Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018! 

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” he said. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

Why Direct Mail Postcards are Worth Every Penny

Although postcards are one of today’s beloved print pieces, they had a humble beginning.

The earliest postcard dates back to 1840 when an English man named Theodore Hook sent one to himself. By 1861, the US Congress allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent through the mail. That year, John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard, and by 1901 postcards were a regular part of mailed communication.

Generate Huge Exposure with Just One Mailing

Fast forward a century. 

Postcards are now an essential marketing option for many businesses, and with good reason. These versatile tools represent a huge opportunity for companies that do it right.

And the results are compelling. One real estate agent makes $5,000 to $20,000 in commissions every time she runs a direct mail campaign. A Texas dentist added six figures in new revenue thanks to one mailing. And a financial services firm spent a few thousand dollars to net dozens of new clients with an average value of $1,500 each.

Why are postcards so effective?

According to UnitedMail, 79 percent of people act on direct mail immediately (while only 45 percent do so for email). More than two-thirds of consumers open all of their mail, even easily recognizable junk. And this is especially true for young people! According to the U.S. Postal Service, 36 percent of people under age 30 look forward to checking their mail, and 37 percent of the coveted 25- to 35-year-old demographic immediately read their mail.

Since postcards are so visually accessible, they are read frequently and generate huge exposure. When businesses target specific audiences and link to tailored landing pages on their website, they can spark considerable revenue with just one mailing.

Postcards generate fast results, and they work for any business. As long as you have a clear marketing strategy and great graphic design, postcards will work for you!

4 Keys for Designs that Deliver

When you are ready to launch your direct mail postcard, here are four keys for generating compelling, actionable designs:

1. Design with Your Audience in Mind

If there’s one mistake common to most marketers, it is this: assuming your audience knows the terminology of your industry.

Whether you’re a financial advisor or a chiropractor, frame your ideas in words that would make sense to anyone. 

2. Paint a Picture of the Problem You Can Solve

People won’t read every word you share, so don’t bury the lead.

Immediately communicate the problem your business can fix. Center your writing around how your product can make people’s lives easier or better.

3. Use Simple, Crisp Graphics

The image on your postcard should be instantly recognizable.

While it may be fun to try something clever, this often confuses the audience. Since you have mere seconds to communicate an idea, your image should reinforce the concept in a strong, obvious way.

4. Add Bulleted Lists and Distinct Next Steps

Readers won’t engage with longer text, so shoot for punchy subheadings or bulleted items that clarify value.

People want more than just a phone number or a web link. Be specific with CTAs like, “subscribe to ___ for ______” or “call today for your free consultation!” 

Let Our Team Mail for You

Ready to expand your reach with a focused direct mail campaign?

Save on stress and expense by consolidating your creative processes. Our full-service design specialists can provide the artwork, the printing, and even the mailing services. To get a quote, visit our website today! 

Snag Younger Customers: How to Build Connections with Generation Z

With the oldest of Generation Z graduating and entering the workforce, it’s time to set your sights on this powerful consumer demographic.

Who are these Gen Z individuals, and what is the most effective way to reach them? While many media companies have written them off as “screen addicts,” Gen Z is actually very nimble, engaged, and unique.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • As of 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers.
  • Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote.
  • Generation Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. 52% are non-Hispanic white, 25% are Hispanic, 14% are black, 6% are Asian.
  • Gen Z logs on to social media for roughly two hours and 55 minutes each day. This is almost an hour longer than the average millennial.

Want to engage younger prospects? Here are five tips to consider:

1. Diverse images are extremely impactful

Gen Z has a natural awareness of how diversity is depicted (or overlooked) in your media.

Whether it’s custom photography or variety in your testimonials, it will seem strange (or even offensive) if your media is too homogenized.

2. Gen Z loves a good deal

Estimated at having $4 billion in discretionary spending, the buying power of Gen Z is significant.

But having grown up during the 2008 recession, Gen Z has an innate appreciation for a bargain. Gen Z will hunt for value in two ways: buying from inexpensive brands or purchasing expensive items with durability guarantees. Generous warranties and engaging in-store experiences are also a way to offer them more bang for their buck.

