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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Tips for Building Consumer Confidence in Your Company

Written By: Carol Roth | 4 Comments

It’s a fact that people want to do business with those that have the KLT factor (those they know, like and trust). But, how can businesses successfully build up that confidence and trust with their customers and clients? Well, we have asked our fantastic CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to provide their best tips. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Walk the Talk

If you really want your customers to like, know, trust you AND refer you more business, you need to keep the promises you make and show up consistently. In other words... walk the talk. Don't ask your customers to do something you wouldn't (or don't) do yourself. Don't ask them to spend money on something you wouldn't invest in yourself. Basically, you and everyone on your team should be your own ideal clients (when possible). Then, you'll truly have integrity and be leading by example.
Thanks to: Jennifer Martin of Zest Business Consulting.

2. Cover Your Bases, OK? OK!

Under promise plus over deliver. With that said, when making a pitch, cover these factors: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. It is all about building and maintaining credibility with YOUR clients.
Thanks to: Tony Marren of OPERATION JUST ONE CAN.

3. Blow Your Own Horn

Community newspapers are often receptive to sources that can educate the community about local issues. Become an expert by creating press releases that address tips and information useful to customers. It can't be a commercial, but it can alert the community that you can help them be a success. Customers like working with people who bring value to the business relationship.
Thanks to: David Brmm of BrimmComm.

4. It is Not About You

It is always about THEM. Make certain that everything is about the customer and how your product helps them. Don't tell them you believe in honesty and deliver world class customer service. Show them how you solve THEIR problem or meet THEIR need in THEIR time frame in a manner that is efficient for THEM. Confidence in your company will come if you make it about THEM.
Thanks to: Janet Christy of Leverage & Development, LLC.

5. Face Time Every Time

Whether you live in a small town or a major city, building trust with clients has everything to do with seeing your name and face on a consistent basis. Attend business meetings and socials, create events with other collaborators, be interviewed on TV and radio, have reporters write articles about something you are doing; there are so many FREE ways to be in the public eye! The more they see you, the more they trust you. GET endorsements uploaded on social network sites; even a sentence sells!
Thanks to: Dr. Daria M. Brezinski of What Wize Women Want.

6. Say No!

Be clear about what you do and what you do not do. When I started my business 15 years ago, I was the YES agency - we did everything for everyone, creating a "one-stop shopping experience" for my clients. Over the years, I have increased my ability to say "no, that is not included" as well as "no, we don't work that way". My confidence and clarity transcends to the customers' trust & confidence that we know what we are doing!
Thanks to: MaryPat Kavanagh of Strategic Results Marketing.

7. Show, Don't Tell

We make TV and web commercials. We are positioned as a premium-brand, not a commodity, so often, we're approached by companies who have tried someone else and had bad results. The only way I've found to make these gun-shy clients confident is to SHOW them the work we've done (via a fantastic reel and work samples), along with testimonials from name-brand clients who are thrilled with what we did for them. It's not easy to get there, but showing is always better than telling.
Thanks to: Patrick Ortman of PatrickOrtman, Inc.

8. Customer "Law of Attraction"

In social situations, ask people what their passion is.
Make note of it and send them articles, news reports etc. that match this "passion". This will help build a relationship. Over time, they will have you in mind when they have a need or problem that your product or service is the answer to.
Thanks to: Lewis Harrison of Lewis Harrison Speaker.

9. Don't Pitch - Listen

To build confidence, you must listen to the customer. So many people are busy selling and pitching that they forget to listen to the customer and what they actually need. The best sales I ever made were when I was trying NOT to sell. When you listen to a customer and ask questions pertaining to them, you can then advise them about what may work best for them, not for you and your sales quota! I build trust by finding the best possible solution, not the most expensive one.
Thanks to: Orit Pennington of TPGTEX Label Solutions.

10. The Puppy Dog Free Trial

A great way for building confidence in your company is by offering a free trial of your product or service. There are few things more powerful for proving that you stand behind your product or service and building confidence than allowing a customer to try your product or service for free for a test period.
Thanks to: Peter Geisheker of The Geisheker Group, Inc.

