May 14, 2007

Trust

I frequently read articles that use a formula to engage the reader.
  • The article starts with an obvious statement that cannot be disagreed with, like "multichannel customers are the most valuable customers".
  • Next, the author creates a sense of fear, as in "today's time-pressured customer won't stay loyal to a business using antiquated systems".
  • Finally, the author offers a solution to the perceived threat, often structured as something like "'x' steps to an improved multichannel experience". The steps are either so elementary as to be virtually useless, or the steps include products or services offered by the author or the organization employing the author.
From time to time, I'm probably guilty of this style of writing. Interestingly I don't think I ever contacted a vendor or consultant on the basis of this style of writing.

I noticed that almost nobody visits my blog when I write articles for various publications. Maybe readers perceive I'm being a 'pundit'.

Conversely, I noticed that this blog receives a significant spike in traffic when I speak at conferences.

Lastly, I've had more than a thousand downloads of my white paper on Multichannel Forensics, a free paper that has only been publicized on this blog, a paper than can only be downloaded by my loyal readers, or via word of mouth.

My question for you, the loyal reader of this blog, is this ... when looking to purchase services, what/who are you most likely to trust?
  • Folks you've worked with in the past.
  • Companies with a proven track record in your profession.
  • Companies offering innovative solutions.
  • Companies offering inexpensive solutions.
  • Consultants with a proven track record of success.
  • Consultants with large 'name brand' consulting firms.
  • Individuals who write blogs.
  • Folks who write articles in trade journals.
  • Folks who speak at conferences.
  • Folks who offer white papers for free.
  • Folks who offer discounts and promotions.
Your thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. Great post, Kevin. Do be sure to post what you hear back.

    Here's how I'd rate trust (descending)

    1) Folks I've worked with

    3) Folks recommended by folks I trust

    5) Folks who blog deeply (because I can read so much about how they think)

    6) Folks I've seen speak at shows who seem smart and nice and knowledgable (this is lower than 3 because a conference appearance is so short)

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  2. Innovative and Inexpensive......

    Both of those build trust...as it relates to a new company starting out - and trying to "sell" themselves to a prospect, and have their services, "purchased."

    Great post.

    Andy

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  3. Kevin:

    An interesting question for sure. Once we had a conversation with Pernille Lopez, the President of IKEA North America (I have a post on that), and she stated that "she won't make people earn trust. However, they are responsible to deserve it. Or she will take it away." [loosely quoted]

    We focus a lot on gaining trust, instead of giving trust. There is potentially a life changing experience with looking at it the other way.

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  4. Alan --- I've basically done the same thing ... focusing on (1) and (3), probably to a fault. It's been a good experience to be on the other side of the fence, and see what that is like.

    Andy --- that formula seems to work in life, doesn't it?

    Valeria --- it's a challenge to trust people from the start. Maybe we get burned too often. I had a vendor visit me at Nordstrom on a cold call. I asked the VP of Marketing what experience she had with Apparel Retailers ... she said her company had no experience with Apparel Retailers. I hired her team a few weeks later. In that case, integrity made a big difference, a simple honest answer meant more than experience meant.

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