In my last post, I have made it clear that holding to customers is always a superior strategy to getting new customers, as lead generation comes with a cost. In this post, I am taking the post important concept from the article – progression of trust and I’m developing it.
Can you tell me what trust is? It is hard to define. It is an intangible, like happiness. Trust in my words can be defined as the willingness to accept that what another person is true. We rarely think about it in an analytical manner and yet, trust, the concept of trust is one of the things that makes the world go round.
Let’s use a dating analogy. Virtually everything in sales can be related to dating. You are a guy. You meet a girl. At first, she doesn’t know a lot about you. She doesn’t trust you. She doesn’t say yes easily to you. You get to know her. She gets to know you. You spend time together. A first kiss. A first night together. She trusts you more and more. She opens up more and more. She becomes vulnerable.
This teaches us something about selling. In marketing or sales, the idea of trust is how vulnerable an individual is willing to be in front of a vendor, how much an individual is willing to risk to receive a desired benefit. In the first stages of a business relationship, trust is low so only low ticket products are sold. The prospect is vulnerable to losing only small amounts of money. Each time he buys something and is satisfied with the result, more trust is created. In this manner, just like a couple can move from holding hands to spending the night together, a customer can move from buying a $20/book to spending $10.000 for a seminar.
Amateurs think that the $10.000 ticket is sold because his needs grew to that level. The truth is that his needs were at that level at all times because it is impossible to create a need in the marketplace through marketing alone. Marketing can only take an existing need and amplify it towards making a sale. He could have benefited from the $10.000 product in the first day. The reason he did not buy it wasn’t that the benefits weren’t there but because there was no enough trust to make this particular purchase.
Everything you’re selling at this moment, ranging from one hour of coaching for $50 to a three weeks platinum retreat for $19.997 can and will benefit the prospect. Most product chains are not designed to fulfill growing needs but rather, to fulfill a need at a different level of effectiveness. In other words, you have excellent solutions, you have good solutions, you have decent solutions for the same particular problem.
Traditional thinking say that price is what determines if the prospect will buy a premium, standard or sub-par solution. Price has a lot to do with it and yes, price does influence buying decisions, up to a point. What really matters though is the perception of value (what he is feeling that he’s getting for the money) and the level of trust he has in you as a vendor. The perception of value dictates that in order for a solution to feel appealing, it must be worth to him multiples of what he is paying and this is true no matter if it is a $10 or a $10.000 product. The entire idea of “it is a good deal” refers to perceived emotional value and not actual price, otherwise, there would be no market for anything above $500 and people would find it kind of hard to say “The room at <Insert Luxury Hotel Name Here> that had just cost me $1249 is a really good deal. It is a good deal because he feels he’s getting an experience worth $5000 or $10.000, not because of the base price.
Getting back to the idea of trust, how much people trust you will determine how much they’ll buy. Each time they’ll get the desired benefit from your product, they’ll buy more. Each time you disappoint them, they’ll buy less. Of course, there is a limit because even if someone trusts you completely but they live on a $60.000 yearly salary, they can’t spend $10.000 on your seminar but all things being equal, the progress of trust is what makes or breaks the profitability of a customer relationship.
This is one of the reasons why brands command premium prices. A brand is nothing more than established trust in the mind of the consumer. It is a symbol that other people picked this product and were satisfied with the results obtained. Branding is a boost to the progression of trust scale, putting the prospect in a position higher than if he would try the product for himself, the first time. You buy a luxury sedan because you know the name behind it. Without that name, you’d have to be persuaded more to purchase.
When I’ve bought my first MacBook, I’ve bought it based on the name of the brand alone. I’ve never tried or tested Macs before and yet, I’ve paid an obscene sum of money to Apple simply because I was familiar with their brand and this acted as a replacement of the progression of trust process.
My point here is very simple. Trust exists in all areas of life, not just business. To get people to do what you want them to do, there must be trust. Trust is built through delivery of the desired benefits, through a strong brand and through other factors. The more time you spend with a customer and the more positive experiences this given customer has, the more likely he is to answer a positive when you’re promoting a higher ticket product.
Think of it as a scale from 1 to 100. Selling a $10 product requires a trust level of 5. Selling a $500 one requires a trust level of 100. You need to bridge the gap between 5 and 100 with products that gradually build trust and buying compliance.
How do you do this? Let’s have a talk just about this topic. As a marketing consultant and direct response copywriter it is my job to help you build the systems, the materials, the mediums required to attract more customers, sell products of higher value to them and keep them on board as long as humanly possible.
I would like to invite you to a complimentary 30 minute call on Skype where we can discuss about your business. I’m going to do a diagnostic of your current circumstances and then determine what would be the best approach or course of action in order to accomplish your given goals.
The Self-Improvement Copywriter