Perhaps we get advice from them and even believe them unconditionally.
Think about it.
Have you ever asked a trusted friend for a doctor referral?
How about checking with co-workers or neighbors for their pick of a lawn care service?
If you have done any of these things, then you have listened to someone in an authority position in your life.
And understanding how and why people respond to influence and authority positions is one of the “unsung” keys to growing your business.
We All Look For Trusted Advisors
Let’s face it.
It’s a human condition to look to others to validate our decisions.
Many times marketing includes various types of influencers because they have an sway in our lives and we take their advice and experiences in forming our own judgements about our buying decisions.
3 Types of Influencers
One type of influencer is an authority figure, such as doctors, firefighters, nurses, or teacher.
There is something about a person in “uniform” whether that’s a doctor’s white coat, or a mechanic with their name on their shirt.
We rely on their expertise to make sure we are doing, getting, buying the right thing.
This type of authority and influence is called “positional authority” which simply means that we trust the position the uniform represents, even if we don’t know the actual person.
Next, Americans are drawn to celebrities in our decision making.
We love and trust legendary movie stars, TV doctors, TV judges, philanthropists and educators.
Look at the overwhelming success of marketing that includes the latest adored celebrities.
Just as quickly, celebrities can fall out of favor-witness the rise and fall of visibility of Tiger Woods in the world of endorsements.
But finally, and more importantly, we put more trust and faith in people we know personally as compared to famous personalities.
They influencers are known as trusted advisors.
And yet, many businesses miss the boat by failing to ask for referrals from their happy customers.
Include Influencers in Your Marketing
If you really want to experience increased sales and customer loyalty, make sure you recognize the role that influencers and authority figures in promoting your brand and products.
So you are probably wondering how to do that…
Here are three tips for building trust with your potential clients and customers faster in the online world through the use of influencers:
Tip #1: Engage Authorities
There is always someone in an online discussion or forum community who is the considered the expert or “guru” in their field.
Think of ways to build positive relationships with them.
- Are you participating on their forums?
- Are you commenting on their posts?
Now we aren’t suggesting anything phony in these connections.
Build an online connection by being sincere and truthful in a non-salesy way!
You can inform them about what you offer to clients, but starting with the hard sell is going to back-fire.
- Use the use the right tone of voice in your contributions.
Provide ways for the authority to showcase their particular skill or expertise in a way that helps build their following as well.
Write relevant and appreciative comments and be nice to them!
It’ll definitely pay off!
Tip #2: Show How They Benefit From Your Product or Service
We all are listening to WII-FM radio.
What’s-In-It-For-Me? = WII-FM
Influencers are no different.
Sure you want them to help promote your products or service.
But have you stopped to think: “What’s in it for them?”
Let them know how working with you will benefit their own interest.
- Are there ways you can help them meet their goals?
- Are there things you can offer that compliments their own authority?
Find ways to help to benefit both your organization and their influential position.
Trust follows the authority!
If you want to be trusted by the market the authority reaches, start by being trusted by the authority.
Tip #3: Be Helpful, Be Nice!
It shouldn’t be a mystery, that people don’t trust jerks.
Why is that?
Because we don’t trust people we don’t like.
(Remember that business standby: People must know, like, and trust you before they will buy from you.)
Referrals are often an untapped source of increased leads for most businesses.
And gaining trust for referrals all starts by being caring and considerate to people who are viewed by others as a trusted advisor.
It shouldn’t be a mystery.
We only recommend businesses and service providers who have been generous and courteous to US.
Get these types of influencers to know you, your company and the philosophy behind what you do.
Building relationship with influencers is all about building trust.
So before you start saying “Buy my stuff” “Buy my stuff” ask them how YOU can be of service to THEM.
And then help them!
It may seem like a revolutionary concept in today’s world, but to build trust faster, be worthy of trust.
Yes, it’s that simple.
I’ll say it again…
To build trust and influence faster, be trust-worthy.
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Lucy M. Morgan, CPA, MBA