11. Be Human!

In my opinion, building confidence in, and trust between, you business and a client is to be human. Whilst we can't always meet face to face, it's always good to try - and if you can't, a quick phone call is much better than email; let them hear your voice!

Another good approach is to include pictures of staff on your website. People connect with people - so seeing a face can help a client begin to put faith in an individual, as well as in your wider company.
Thanks to: Elliot Simmonds of Rippleout Marketing.

12. Anticipate Customers' Needs

Consumer confidence is built one customer at a time with each experience with a brand. We recognize that every second visitor comes from a mobile device. In order to keep their interest and convert them from a visitor to a customer, we invested heavily in optimizing the mobile experience. You have to anticipate what the consumer will want and provide it before your competitors and do it better. This makes your brand the one to beat.
Thanks to: Philip Rooke of Spreadshirt.

13. Resource Center v. Salesperson

Your target audience is sick of hearing sales pitches. When people think you're just trying to sell them your products or services, they tune you out. Instead, try to serve as the "Resource Center" for your clients and prospects. You can do this by providing them with valuable content, solutions to their problems, industry news, etc. This will build trust and enhance your brand awareness. Then, when your clients and prospects are ready to buy, they'll come to you!
Thanks to: Tony Popowski of Grass Roots Marketing, Inc.

14. Wow 'Em with Woo-free Know-how

The key to building consumer confidence is highly-sharpened skills. Stay on top of your game with constant A/B testing, surveys and ridiculous amounts of "80/20" execution. Pare down according to the client and, obviously, eliminate what doesn't work.

Over-deliver with the kind of polished results, hacks and know-how to make clients overjoyed to have finally found you.
Thanks to: Annesa L Lacey, B2B Ghostwriter of @.l.interpretations.

15. Utilize Client Testimonials

Customer testimonials provide an independent reference that your business is fulfilling client needs and are excellent ways to build the brand. Testimonials will be instrumental in reassuring customer prospects as to the caliber and capabilities of your organization.
Thanks to: Michael Fekkes of ENLIGN Business Brokers.

16. Believe in Yourself

Believe in your ability to succeed, and above all, NEVER be dishonest or subversive in any way. Never forget that one lie destroys a thousand truths, so should you in any way be deceptive, just once, your reputation and ability to service your clients effectively is destroyed. Always place your sincerity first.
Thanks to: Jacob Singer of www.jacobashersinger.com.

17. Provide Expert Advice

I believe that the best way is to provide top tier advice from industry professionals as tied to trending and universal challenges. For example, our parenting voices are invaluable in telling authentic stories, sharing actionable advice and are really the glue connecting our EmpoweringParents community.
Thanks to: Steve Anderson of EmpoweringParents.com.

18. What's Your Word Worth?

In today's world, there is not much difference between products and services. What determines the difference is the quality of the service and we, the people, have the responsibility for that. For me it's simple, give my word, keep my word and be my word and then go above and beyond, where possible, to deliver.
Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio of Human Technologies Global Inc.

19. Have Them Talk About You!

Everyone knows that Testimonials are so important to instill confidence in our services. Yet, we are often not actively going out to get them. My recommendation is that you schedule Testimonial interviews with your clients via Skype and record them. This way, you have the option of using them as a video, transfer them into an Audio or have them transcribed for written testimonials. A short list of questions will be sufficient but be sure to ask: "What created the most value in my services?"
Thanks to: Petra Mayer of Petra Mayer Consulting.

20. Real People Return Phone Calls

If you want to build confidence, then remember, people buy from people they know and trust. Failure to return calls establishes just the opposite of what you want as an entrepreneur. How can you build confidence when you don't return phone calls within 24 hours? Also, dump those automatic messages because they are not people, do not build knowledge about you, & worst yet, create even further lack of confidence and distrust.
Thanks to: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS.

21. Old Fashion and Effective

I pick up the phone and talk to my clients, although it may be the old fashion, back-to-basics and Communications 101 approach, it really helps me in building solid business relationships. I find we get more accomplished in one call than several emails or text messages. Also, I keep any commitments I make, especially dead-lines. As the old saying goes “people do business with people they know, they like and they trust”.
Thanks to: Marla Harr of Business Etiquette International.

