building trust online prospectsEveryone wants to look connected, knowledgeable and successful. When you help your prospects look good to the people who matter to them, they feel good about you, which helps build trust.

How can you make them look good?

One way is giving them information they can pass along to others.

Help prospects in their buying journey

Enterprise buyers shop for high-priced software only a few times in their careers. Your company deals with it every day. Who better than your company knows the buying process for your market? Now use that to become a trusted resource by sharing information from objective resources.

Put yourself in prospects and clients’ shoes and think about what information they need.

For example, you might share news articles, statistics, trends and best practices. That’s information they can share with others involved in the buying decision. It will make them look like they are on top of the evaluation process – deeply knowledgeable and aware of what’s going on in the market.

You know where to look for that information better than they do.

So here’s a simple process to follow:

  1. Set up a content aggregation tool to keep you on top of news and blog posts. We like Scoop.it, but there are lots of similar tools.
  2. When you find a neutral blog post or article that would be useful to prospects, bookmark it.

Over time you will build a solid library of classic posts, statistics, and articles to address a wide range of issues. These give you information you can share with your contacts, which they can then re-share and will make them look good.

Types of resources to share

Watch for reports from independent analysts who evaluate competing products. Their report reveals how each company did in meeting set criteria. Gartner’s Magic Quadrants and Forrester’s Waves, for instance, provide impartial analysis of multiple vendors in a variety of major markets.

These reports advise buyers on what features to consider, issues to be aware of and trends to know about. It’s not unusual for a company to distribute third-party articles and reports when the company comes out a winner. But it is unusual to forward a report that doesn’t have all positive things to say about the company’s product.

Rarer still is the company that shares a competitor’s feature list. Along with that list, the company includes notes explaining what is and isn’t in its product, what features matter and don’t matter, and how it compares. In reality, buyers know every company has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard to trust a company that focuses on just its strengths.

Their trust in you multiplies when you share expertise with honesty and you’re candid about your product. Yes, warts and all. It takes courage to do it. But because it is rare, people who do it stand out.

Here are a few more types of information you can send:

  • Statistics about the size of the market or the demand for the type of software you sell.
  • Best practices related to your technology or methodology.
  • Trends data that shows where the market is heading.
  • Upcoming webinars on topics related to your software.
  • For real-world events, complimentary tickets, discount codes or VIP access.

What can you do for clients and prospects that let them show others they’re on top of things? What honest information can you provide to help them in their customer decision journey? How can you help them show others they’re respected?

Someone on Twitter asked about marketing automation vendors. I sent her links to three independent reports. She was appreciative and connected with my team to get more questions answered. Little things like this show you care about them and their success. It builds trust and gains favor.

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want,” said motivational trainer Zig Ziglar.

What other ways can you make clients and prospects look good?

Building Trust Online Series

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