“If you’ve been in business for a while,” begins a post on Copyblogger today, “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.”
Today, with tens of millions of websites out there, the first challenge is cutting through the clutter so people can know that you exist.
Your potential audience — both customers and potential customers as well as people who will share your information — needs to hear about you when they’re in the market for what you’re offering. Think, for example, of an ad for a Toyota Corolla. If you’re not the in the market for a new car, you’ll ignore the ad. And if you’re looking for a car, but you only want a Chevy, then it won’t matter how cool the Corolla ad may be. You’ll still ignore it.
The second challenge is building up interest, desire and even, yes, affection. Getting your audience to like you.
What you say online, how your website looks, the way you interact. These will play well with certain audiences but maybe not so well with others. And it all starts with mutual attraction. If you like the people you’re reaching out to, then it’ll be easier for them to like your website back.
The final initial challenge is getting web visitors to open up, to share their needs and wants and to be ready to ask you to get involved with them. And that’s all about trust.
People who’ve only encountered you online don’t know what you’re like in person and what your business is like to deal with. Help them overcome any doubts they may have with classic trust-builders like customer testimonials, a widget showing the faces of your Facebook friends or a page of short case studies on how you already helped other customers meet their own needs.
Sometimes impatient business owners try to skip over the “know” and “like” phases and go straight for an instant relationship of trust. In other words, they try to make the sale too soon.
But if you skip the introduction, people will just be confused. If busy people don’t quickly gain a clear idea of who you are and what you’re trying to sell, then they’ll pass right over you.
And if you don’t generate the spark of interest, then people will just be annoyed. You need an invitation to make the sale, just as you need a hint or opening to ask someone special out on a date.
Taking the time to do things in the right order shows potential customers and lovers alike that you see them as more than objects. You see them as people.
And isn’t that what we all want out of relationships?