22. Listen and Hear

One of the best ways to build trust that I have found is to really listen to the client and show empathy to where they are. Then, if you can bring solutions, great!
Thanks to: Gwen Hawver of Vision Interface.

23. Don't Know it All

I find in life, as well in business, it is important to be an authority, but don't know it all! No one likes a know it all. There is no humility in knowing everything. Take the time to learn, be it from your peers or better yet, from your customers. In order to be more proactive, ask questions- and be interested in the responses!
Thanks to: Warren Bobrow of Cocktail Whisperer.

24. Twitter as an Educational Tool

We use Twitter as an outlet to educate people about our industry. Instead of constantly pushing out our product and self serving our company, we post articles and content pieces that are relevant and interesting to our readers. We do this by trying our best to follow the 50/50 rule. With this rule, 50% of the content is ours, and the other 50% is from other sources. We interact, retweet, respond, and engage with the Twitter community as an attempt to spark ideas and conversation.
Thanks to: Aria Solar of UrbanBound.

25. Consistent Long Term Success!

Consumers don’t find anything as compelling as a demonstrated track record of success across thousands of transactions. We’ve done more than 2,000 projects and 99% of the customers have been satisfied. Stats like that really help change consumer behavior.
Thanks to: Rob Biederman of HourlyNerd.

26. Be Accessible

The most frustrating thing for consumers today is the inability to be heard and taken into account. If you want your brand to shine and build consumer confidence, then always be accessible to them. Be available by phone and make your phone number easy to find with a live person to easily get to. Respond to every e-mail. Respond to questions on your social media sites. Bottom line, people feel more confident when they are heard and taken into account with excellent customer service!
Thanks to: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks.

27. Referrals and Refunds

I always offer the first consultancy meeting on a % basis and say if it does not work, don't pay me.

Once they are happy, before we close on the next contract, I ask for a personal referral.

Follow the link to see how many are posted on my linked in profile; this then feeds into the top of the funnel and around we go again.

After that is 18 hour days and deliver the best I can for the client.
Thanks to: Carl Barton of In4rn.

28. I'm Here!

My business is going live as an online-only presence in May. I have found that being "visible" builds trust and belief in my business. Changing SOMETHING (even if it's one little thing) every day lets the visitors and on-line shoppers know that you are "minding the store"!
Thanks to: Kathleen Anderson.

29. Transparency is Key

Vulnerability is the gateway to trust. Today, honest, transparent communication from companies, even when it involves admitting imperfection, engenders trust. Trust will be the most coveted competitive advantage of this era.
Thanks to: Lucas Donat of Tiny Rebellion.

30. One Thing...

Whether you provide a product or service, place your commitment behind it. If you sell a product, give and display your money back guarantee or 30 day refund, no questions asked policy. If you offer a service or services, then a similar, reasonable commitment is worthy. Customers take notice of these small items that show you stand behind your reputation, product and/or service and are willing to reimburse them for reasonable loss or lackluster service.
Thanks to: S. Capri Edwards of AGC Worldwide LLC.

31. The Customer is Always Right!

For building confidence and trust with your clients and customers...Remember...The customer is always right! (And add in some flattery and vanity and you'll have a customer for life!)
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M.Barrows Advertising.

32. Relationships Matter

Most businesses focus on selling first and don't consider their customers. Going for the hard sell works, but isn't always the best move to build long term relationships with your customers.

So, try focusing on the relationship first. Chances are that long term, each customer will spend more money with you.

Another way to look at this is to help first and sell second. That way, when a potential customer is ready, your brand will be top of mind.
Thanks to: Adam Connell of Digital Velocity.

33. Consistency of Improvement

Individuals search for the best when they seek advice or strategies. Therefore, stand out as the most informative and engaging option in your specific field and the customers will return. Top value is desirable, and remains such over many years.

Remaining in touch with your customers builds loyalty. The more that a person is exposed to a product or service, the more trust builds. Consistent, valuable email marketing and social media messaging are outlets that provide that desired result.
Thanks to: Michael Guberti of Teenager Entrepreneur.

