You’ve probably heard about the need to build what’s called the “Know-Like-Trust Factor” if you want to attract great clients.
But how, exactly, do you do that?
Well, first of all, marketing professional services is very different than marketing most other products and services for the following reasons:
1. Professional services are personal
2. They tend to be intangible and complex
3. They are relatively expensive
4. Their value is hard to clearly explain
This is why it’s absolutely essential to build the “Know-Like-Trust Factor” with your prospective clients.
Let’s look at exactly how to do that!
We like to do business with people and businesses we know. And to be known, we need to be visible, interesting, and relevant.
The three most common ways to do that are:
1. Networking through associations and organizations.
2. Written communications such as a website, newsletter, and social media.
3. Presentations such as talks, seminars, and webinars.
These activities get you out there and known by those in your network. And they help your prospective clients understand what you do and how you help your clients.
And being known in that way is absolutely essential.
But that’s often as far as it goes. You do a lot to get known, hoping people will respond to you. But that’s usually not enough. You need to take the next step to build relationships.
You’ve got to get people to not only know you, but then to like you.
Dale Carnegie famously wrote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Once you are visible and better known, you hope prospective clients will reach out to you. Sure, that happens sometimes. But not enough, right?
So, if you want people to like you, you need to get to know them. You need to be interested in them. You need to engage them. You need to show that you give a damn about them.
And the number one way to do that?
Invite people to have conversations with you. You’ll have a lot more success if you reach out (simple emails work best in my experience) and invite them to meet and speak with you.
Reach out to people in your network or professional association, LinkedIn connections, people who have attended a talk or webinar, and subscribers to your newsletter.
Get short meetings and learn about their business, what they are up to, what’s important to them, and what their challenges and goals are.
Meetings like this with those in your network, as well as with prospective clients, dramatically increases your likeability and also generates interest in how you can help them.
Now that people know and like you, what do you need to do to get people to trust you? After all, if people don’t trust you, they won’t do business with you, will they?
But you can’t really persuade people to trust you. In fact, very little you say about yourself and your business builds authentic trust.
But one thing certainly does, and you may have missed it completely.
Listening builds trust more than anything else. When you take the attention off yourself and really get interested in another, hear what they have to say, and ask great questions, trust increases dramatically.
Building your Know-Like-Trust Factor doesn’t happen passively. It’s a proactive process that takes some time and intention.
To summarize the steps:
1. Get known by getting out into your business community, sharing your ideas online, and giving presentations.
2. Get liked by following up and inviting people to meet with you, having conversations, and getting to know them.
3. Get trusted by really listening, understanding people’s issues and challenges, and then offering to help them reach their goals through your services if you can.
Developing the Know-Like-Trust Factor is ultimately very simple, but are you up to doing the work to make it happen? If you don’t, it will be a real struggle to grow your business.