Monday, March 18, 2013

Branding Superstar tips from Dr. Laureen Wishom

Is your current marketing strategy helping you earn as much as you'd like?

Does your marketing plan help you generate new prospects each week and then convert them to paying clients?

Are you getting the bottom line results you want from your marketing efforts?

To get the results you want, your clients must trust you, believe in you first, and then in your products or services. Studies have shown that people buy from those that they know, like and trust. Your clients want to buy from companies that exceed their brand promise. Who go beyond the expected? Who surprise their customers by demonstrating a level of commitment one generally associates with family.

After all, you wouldn't buy a car if you didn't think it could get you home. Nor would purchase a car from a dealer you thought was robbing you on the price or if the dealer might not stand behind the engine if it fell out as you drove it off the lot. Below are 6.5 tips on how to build trust and build your business.

1. Over-deliver to Get Referrals
When you need a doctor or lawyer or a great restaurant you ask a friend for a referral. You ask because you trust the recommendations of people you know. Don't wait for the occasional referral to come in spontaneously. When you stand out from the rest by going above and beyond what a customer expects, it makes it easier to implement a client referral system to generate new referrals.

2. Get Testimonials
Having credentials are great, having much experience is even better, but people pay more attention to what others have to say about you. Pick up the phone and call your customers to ask what they thought of your products or services, what they liked about it and how it was helpful. You can edit their comments and obtain permission to use the edited comments as testimonials in your marketing materials.

3. Give Something Away
When you give people something, regardless of the cost, they are more likely to trust you and return the favor by buying something from you. It is known as the Law of Reciprocity. Make it work for you. You can use an E-book, articles, a workshop, teleseminar or free demonstration to build familiarity and ultimately trust in you and your product.

4. Give Examples
Tell a story instead of making claims about your product or services. Use case studies to tell what you did for whom and the difference it made in their life or their business. Use numbers, people like information such as: 'increased their bottom line by 30 percent. With the right brand story, a brand worth believing in will not be forgotten.

5. Personalize Your Marketing
People do business with people. Help prospects get to know you and trust you. Let your passion, professionalism and personality come across in your marketing materials. Include a picture of yourself, with a smile, in a prominent place on your marketing materials... but not on your business card. When you're at a convention or other relevant events, share this information on your blog, tweets and other social media outlets.

6. Stay in Touch
The people you see and talk to on a regular basis are usually the ones you trust the most. Communication is a key ingredient for developing trust. If you sell services or high-end products, a personal phone call is one of the best ways to answer prospects' questions, and to build trust. Maintain contact with your prospects and clients regularly and ask for their opinion.

6.5. Reduce Perceived Risk and Provide Value and Benefits
A buyers' biggest concern is how well your product or service will perform. Providing a guarantee makes a big difference, but in most cases it's not going to make the sale. You must clarify the value and then define the benefits you provide. Be sure to state your commitment to seeing that your clients are not only happy, but ecstatic about your product and services.

In conclusion, remember - people who win trust are open, visible and engaging. These tips are not marketing "gimmicks," but they are critical to developing ongoing relationships. Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time. But above all - deliver!

Dr. Laureen is the CEO of Masterpiece Solutions and the Global Association of High-Achieving Women. She is committed to helping high-achieving women worldwide spark their professional career path and ignite their company's future growth.
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