34. A Hotbed of Credibility

We made our website a hotbed of credibility. We do work for the Armed Forces, so we put that right on our home page. We belong to a trade association, so we put the logo on our home page. We make the link to samples of our work prominent, and we even include samples in our banner. We put a positive check mark to inspire confidence (such things do work, psychologically). Our address and phone number are on the home page, too. Anybody visiting our website knows that we are the real deal.
Thanks to: Todd Steel of Paramount Roll & Forming.

35. A Little Rice Pilaf with That?

Every afternoon after the lunch rush died down in my dad’s small bbq restaurant in Santa Monica, he’d go into the kitchen and teach himself to cook a new dish, something special like rice pilaf. A small complimentary portion was given to every dinner customer. That, plus his personality, delicious food and generous servings, kept them coming back. Whether bbq, PR, editing, or your business, don’t over-promise, but do give more than they expect and they’ll keep coming back.
Thanks to: Flo Selfman of Words à la Mode.

36. Never Lose Customers Again

Want to gain referrals? Do you want to keep your current customers? Then, treat them with respect. When customers complain, LISTEN to them! Close your mouth, open your ears, and hear and listen to what they have to say. It’s not about you; it’s about your customers. Without customers, won’t have a business. It's that simple. The next time customers call out your business on social media or in an email, do not get defensive. Play offense and resolve problems immediately.
Thanks to: Amandah Blackwell of Savvy-Writer.

37. Say It. Mean It. Do It!

Want to build trust with your clients? Follow through on every commitment you make. Uphold the highest standards. Exceed every expectation. Performance is all that matters and all that will be remembered. So, no excuses. Say it. Mean it. Do it!
Thanks to: Susan Greene of Greene Marketing, LLC.

38. A Brand with Heart

What can we learn from oatmeal? Take a look at today’s Quaker Oats® package to see a heart designed into the front label along with the American Heart Association's certified logo at the side of the nutritional facts. It is proof that when used properly, a powerful endorsement from a trusted organization can be the difference in leading (vs. leaving) the market.

Just starting out? Connect with local organizations or media for endorsements and build on them. Take this trusted step forward.
Thanks to: Kelly Isley, Author of Adapt Now.

39. Transparency is Key for Trust

We are transparent as a company when it comes to our clients. Each client has the ability to see exactly what we’re doing for each of their projects and can choose to be very hands-on in the process or just check in for the results. This gives them confidence and ease when they work with us, because of transparency in how their marketing plan is executed.
Thanks to: Tom Bukevicius of Supero Media.

40. #1 Hot Winning Trust Strategy

Meeting someone is like a first date. The “up and through” strategy is a winner.

First is follow-up. Reconnect within 48 hours after first meeting with a call, email or postcard.

Next is follow through. Ongoing steady contact builds relationships. Offer valuable information, sage advice and hot insider tips to gain solid trust and confidence.

Follow the up and through model to quickly turn prospects into clients and raving fans.
Thanks to: Loren Fogelman of Expert Sports Performance.com.

41. Market Your Personality

The best tip I can offer for building consumer confidence in your business is to market yourselves on a personal level. This means video marketing to show who you are as a company, as well as in-person marketing showing your business has personal, communicative values.
Thanks to: Michelle Burke of REFINED Interior Design.

42. Secure Deals, Not Spiels

In my experience, the best way to build consumer confidence is to tell stories. Not rambling, off-topic stories, but your great company success stories. At the end of the day, it comes down to proving whether you've got what it takes to help your client succeed. You can throw sales pitches at them all day, but hard facts about what you've done in the past to help your existing clients is the best way to secure a deal.
Thanks to: Kenzi Lindamood of Stirista.

43. Install Live Chat on Your Site

Installing Live Chat on a website shows that there are real people behind a website. Having the feature also ensures that all consumer questions get answered, which leads to confidence and purchases.

Because of their Live Chat feature, I have complete confidence in a company called Mailchimp. I'm able to talk with knowledgeable people within 30 seconds and get my problems solved.

If a company is going to install Live Chat, make sure the implementation is not an automated chat service.
Thanks to: Brett Farmiloe of Markitors.

