How to Quickly Build Trust with New Prospects

A new study says trust in American brands is eroding. Here’s what you can do to stand out.

Source: sorbetto / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty

The Edelman Trust Survey says consumers’ trust in brands is eroding faster than ever before. Yet in today’s environment, trust is essential. Companies are making headlines with data breaches, privacy issues, and other topics. One way to stand out from your competition—and stand behind your business practices—is by prioritizing building trust. Here are strategies you can use to assure sales prospects that you deserve their trust and their business.

Be transparent with how you handle data: Data privacy is a hot-button issue today for both consumers and companies. Companies can establish themselves as trustworthy vendors by being clear about their data policies. What information do you collect or retain? How do you use those data? How do you protect them? Outline your data strategy and the tools you use to keep information safe. Make it easy to find this information, especially when prospects are evaluating your company or customers have questions.

Use testimonials and social proof: Help build trust with prospects by highlighting why other customers believe in your brand. Testimonials can help take a deep dive into how your brand helps customers and that you deliver on your promises. Social proof—which shares your followings on social media—reinforces that you’re an active brand with real-time customer interactions people can trust. Making it easy to track down customer references is more likely to entice potential customers to buy from you.

Showcase trust buttons: Are you part of any organizations that are designed to help make you more effective in business? Whether you’re a member of the Better Business Bureau or use high-end tools to protect digital information, those organizations often provide badges to show your association. Highlight those on your website, marketing material, and other digital channels to let customers know your business practices.

Choose customer-friendly return policies: Another way to immediately build trust is to eliminate the risk associated with a purchase. Customer-friendly shipping and return policies and money-back guarantees can help build confidence that you stand behind your products and services.

Making an effort to reinforce customer trust pays dividends to your business. From showcasing happy customers to being clear about your stance on customer privacy, just a few small steps can make all the difference when signing the deal. Schedule time on an annual basis to assess how you’re performing, and take steps to further fortify your trust-building plan.