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Build Trust And Watch Your Online Sales Soar!

By Larry Lim - MarketingSphere

Trust is essential for business transactions to take place both in the physical and internet world. It's one of the key factors in determining your sales success. Building trust is especially vital in internet sales.

However, overcoming a lack of trust is also one of the biggest impediments to online sales success. And this has been true since the time people started doing business with each other.

Nowadays, it's really simple to get on the internet, build a website for a few hundred dollars and start selling whatever you've to offer. But to make profits and be really successful is another ballgame altogether. You really need to get people to trust you -- you must be seen as credible and trustworthy.

Trust is closely associated with credibility. And establishing credibility is a great challenge by itself. This challenge is even more daunting for internet business owners because of the lack of face-to-face interactions. Prospective customers often operate on a level of paranoia and distrust because of bad experiences with scammers over the internet.

Simply put, in order to boost internet sales, it's imperative that you establish your credibility in order for people to trust you, otherwise, they'll not do business with you.

There're a myriad of ways to establish your credibility and build trust. The following are some of the major ways:

1. Branding -- Name Recognition and Reputation

One of the most powerful ways to establish your credibility and build trust is to build a strong brand.

This can be achieved by having a clear and well defined brand strategy which serves as one of your pillars of sustainable competitive advantage. For this to be effective, your brand must be unique and motivating to your customers.

Big name players such as Amazon.com and Cars.com will be perceived as more credible because of their established brand. This is further enhanced by the customers' previous successful dealings with these companies. These big name players will have a definite advantage over relative unknowns, but it doesn't mean that smaller or unknown sites can't be high in credibility ranking vis-a-vis the big boys who've big marketing budget -- what's needed is earned credibility through own merits.

2. Customer Service

A superior customer service will go a long way to establishing your credibility and building trust. Customer service can literally make or break you. This is so because your entire business, marketing, sales and profits depend on your customers. You're in business to generate profits by selling your products and servcies to people who need and want to buy. Customers want to know how you can make their lives better or easier and/or how you can relieve them of their pain.

It follows that whatever you do must be carefully designed to meet and satisfy the needs of your customers as it's the foundation for a growing and profitable business. The decision you make must be based on the situation, what the customers want and how it affects your business. Treat every service situation as unique. Interact with each customer as an individual and treat him/her that way he or she wants to be treated.

Great marketing acquires new customers for you, but great customer service establishes your credibility and build trust and ensures that the customers keep coming back to you as people tend to do business with people who're credibible and can be trusted.

3. Website Design

Web navigation behavior is typically rapidly interactive. Users spend only a minimal amonunt of time on each webpage at any given time. Providing quality information alone is not enough -- you first need to have a professional looking website. When designing a website, web designers need to take into account how the look of it will impact upon the visitors -- does it look professional and therefore perceived as credible?

Your website design must be able to impress, hook the visitors and compel them to spend more time at your site.

Judgement on your credibility will be passed based on the look of your website at the very first impression.

4. Usability

In addition to a well designed and professional looking website, your site's usability is also key to establishing your credibility and thereby building trust with your visitors.

Website usability is different from website design. Usability has to do with the ease of navigating your site. It's about how information is organized.

This is especially vital to an e-commerce site. If your visitors can't find the products you're offering, how do you expect them to place the order?

Clear information structure demonstrates your expertise and therefore increases credibility.

5. Information Quality and Objectivity

The nature of the internet is flexible and interactive. This enables more and more consumers to use it as a source to gather information on a myriad of subjects imaginable, from finding the best deals to finding solutions to their problems.

However, the problem is that much of the information available on the internet is not impartial. Some websites only present one perspective, and only products and/or services of certain companies. The nature of the online world where there's a lack of face-to-face interactions and those cues and clues of the offline business world, makes judgement on the credibility of websites difficult.

As such, in order to establish credibility and build trust, you must ensure that the information you present is objective and transparent.

Details such as the sources of information you provide, and the credentials of the people responsible, should be clearly displayed and verifiable. For example, information sources from reputable organizations such as BBC News or Forbes is unlikely to be maliciously false and are likely to be trusted.

Final Thoughts

As an online business owner, crediblity and trust is everything. You absolutely must establish your credibility and build trust, regardless of the products and/or services you're offering, if you were to boost your sales and succeed in your internet business.

Although web abuses such as scams and frauds is making people to distrust one another, by employing what I've delineated above, this problem can be easily overcomed.

Gaining trust requires that you establish your credibility. Once you're able to establish your credibility and build trust, you'll rise head and shoulders above your competition and watch your sales soar without having to justify everthing you present.

About the Author

Copyright 2005 by Larry Lim, MarketingSphere.com

Larry Lim is a marketing strategist and tactician who dishes out highly effective marketing strategies and tactics that will enable you to successfully start and grow your business on the Internet.

Check out his Internet Marketing Strategy website that is jam-packed with internet marketing secrets and softwares that will skyrocket your sales, and shoot your profits through the roof.

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