By Jim Augustus Armstrong—A recent poll by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics shows that a majority of Americans feel the federal government is corrupt and rigged against them. The poll revealed two-thirds of Republicans and Independents feel this way as well as 51% of Democrats. However, this massive loss of trust isn’t limited to the government. It extends to many of our major institutions, including religious institutions, corporations, our educational system, etc. Earlier this year I touched on this topic as it applies to digital marketing, but consumer loss of trust is so important for flooring dealers to understand that I decided to take a deeper dive on what it means for your business and practical steps you can take to combat it with advisor marketing.
Use the loss of consumer trust to your advantage. First, it’s important to recognize that all of your marketing efforts are set against this backdrop of distrust. Assume your prospects view you with skepticism and distrust; your job is to overcome this.
Second, realize it’s possible to turn this situation around to help your business. If you put in the effort to successfully position yourself as a trusted advisor in your market and your competitors don’t, you’ve given yourself a profound advantage – advisor marketing.
Protect your good reputation. If you’re like most of the dealers I work with, you likely already have a good reputation in your community. Make sure you protect this because once trust is lost it’s hard to get it back. This means continuing to follow the basic trust-building rules:
- Be honest, especially if you have to deliver bad news.
- Under promise and over deliver.
- Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.
- Be courteous and kind. 5. Say “please” and “thank you.”
Leverage testimonials and reviews. Almost every business says things like “No. 1 in customer satisfaction; best products at the best prices; great service,” etc. These claims have virtually zero impact on prospects—even when it’s true—because everybody says it. That’s where testimonials are a huge help—because what others say about you is more impactful than what you say about yourself.
My company puts systems in place for our dealers to generate ongoing online reviews. We’ve seen first-hand the positive impact this has for dealers in their local market: more closed sales; the ability to command higher prices; less shopping around; more trust. You should put systems in place to generate ongoing reviews, too. But don’t stop there. Repurpose those reviews by posting them on your website, social media platforms, in email signature lines, in print materials—generally using them everywhere possible.
Make use of video. When prospects see and hear you speaking directly to them it helps build trust, especially when you’re helping them solve a problem or giving them professional recommendations. Short videos of household repairs, maintenance tips, floor care, etc., will work to position you as a trusted advisor. Create a YouTube channel (there are plenty of YouTube videos that will walk you through the steps) and host the videos on your website. Push these out on any social channels you’re using.
Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides flooring dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com.