The people who visit your website and who even become customers are not a once-and-done deal. It is the start of a relationship where you are earning the trust of your audience. Let’s explore what is a Trusted Advisor, and how this model can help you build great relationships with your audience.
Getting to know your visitors as human beings instead of as just numbers and statistics, and earning their trust can greatly boost your conversion rate!
In the world of Internet Marketing it is too easy to lose sight of the human on the other end. Their desires, hopes and ambitions and their life story. We become too caught up in a faceless world of pixels, clicks, numbers, charts, graphs and statistics. We just call it “traffic” and say “It’s a numbers game – the more, the better!”.
True in that quantity is good. People are coming in the doors. But how are they going to trust you out of the countless other places they’ve been to online?
People are looking for information and solutions, you may have the answers. But they are not just going to just accept it from anyone. Let alone buy anything from them!
Becoming a Trusted Advisor
In business development there is a neat little term called “Trusted Advisor”. It not some new fad that is trendy today and gone tomorrow. Being a trusted advisor is basically the process of getting to know the visitors who come to your, and earning their respect. It is about becoming a resource others can turn to for sound advice before making major decisions.
Traits of a Trusted Advisor
These are people who know a particular niche inside and out. They have dealt with many challenges and can offer solid advice on the matter rather than speculate or make guesses.
Not A “Guru”
You’ll find a person who knows that hindsight is 20-20 and is always learning new things going forward. A trusted advisor will never claim to be the “guru” who knows all of the answers. There situations where your situation presents an opportunity for both of you work on it and learn together.
Relationship over Transactions
A trusted advisor is more concerned about nurturing a long term business relationship with you as a person than they are about transactions with you as a customer. When you message, email or call them they will get back to you right away.
Delivers more than they promise
A trusted advisor will go the extra mile to ensure that you receive what you want. They may throw in some “extras” as a gesture that they value the business relationship. They may offer guidance on how you can achieve your desired outcome more efficiently and at a savings of cost or effort.
Earns your respect
These people will work hard to earn your respect. They know that trust is a privilege that must be earned. As a result, they seldom need to “advertise” as they have built a great reputation through their actions. They become a trusted authority and people will come to them by word of mouth!
Is a Listener
In a world of talkers, we often forget that we have two ears but only one mouth. A trusted advisor makes a point to be a good listener and hear your side of the story. Lending someone your ears for awhile and letting them speak is a great way to better understand your customers, and earn their trust.
These people stay a step ahead of the game. They do not wait for a crisis and then react to it. Trusted advisors will act proactively. They’ll think ahead and consider the possible outcomes down the road and offer suggestions on how to prepare for it. They are continually training and keeping abreast of current and emerging trends.
They are down to Earth and true to themselves. No ego, no pretentiousness, no dress and rehearsal, no sugar-coating. Your audience will see you as genuine and reliable and as some who knows what they are talking about. People will naturally be attracted to you if be yourself!
A trusted advisor has a deep sense of empathy with the people he/she deals with. They don’t “feel for” the other person, but are capable of placing themselves in their shoes and “feeling with” them. A person who can be empathetic will more quickly establish rapport and earn trust.
Some Dos and Don’ts
- Build rapport
- Be authentic and sincere
- Be a listener
- Be appreciative
- Follow up
- Keep promises
- Deliver more than you promise
- Respond promptly to comments, questions
- Promptly reply to messages, emails and return phone calls
- Do your homework
You Better Not:
- Be the “pushy salesman”
- Be a “show off”
- Judge others
- Be all talk and no action
- Be impersonal or rude
- Jump to conclusions
- Be inflexible or closed to other ideas
- Play the game of Matching Wits
- Make promises you can not keep
I hope this article has given you a better idea of what is a “Trusted Advisor” and how to gain the trust of your audience. For further reading, I highly recommend a seminal book on the subject: “The Trusted Advisor” by authors David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford.
What it all comes to is the Golden Rule – Treat others as you would like them to treat you! Be that person who can be counted on and trusted. As always, your thoughts, questions and comments are welcome below!