44. You Have to Give to Get

Consumers can tell when you have their best interest at heart and nothing builds trust like selflessness. External communications, including phone, emails, web pages, and ads should be full of valuable content. Starting is as simple as asking, “How can I help?” Don’t forget, the customer determines value, not you. Use tracking URLs to check how they interact with your message and adjust your strategy accordingly. By building a reputation for adding value, you gain trust and confidence.
Thanks to: Andrea Lotz of AllProWebTools.

45. Be Real. Be Personal

One thing we do is give everyone on the team freedom to respond to customers as quickly and in any manner they like. We reply to customer emails from our mobile phones from our personal email accounts in real time. We text our customers from our personal mobile phones. This gives clients faith in us that we are real people working hard to help them in real time. We think the personal touch has a huge impact on customers and helps them have more confidence in our business.
Thanks to: Will Hench of ThreadLab.

46. Complaints Made Easy

In building consumer confidence, make it really easy for your customers to complain! Make your brand one that is personable, friendly, and ready to communicate. Clearly list your phone number(s), offer a live chat option, and have a direct email available to your customers. Don't be so afraid of being communicated with! Everyone can read your online reviews, so build a brand that gets good reviews online, offers customers live support, and builds consumer trust!
Thanks to: Lori Kaye of Lion LinQ.

47. It's ALL About the Customer

The evolution to one on one retail, after being mostly wholesale, brought us back to the only thing that truly matters in business, the customer. We make it a personal goal to treat our customers like family. We make sure the people representing our brand feel the same way. We listen to them & treat them right. Really right. And then they bring their friends & family. They trust us enough to share their world & that is what gives us the kind of customers we not only need, but want.
Thanks to: Roberta Perry of Scrubz Natural Skin Care.

48. Your Customer, Your Friend

You look to help your friends, not pressure them. You tell your friends the truth. Creating customer loyalty and consumer confidence starts with these relationships. Friends ask for your input for a different perspective, ideas of the things they haven’t thought of. Provide expert answers to clients. Answer questions they have yet to think of, to set you apart from the competition. Take time and get to know your friend and client, identify their needs and then, provide your expert solutions.
Thanks to: Katie DeCicco of CelebrationSaunas.com, Inc.

49. Be a Service Superhero

Offer integrated customer service solutions to your customers, especially for e-commerce companies. Not every customer has the time to wait in a phone queue for help. When a customer can’t get the answers they need, this can hurt consumer confidence and trust. Here, we combine traditional call-in methods to a NYC based team, live online chat, email support, and social media access. Customers can reach us anytime on any platform and be appropriately directed. Being accessible is paramount.
Thanks to: Tony Ellison of Shoplet.com.

50. Don't Forget About Snail Mail!

A great way to build consumer confidence is to keep in touch with your sales prospects, current clients and past clients. This could include newsletters or ezines, birthday or anniversary cards, and “just checking in” emails and phone calls. Consider sending letters to everyone you have a mailing address for. Personal letters are so unusual nowadays that your letter will be opened. If you can touch base once a month, it will build trust, which will lead to consumer confidence.
Thanks to: Jill Celeste of Jill Celeste - Marketing Coach.

51. Be Familiar Prior to Meeting

Building confidence and trust first wins over the prospective client. Researching social media profiles and comprehending everything on the company website will put you on the right track.

The winning combination is to read company messaging on Twitter and the executive profiles on LinkedIn. These provide snippets of what holds most importance to the potential client. Communicating to the client's interests enlists consumer confidence, trust and steers you to the Smooth Sale!
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale.

52. Be a Customer-Centric Business

Your actions should always be in the best interest of the customer, even if that happiness doesn't always directly tie into the bottom line. Take extra time to do the job right and follow-up. Ask for input on new ideas and over-communicate any changes to ensure that customers are prepared. Ask questions, listen and learn from customers rather than dictating what they should want. Making customer satisfaction a conscious component of your business strategy will naturally create quality relationships.
Thanks to: Rob Bellenfant of TechnologyAdvice.

