How B2B companies can build trust online
One of my clients came to me with a question today: how do we build trust with prospects if we can't meet face to face, shake hands, or kick back and have a chat over a whiskey?
For the last 10+ years, they relied on conferences to find leads, build their network, and close deals.
It was working great.
And then COVID happened and knocked out all in-person conferences. Now, they are trying to figure out how to pivot and connect with prospects digitally.
How do you authentically connect with someone and build trust across Zoom calls? It’s tough, right?
Fortunately, there are some tricks.
Top 3 ways B2B companies can build trust virtually:
1. Provide value
Pause for a minute and ask yourself – how can you help your ideal target buyer? What can you give? What are they struggling with right now? Especially during this time of pandemic. What can your company do that can help them and demonstrate your value/expertise?
I experienced an excellent example of this recently. Leadfeeder put on a webinar about marketing during the time of COVID. They had a panel of experts from different industries sharing thoughts and best practices. As a marketing professional it gave me a lot to think about. It simultaneously made me feel positively about Leadfeeder. While I know the webinar was a sales tactic, it felt like it was genuinely designed just to be helpful for me, a marketer trying to navigate the crazy world right now.
Once you have a clear picture of who your ideal target buyer is, what their pain points are, and how you could help, these are some ideas you can try:
- Host a webinar and share best practices
- Create and share templates, cheat sheets, or how to guides
- Join or start a podcast
- Arrange for helpful connections
- Volunteer your team’s time (within reason, of course)
** Just remember, the key to this approach is to provide value without any expectation.
2. Showcase testimonials and reviews
As a consumer, the first thing I do when researching a product or service is to read reviews.
The same holds true for businesses.
Picture a prospect scrolling through your home page. Are they seeing glowing testimonials from happy customers? Now picture them googling your company. Are they seeing positive reviews?
Reviews and testimonials from customers are social proof that help new prospects feel like they can trust your company. If your company has limited or no testimonials or reviews, take a moment to reach out to current and past customers and ask.
To get coverage across your website, Google searches, and social, I recommend you ask some customers for testimonials and ask others to post reviews directly on your pages (i.e. Facebook). Make sure to send the direct link so they don’t have to search for it. Most people want to help, especially if they were happy with your company. It’s just a matter of asking nicely.
Your company can also repurpose these reviews and testimonials as graphic images that can be shared across your social sites.
Pro tip: You can offer to write the testimonial for them and have them tweak it. This tactic works well, especially with busy professionals.
3. Be present online
Consider online dating for a moment. Imagine you’re about to meet up with two new matches – one has no digital presence (not even a LinkedIn profile!) and the other has the internet covered, complete with a LinkedIn profile filled with kudos from prior colleagues.
The first one lacks any social proof that they’re a real person, much less what they put on their dating profile. The second one has loads of social proof, corroborated by real people, making them immediately more trustworthy.
As a company, you want to own, manage, and maximize all of your digital real estate. This includes:
- LinkedIn page
- Facebook page
- Google business page
- Google search (including Google images)
- Industry specific review pages (i.e. G2 if you’re in software)
Take a minute and google your company. What do you think when you see what shows up? What do you feel? Now, imagine you are someone seeing this information for the first time, with no experience with your company. What do you think they would think, feel?
By actively managing all of your online real estate, and engaging in conversations across social media, prospects can get a sense of who your company is and start to trust it.
If pivoting to the digital space is a challenge your team is facing, we would love to help. Give us a ring for a free 30-minute session. We’ll give you all the ideas we can cram into 30 minutes!
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