3. Gen Z was born social

Over 91% of Gen Z kids have a digital footprint, and Gen Z spends more time on mobile devices than Millennials.

Gen’s Z’s favorite sites are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Because they are so visual, whenever possible you should “show,” not just “tell.” Image-based advertising and short-videos are especially effective!

4. Real is best

Gen Z people seek uniqueness in all walks of life, and particularly through the brands they buy from.

Gen Z-ers prefer brands that are authentic: 82% said they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising, and 72% said they’re more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes. Product quality, positive reviews, and customer service are the top three characteristics that fortify their trust in a brand.

5. Give them a voice or a role

Given how socially aware this generation is, remember Gen Z-ers love opportunities to contribute, create, lead, and learn.

Whether you allow them to personalize your product or you prioritize ethical marketing (like partnering with nonprofits or standing for a cause), Gen Z appreciates buying from brands that give them a role in the journey.

Help Them Live in Person

Finally, remember that Gen Z longs to engage, and this doesn’t have to be online. 

A new A.T. Kearney study reports that 81% of Gen Z respondents prefer to purchase in stores, 73% like to discover new products in stores, and 58% browse in-store selections to disconnect from social media and live in the moment.

From gorgeous window banners to sharp point-of-purchase displays, sensory impact plays a principal role in creating the right mood for an impulse purchase.

Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

Have you exited a bathroom without realizing there was toilet paper on your shoe?

Or awkwardly tried to make conversation with someone who had food on their face? Whether someone is clumsy in conversation or they have really bad breath, a lack of self-awareness can profoundly hinder their reputation or influence.

Success Starts in Relationships

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self: including traits, behaviors, appearance, and feelings. Researchers find two areas of self-awareness to be especially important in leadership:

Internal self-awareness: This represents how clearly you see your values, passions, aspirations, fit with your environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.

Internal self-awareness is associated with higher job and relationship satisfaction, personal and social control, and happiness. It is negatively related to anxiety, stress, and depression.

External self-awareness: Understanding how other people view you can make you more responsive as a team member and more skilled at showing empathy or taking others’ perspectives. 

When you more clearly see yourself as others do, you will have better relationships with your team, and they will view you as a more effective leader. 

If success starts in relationships, self-awareness is arguably the most important capability for leaders to develop. The numbers reflect this. In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.

Know Yourself to Empower Better Choices

Do you want to grow in self-awareness? Here are a few areas to focus on:

1- Strengths and weaknesses

Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that can hinder us or help us reach our goals.

Take ownership over these regularly, and compensate for shortcomings through personal development, honest acknowledgement of your struggles, or by delegating weak areas to someone with greater expertise.  

2- Triggers

Identify what factors, triggers, or indicators – both negative and positive – prompt others’ behaviors toward you.

Think about questions like: why do you do the things you do, and how do others respond? How do you respond in turn, and why do you react the way you do? What is the impact of culture on your perspective and others’ perceptions?

3- Moods

Try not to make decisions when you’re in a bad mood.

Whether you’re feeling depressed or just “hangry,” bad moods can make you lose sight of your hope or your values. Emotionally aware people can push pause, allowing trying situations to simmer down before they respond.

4- Personal Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and curious people are nimble amidst challenges.

While you can’t control your circumstances, you can take responsibility for who you become. Stay curious, respect others’ opinions, and don’t stop seeking to grow and change.

Commit to Continual Growth

Emotional intelligence empowers you to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and to proactively manage your relationships in healthier ways.  

Leaders who focus on building self-awareness will seek honest feedback from others and examine why they succeed or fail in different circumstances. And this can be fun! Remember, no matter how much progress you make, there’s always more to learn. That’s one of the things that makes personal growth so exciting. 

Sell Yourself with a Winning Elevator Pitch

Can you introduce yourself or your business in a brief, compelling way?

An elevator pitch does precisely that. While the origins of this term are debated, the name reflects the idea of a quick speech that could be given in the span of an elevator ride (thirty seconds to two minutes).

An elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way that any listener could understand. This engaging summary could be used to entice an investor, to explain an idea, or to sell your services. Done right, your pitch can help you land a job or connect with prospective customers.

It can take time to solidify your pitch, but here are four tips that can help:

1. Build a Connection

The start of a conversation is a perfect time to establish a relationship.

