The Right Ways to Build Trust with Your Prospect

Computer with a paper heart and coffee - happy business concept

“Trust is the most important part of a relationship, closely followed by communication. I think that if you have those two things, everything else falls into place — your affection, your emotional connection.” — Vanessa Lachey

Let’s say you’ve decided to trade in that old clunker and purchase a new, late-model used car. You go to a well-respected dealership and a salesperson approaches you. They start singing the praises of the car you were thinking of buying. It sounds perfect — just what you’re looking for — and you’re ready to buy it on the spot… when suddenly the salesperson says the magic words: “Trust me.”

Those two simple words — or variations of them, like “You can believe me when I say” — immediately put a person on the defensive and warn that something’s wrong.

Personally, the first thing that pops into my mind when a salesperson tells me to trust them is, “Why should I trust you?” It reminds me of Missouri, known as the “Show-Me State,” which was supposedly tagged with that label by U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver during an 1899 speech in Philadelphia. He said: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs… frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

So, let’s explore some ways to do just that. Here are five specific, easy-to-implement strategies for establishing your credibility and building that all-important relationship with your prospect…

1) Avoid hype — Hype might work in late-night TV infomercials, but it usually doesn’t work in print or online advertisements — maybe especially online since everyone expects to be swindled. On TV, an animated spokesperson can yell things like “It’s The World’s Greatest Hair Restorer!” and get away with it because they’re visually distracting the viewer at the same time.

But this type of language does nothing to make your reading prospect believe you. When they read words like these, they feel they’re being sold to. You become just another salesperson in their eyes. Their sales resistance rises and suddenly you have lost any chance of establishing a personal, trusting relationship.

By the way… one more thing about using hype in copy: It’s a dead giveaway that you’re a new copywriter who hasn’t done enough research to be able to impart good content in a calm, authoritative tone.

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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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