Digital dialog: be heard and build trust

Using the right communication tools will help you gain customers’ trust

Not too long ago I was discussing with a printer how he communicated with one of his customers. He told me that when he phoned this customer, his call almost always ended up in voicemail. However, if he really, really needed to get in touch, he’d send a Facebook message and the customer responded right away. Our ancestors would roll their eyes if they knew how we “talk” these days.

In the last article, I introduced you to the concept of the Digital Dialog. Here it is again: The Digital Dialog is the online version of you that starts conversations, develops relationships, and builds trust so you can sell more printing.

The most efficient way to communicate with your prospects and customers is to use their preferred communication tools. For my friend’s customer it’s Facebook Messenger. It’s that Messenger alert that caught the customer’s attention and got a response.

Developing Relationships

Your prospects and customers are like that, too. They’ll respond when you communicate with them in the way they like. Do you know what that is for each of your clients? It takes time to build relationships, partly because you need to discover the best way to communicate with each of them.

If your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows it, noting your customers’ preferences would be good information to record. With that in hand, the really important messages will be delivered to your customer in the way they are most open to receiving them. Good and effective communication builds lasting relationships.

Do you know what else good communication does? It shortens the length of the sales cycle. Think back to my printer friend. He could call his customer, and get no response, or he could send a Facebook message. Which method do you think shortened the distance between starting a conversation and placing an order? You guessed it, the Facebook message was the clear winner! Choosing the right communication channel could make the difference between getting a print order today, or getting it next week, or missing out on it entirely.

Once you engage your customers effectively, you have the perfect platform to build trust.

Building trust

The first time I met my daughter’s boyfriend, he very politely and confidently introduced himself and shook my hand. He didn’t have my full trust after just one handshake, but it was a good first step in building trust. I want to learn more about him, though. What makes him tick? What’s he really thinking? So, we did what any sane parents would do; we cyberstalked him.

Your prospects go through the same process when they’re checking you out. They want to learn more about you. They want to know how you can really help them. Just like my wife and I headed off to Facebook your prospects are scouring your website for caution flags about doing business with you.

Your prospects want to know you’re worthy of their business. They want to know that they can trust you to help fulfill their business dreams. When your prospects visit your website, are you giving them reasons to trust you? Remember, you only get one chance at a first impression. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. When they visit your website, do they see…

…an opportunity to buy stationery, brochures, and business cards, or an opportunity to work with a business that has a track record of helping others succeed? Do they see a printer after a quick online transaction, or a printer that’s interested in building a relationship with them?

…information filled with printer-jargon like bleeds, fonts, and file formats, or information with sales and marketing tips to help them sell more of their products and services? Do they see a printer that’s trying to make life easier for himself, or a printer that shares ideas on how printing can help them hit their goals and make life better for them?

…a website that looks like it was built by the printer’s high-school-aged nephew, or a professional website that would feel right at home with other industry-leading sites?

Pretend you’re a first-time visitor to your website and ask yourself this question: “Does this website build trust?” Block out some time and wrestle with that question. If you’re honest with yourself, you should see some areas that need improving. If you make those improvements, you could find that the trust you create will indeed help you sell more printing.