Is your business easily contactable and trustworthy?

Is your business approachable? Is your personal brand visible? Have you built a platform of trust to inspire contact?

Buyer predilections and personality styles are not linear.  Gender, age, income and industry socioeconomics don’t always translate into neat boxes of behaviour and inclinations that a business can rely on

It is commercially dangerous to assume that prospects and clients are motivated by the same preferences and touchpoints. Even with tightly defined market niches and crystal clear client avatars, the humans behind them will still have divergent triggers in motivation and expectations.

No business or person can be everything to everyone and impress 100 per cent of the time and that’s ok. But to maximise the success of your website and LinkedIn activity you must satisfy as many trigger needs that engender trust. Your business and personal brand needs to impress, inform and inspire action.

And that comes right down to how approachable your business is by way of being considerate, contactable and clear in who you are, what you stand for and how to contact you easily.

Yet, so many small businesses are leaving money on the table by not providing contact options and personal  brand visibility. And this can stir scepticism and impede enquiries.

In mid-2018 I conducted a national survey with 250 small-business owners asking their contact preferences as a B2B buyer. Ages ranged from 20’s to 60’s, 50/50 men women and diverse  industry sectors. It was particularly interesting that several admitted their own preferences were not in line with what they provided on their website. This made them stop and think.

The results were:

  • website form – 35 per cent
  • mobile/phone – 24 per cent
  • email direct – 21 per cent
  • social media – 15 per cent
  • live chat/bots – five per cent

Some younger people even admitted that they felt distrustful of businesses and wanted to speak to them directly (that was a surprise in the 20’s to 30s). And many in the 45yo+ bracket disliked the phone.

The results proved that preferences were wide and that business need to offer them all to ensure they don’t miss out. Many commented that unless there was a phone number they would never contact the business. They just wouldn’t trust the business.

The other big issue for building trust and conveying approachability is by personal brand visibility. Whilst not everyone cares about who runs a business, their names and background and what they care about, a vast majority do.

A photo says a thousand words and businesses who are not showing personal images and great About Us sections are missing out in a big way.

People buy from people in service businesses and we want to get a sense of them before we reach out.    The notion that if you are a small business you shouldn’t have your photo or name on the website is nonsense. Indeed it’s counterproductive. Likewise by not having contact names. This is the silliest mistake made by SMEs – people like to know who owns a business.

When a prospect researches your website or LinkedIn profile and there is zero or minimal personal information or photo a chasm a distrust can fester. No matter how big your team is (or isn’t) you as business owners/manager are at the forefront to share the businesses mission and values. Shine that light, don’t hide and be proud authentically to your true style.

Don’t leave money on the table and deter prospects who are looking for different triggers. Be approachable and visible.

Include your names, photos, email, mobile, forms for contact, and your personal brand story on your website and LinkedIn.

Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia

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