53. Make Promises You Can Keep

Relationship-centric companies like Nordstrom and Zappos are becoming the "new norm" when it comes to how customer service should be done. They are delivering the blueprint for other companies to follow. Regardless of whether you are engaging B2C or B2B, expectations need to be defined and they need to be realistic or you risk losing them as customers. Issues are bound to arise, so make sure to proactively communicate with your customers to provide multiple options to reach a timely resolution.
Thanks to: Andrea Mocherman of Gravit8 Marketing.

54. Your Customers Deserve Respect

Taking your customer for granted can have dire consequences to closing a deal, I've found. We've all been to the auto mechanic with an attitude problem who makes you feel like a stupid person for asking questions. When I am in front of a client, I speak to them in a clear and friendly manner, and make it a point to never talk down to them; I never crack jokes at their expense. You are not on a date. This is business.
Thanks to: Kevin Moses of That Truck Needs A Mudflap.

55. Put Your $ Where Your Mouth is

If you want customers to be confident in you, you need to display confidence in yourself - - BUT in a way that is meaningful to your potential client. Money back guarantees, try before you buy, pay only if successful - - all of these methods demonstrate your confidence in what you're offering. Testimonials help too!
Thanks to: Elene Cafasso of Enerpace Executive Coaching.

56. Say "YES" to Earn Confidence

Say YES! If you want to build consumer confidence, give your business a positive makeover. Remove signs posted (especially near the door) that have negative messages: "No Restrooms." "No Personal Checks." "No Soliciting."
Greet customers with a smile and answer phone calls with joy in your voice. Make me feel like you enjoy having me as a customer. When your customers ask a question, answer with a "Yes, we can do that!" style of an answer and then do it. You will earn their trust.
Thanks to: Judy Crockett of Interactive Mktg & Communication.

57. Honesty is the Foundation

We've been in eCommerce for over ten years and Consumer Confidence is the reason for our long-term success. To begin with, you must be a principal based company with honesty as the foundation of the business.

Our managing values are Honesty, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Safety. Over the years these values have helped us establish a loyal customer base. The same principals apply to both our individual consumers and business clients.
Thanks to: Bob Shirilla of Custom Bags.

58. Building Consumer Trust

1. Make sure you get as many positive online reviews as possible. People often tell me they found us online and read our reviews.

2. Educate the consumer. Once we have a new potential client, our focus is on listening to their needs and educating them on that topic through face to face meetings and documents we have created

3. Under promise, over deliver. We show up on time, we follow up with information we promised and we do what we say we will do, so the client learns to count on us.
Thanks to: Adam Kruse of Hermann London Realtors.

59. Testimonials and Referrals

One of the best ways to build consumer confidence is posted testimonials from branded clients. Having a 3M or a P&G post a positive comment about your B2B skill set, delivery times or product quality goes a long way. These testimonials also serve as a strong referral and improve buyer’s comfort levels. Use testimonial in collateral pieces, website pages and social media posts. This technique works for both B2B and B2C. Testimonials provided creditability, trust and confidence!
Thanks to: Ed McMasters of Flottman Company.

60. Friendly User Trials

In the beginning, there is “Friendly user trials” which are how I believe customer/business relationships are created. After there is one successful purchase, they must return for a second time to call them a winning customer, and the corresponding confidence is formed.

Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes is how you will be sure to glisten. Trust them so they can trust you back. Listen to what they are presenting to you from their point of view.
Thanks to: Steve Avrus of Avrus Mortgage Services.

61. What Do Your Customers Expect

Consumers today are most specifically concerned about value and trust, and want to ensure that they are treated right from the moment that they are serviced.

C = Concern yourself they are assets not liabilities
U = Uncover needs
S = Set expectations
T = Treat all equally
O = Outcomes are expected
M = Make acquiring and retaining a priority
E = Employees must be engaging
R = Remember to solicit feedback
Thanks to: Drew Stevens of Stevens Consulting Group.

62. Simplifying Purchase Process

My biggest tip for creating consumer confidence is to reduce the number of decisions that are required in order to make a purchase. This includes reducing unnecessary content elements, providing thoughtful categorization and product recommendations, and limiting the number of pages it takes to complete an order. Ultimately, decision simplification reduces the number of opportunities for consumer objections within the order flow.
Thanks to: Rob Long of EyeBuyDirect.com.

