When I was a kid "trust" was assumed and it was up to the person to screw it up. Walter Cronkite ended his evening newscasts with "And that's the way it is" and politicians could be trusted to do what they said (mostly). Now, trust is at an all-time low with polarized social media posts, obviously lying politicians and "fake news". As business owners and marketers, it gets even worse because according to Marketingcharts.com, "To further illustrate the low level of trust people have in advertising, the survey of more than 36,000 respondents from 28 countries reveals that one-fifth (21%) of respondents say they will never believe the information in advertising is true if it’s the only place they see it. Moreover, most respondents (41%) need to see the information in advertising repeated at least once or twice beforethey believe it."
So what does that mean for you?
Building trust is easiest when it is done in a "high touch" environment - a phone call, face-to-face, or a personalized message. Now you might be thinking - "That's kind of a weird thing to say coming from a guy who swears by automation." and you would have a valid point.
Every touch you have with a prospect or client either "adds" or "reduces" trust. For example:
Most automation is VERY poorly executed. Imagine having a call with a salesperson and less than a minute after the call ends your email inbox pings and there is a 400+ word email that begins with "Hello Richard, I really enjoyed speaking with you today and blah blah blah..." Obviously, they didn't write that up and it's 100% automated. How does it make you feel? Does this interaction add or reduce trust? Obviously, it reduces it.
So is automation bad? If you use it incorrectly, yes.
Instead, think about how you can use automation to add trust.
First, in the example I gave above, you could make 2 simple changes that would add trust instead of reducing it by "humanizing" your email. The obvious one is to use a timer to add a delay before you send it. 30 minutes would be sufficient. Then, you want to be able to easily add a nugget or two that would get added to your email template and inserted into the copy. For example, you could easily customize the opening line to "Hey Rich! It was a pleasure chatting
with you on Zoom. I was convinced that the faux brick background you are using was the real thing!"
You could also "humanize" outgoing calls by messaging a prospect or client by sending a self-customizing text message BEFORE you call. At the click of a button, you could send "Hey Melody! This is Rich. I'll be calling you from RailGun Marketing in the next few minutes" No more wondering if you're being called by a robodialer or some phone-spammer and, and because I gave you a warning before the call, you have the opportunity to say that you're busy and could you call later or perhaps even tell me that you've decided to "go a different direction" so I don't have to waste time calling.
But let's assume you want to talk to me. The phone call goes well and you mention that you are going away for the weekend to visit your grandkids and not to call back until Tuesday. I could send an automated text message on Tuesday morning that says something like "I hope you had a great time visiting the grandkids this weekend! Are you available for a call Thursday at 10:00 am?" Does that text message build trust? You're darn right it does.
Engaging with your prospects and clients is critical and it has to be done correctly. Everything you do should be evaluated from the position of "does this build or reduce trust". Because only after you ask that question should you be looking for ways to automate.
Get this right and you will stand out in a world where trust is at an all-time low. It is a surefire way to grow your business.
If you need help with this or if you could use a hand figuring out how to properly add in automation, give us a call and let's chat.