.
(07:01): That’s a level of the customer journey. That trust building is going on completely. I talk all the time about the marketing hourglass stages. For us, the customer journey is no like trust, try, buy, repeat and refer. And that is a level of guiding people that have to come to know about you. But then the first impression makes a huge impression on whether or not we want to even spend our time and energy to go any farther. Obviously, we’re not going to engage somebody at any level without a level of trust. And then as I talked about, the try for us is really almost our first engagement. We are being tried there and we are putting everything into building that relationship and that trust there. Communication and transparency. Tell people what you’re going to do and do it. Stick to it. Communicate over. Communicate frankly, is a way that we build trust.
(07:53): A client will tell you, a prospect will tell you, that’s enough. I don’t need that much. I got it. Just give me the highlights, and that’s fine. You can always dial it back, but it’s much harder to dial it in from a communication standpoint and from a transparency standpoint, here’s what we’re doing and why. Delivering on promises obviously and promises are funny because they’re really, in a lot of ways, they’re just expectations, right? I promise that this will be done by Friday, sets an expectation that’ll be done by Friday. And so you either meet that expectation or maybe you exceed it, but if you miss that, you’ve broken up promise. And so that’s really be careful what you promise to some degree. But breaking those promises is really going to erode or withdraw from the trust bank pretty quickly in terms of establishing yourself as a trusted advisor.
(08:41): Some of that is demonstrating your expertise, being able to communicate what you’ve done for others. But I think it’s also, I know one of the things people say to us all the time, I’m just very interested in all the new tech and AI and all the things we’re about, and that to me is a level of people trust us to bring them the next thing when they need it, not because it’s the next thing. And I think that continuous learning that adapting what we do based on what we learn is certainly a marker, a great marker of trust and something that people come to rely on. What you do in the community, how you network, those are all who you know, your network members of your network. I mean, those are all elements of the trust puzzle in terms of maintaining and growing trust takes work.
(09:29): You think of any relationship, right? I mean, you ignore a close relationship and it will start to erode. You put in work, you continue to build that relationship over time. In fact, some people are so focused on new client acquisition. We’ve kind of forget about retention and the long-term benefits of really having those clients that have worked with you for years that love you, that trust you explicitly. Mistakes happen, challenges happen. Those are all part of doing business, trying to scale business. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Obviously, how you respond to how you respond to challenges says a lot about whether or not somebody can trust you. I’ve seen that many times over the years that people will forgive you for making a mistake, but for lying about it, for not owning up to it, for trying to push blame off on somebody.
(10:25): That’s where you really cut into a trusted relationship. So how do you measure trust levels for us? Retention and referrals and even engagement. The level of engagement. Now we have so many digital platforms that we’re on today. In some ways it’s not an exact science, but in some ways that goes greatly into are we putting in the time? Are we nurturing the relationships? Are we having X amount of conversations? Are we retaining clients? Are we getting referrals from clients? Those, to me, are obviously pretty significant markers of trust. So kind of a non tactical topic today, but there’s so much value in becoming a trusted advisor, seen as a trusted advisor in your industry. Certainly seen as a trusted advisor with your clients. There’s financial value, there’s relationship value. It’s just more fun to do business in that environment than it is to constantly have that tug of war with clients because you haven’t put in the time and not even just the time.
(11:37): I mean, the systematic approach to onboarding and to communicating. Those are all elements that will eliminate a lot of the back and forth struggle that you might have. The other tip I would give you is create that systemized, repeatable process that you can do on the front end that really focuses on developing that trusted advisor relationship so that whatever your work is beyond that will go much smoother. Alright, that’s it for today. Again, love those reviews on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you’ve got ideas or thoughts that you want to share based on what I shared today, feel free to send me an email at any time, firstname.lastname@example.org. All right. That’s it for today. Hopefully we’ll see you on these days soon. Out there on the road.
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