63. The Platform Model

In one word, the solution is to build a platform. This could be a podcast, YouTube channel, a blog, or a newsletter. The platform itself doesn't matter. What matters is showing up and being on point/topic for the duration, which might be a six month period or four years-whatever. The value of a platform is over time, you build deep trust and become an expert in the eyes of your readers as they get to know your "voice" through multiple interactions. Then, you don't chase clients, they come to you.
Thanks to: Jeff Green of Green Thoughts Consulting, LLC.

64. Eliminate Hourly Pricing

Eliminate hourly pricing and give clients a fixed-price scope of work.
Hourly pricing is a backwards business model when you think about it, because the worse a business performs, the more changes a customer will need, thus causing more billable hours. Not exactly a confidence booster for a customer. If you are good at what you do, you should already know the final price of a project including budgeting room for changes, so why not be upfront from the start?
Thanks to: Chris Post of Post Modern Marketing.

65. Best Way = Be a Teacher

The best way to build consumer confidence is to be a teacher. Provide free resources and insights that help consumers become more educated before asking them to buy. Generosity builds trust and loyalty.
Thanks to: Karin Hurt of Let's Grow Leaders.

66. Always Do a Great Job

The single best way to build customer confidence is to do great work. Over the top is even better. Customers notice. Customers talk. Nothing else does you any good if you don't get this right.
Thanks to: Barney Cohen of Business 360 Northwest.

67. All Day, Every Day

Be consistent and present in delivering your product or service. Trust and confidence is built up over time with multiple interactions. This happens before people buy from you and after they buy from you. These interactions come in various forms, such as website content, emails, social network engagements, online chats, phone conversations, etc. where being responsive in a timely manner, being authentic, and delivering on what you say are huge in building confidence and trust with clients.
Thanks to: John Bodrozic of HomeZada.

68. Video Testimonials

Ask for video testimonials from your clients and post them on every page of your website. Then, include links to those testimonials on the bottom of your initial email letter to your prospective clients. Someone else tooting your horn inspires trust more than you tooting your own horn.
Thanks to: Randy Peyser of Author One Stop, Inc.

69. Don't Sell, Educate

According to The Alternative Board's 2014 B2B sales survey, over half of B2B customers believe the information they receive from vendors is too sales-oriented. In order to win customers, it's better to provide them with the information they need upfront than recite stale sales pitches. By addressing your customers' questions and concerns, you create a relationship based on trust.
Thanks to: David Scarola of The Alternative Board.

70. Don’t Tell, Show

People believe what they see, not what they hear. Always have your presentation, proposals, and prices in writing for the buyer so they can see it with their own eyes. I want you to make this a rule that you sell by: Assume that your buyer, no matter how well you know the person, never believes your words and will only believe that which you can show him. People want to believe you, but you have to help them.
Thanks to: Grant Cardone of Cardone Training Technologies, Inc.

71. It's About Likability-Stupid

Hands-down, it's PERSONAL LIKABILITY. It's second in importance to a quality product and service. In fact, it's often the factor that provides you a second chance, when you've under delivered to a client.

How to build your LIKABILITY? 1) Develop Humility 2) Recognize being right is not always a winning strategy 3) Be the person you'd like to do business with 4) Find something genuinely likable about your client and let them know 5) Find the joy in the relationship 6) Deliver your commitments.
Thanks to: Dr. Vanessa Weaver of Alignment Strategies, LLC.

72. Google Reviews

Online shoppers look to reviews of a business to ensure that they are ordering from a reputable retailer. As such, it is important for online stores to have platforms available for their customers to share their experiences about the company they purchase from. It's one thing for a business to say they have amazing customer service, or what have you, but when a business's customers share experience of the service they received, it is a great sign to future customers that the retailer is reputable.
Thanks to: Nima Noori of TorontoVaporizer.

73. Always Be on Time!

We show up with a clean, fully stocked limousine a few minutes prior to the booking time established by our clients. We always get compliments on the fact that we are never late and that the limos are always clean and ready for the event. Punctuality is one of our key successes in the limo industry; it builds trust and confidence with new and established clientele.
Thanks to: Mike Reifeiss of Aall In Limo & Party Bus.

74. Fully Living Your Brand

Live your brand. When customers see you consistently BE who you say you are - you won't have to sell a thing! Think about Disney - they are about magic and you feel it the second you're on their grounds. I live Engage, Collaborate, Lead. It's not a gimmick and my clients feel it from our first interaction. Whatever you stand for, why you exist, or how you do what you do must come through. Have a brand and live your brand.
Thanks to: Denise Barreto of Relationships Matter Now.

75. Connecting with Clients

After 30 years of being in business, I’ve learned that regardless of whether you’re in the service or product industry, you’re in the marketing business and you must understand your clients and their interests. We call all of our clients every three months, hold portfolio reviews a minimum of once every 18 months and have specialists handling service. We are HIGH TOUCH, meaning we go beyond the business and relate personally by holding special events, birthday lunches, etc.
Thanks to: Rey Cruz of Cruz Investments, Wealth Management.

76. Valuing Customers Every Day

Consistent excellence. Deliver the best you can, every time, to your customers. If there is a time when you can’t give your best, do what you can to make it up to your customers. Any company can say that the customer is valued, but the best companies show that the customer is valued.
Thanks to: Dan Mulka of Raging Waves.

77. Customer Responsiveness

Respond to every single post and comment from your social media followers! Retweet and reply to your Twitter fans’ tweets about your company and also ‘like’ and respond to your Facebook fans’ comments on your page. Having a conversation will help you engage with your fans on a personal, 1:1 level that will build and maintain a high level of trust in your company. Also, write handwritten notes to thank your customers for their purchases! They will appreciate and remember the nice gesture.
Thanks to: Mike Locker of Cozy Cover.

78. Be Commercially Authentic

While companies remain legal fictions/entities, social media channels have created a need for corporations to be transparent. If they want to be where the consumers are, then the companies need to be conscious of the content the people seek. This will strategically build customer confidence and trust, as these companies show the faces behind the brands and/or utilize proficient brand ambassadors to properly represent the legal fictions/entities.
Thanks to: Vickens Moscova of Moscova Enterprises, INC.

79. Be Your Own Believer

Believe in your brand and the products/services offered and instill your staff with this confidence. This assurance will filter down through their interactions with your customers. If the person you work with from an organization has genuine trust in the Company they are representing, you will too.
Thanks to: Michelle Geib of Experience Days.

80. Success Stories and Students

We believe one of the best ways to build confidence with our customers is to spotlight our success stories. As we teach code immersion programs, we feel our graduates are our success stories, and we let them evangelize for us. In addition to that, when we’re in the process of interviewing new students for our program, our cofounders set aside 5 hours a week to speak with these potential students. This way, our customers get a true feel for what our company stands for.
Thanks to: Ray Howard of Tech Talent South.

81. Transparency Builds Trust

We bootstrapped our agency while in college, so we had no choice but to build trust! We operate on a full transparency policy. Our team (interns to directors) has full access to the company's information. That policy has been extended to our clients and we've been able to build their trust as a result. Clients can access all things related to the relationship (progress on projects, admin documents, and even internal meeting notes). This increased transparency built trust and helped us grow.
Thanks to: Jacques Bastien of boogie.

82. Who Are You?

Be yourself. If you're genuine, honest and stay true to yourself, it's a piece of cake. People buy from who they like. If they like you, chances are they’ll trust you. No one wants to be sold or convinced. Talk like you'd normally talk and empathize like you would with a friend. Naturally, if they trust you, they are more likely to reveal just what they are looking for so you can provide a solution! Game over.
Thanks to: Megan Dixon of Rescue Me.

Do you have a tip for helping businesses build up consumer trust and confidence? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

And if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth
  • Thanks, Carol & Tracey, for the opportunity to share (& learn!) awesome business advice.

  • JillCeleste

    Thank you so much for including me in this article! I am humbled to be included with such great experts and advisers. =)

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