Begin by introducing yourself and, if possible, build off a previous connection or shared experience. As you share, try to reference your credentials, training, or something that differentiates you from competitors.

Here are a few engaging openers:

–How does your organization recruit new employees?

–Can I tell you about the best mobile tools for training your staff remotely?

–Let me tell you about the time I took our products all the way to South America for ___.

2. Introduce Your Company or Career Goals

To move the conversation forward, draft a one-sentence story that answers the question, “what do you/your business do?”

Since listeners are inherently self-focused, make sure your account highlights what you can do for your prospect, including the value you can deliver or the problems your business can solve.

If you’re selling yourself, remember to outline your big picture vision. Say something like, “I’m looking to land a role in marketing,” or “I’m hoping to relocate to ___ for _____.” When a person understands your role or goals, they are in a better position to help to connect you to someone who can.

3. Highlight Your Unique Value or Achievements

After establishing who you are, now it’s time to shine.

Point to any unique selling points or personal achievements that make you (or your business) stand out. Back this up with evidence or testimonials from satisfied customers. Anticipate potential skepticism ad head this off with facts, examples, or trustworthy referrals.

4. Ask a Question

As you close your introduction, be sure to ask an open-ended question.

This can help engage the person in a longer conversation or open the door for you to trade business cards or follow up with a company brochure or a personal resume. 

Here are a few compelling closers:

“Here is my contact information, can I get your email and follow up with you later?”

“Could you connect me with your business manager so I can share more about what I could offer your team?”

“If you have time, I would love to meet again to chat more.”

Practice Makes Perfect

It takes time to grow confidence, so hone and refine your speech over time.

Most people will go through multiple drafts before settling on the words that are just right. And depending on your audience, your pitch may be slightly different each time. Remember, the most potent conversations are those whose subject matter is highly relevant to the listener.

­­Be upbeat and flexible and you’ll make connections like a pro!

How to Keep Your Cool in Pressure-Packed Situations

In July of 2020, more than four million people savored the chance to watch live Major League Baseball on the opening night of a historic 60 game series.

Due to the intensity of the abbreviated coronavirus season, each game matters immensely. By winning the first game, a team instantly has nearly a 3-game lead over the team that it beats. With the number of season games shrinking by half, every homerun and strikeout is intensified. Only those teams that can perform well under pressure can pull out a short season victory.

Many people in the business world are facing a similar pressure. 

Corporate teams have been forced to adopt tighter timelines, operate with a slimmer margin, or do more with fewer teammates. How will you respond to that pressure? And how can you encourage those around you to avoid panic or stress?

Here are three tips to guide you through moments of high intensity:

1. Create a Prioritization Strategy

Make a list of monthly tasks and then assess each item. 

Ask questions like: is this item important to me? Will it relieve pressure or clear space in my day? Does it move our team forward? If not, look at delegating, postponing, or eliminating this task. 

2. Focus on the Fundamentals

You never really become better in the moment. 

In moments of immense stress, it is easy to make foolish decisions or go for the “Hail Mary” option. With so much uncertainty, playing a wild card can be a costly mistake. Instead of looking for a magic bullet, focus more on the most basic, time-tested strategies for success. Whether this is following up on prospects, or just a willingness to make the high-percentage “predictable” move again and again, stick with strategies that have historically brought success. 

3. Change How You Think About Pressure

“Pressure is a privilege.”

Tennis great Billie Jean King has been credited with this quote, and there is a reason it hits home for so many.

One of the most daunting parts about working in tense conditions is the temptation to psyche yourself out. Sports psychologists help athletes overcome this by using visualization of positive outcomes. Before a match or competition, top players coin short phrases describing who they are at their best: “I am consistent, I am intimidating, and I never give up without a fight.” When stressful moments come, athletes don’t focus on the worst (“don’t strike out, don’t strike out”) but consciously visualize success. When confidence flows, players are more likely to rise to their potential.

Another way to visualize success is by breaking a mammoth task into manageable pieces so you can actually “see” how the work could be completed. Best-selling author and business coach Dave Anderson says people can face overwhelming situations by breaking their response into manageable pieces:  

“More often than not, we worry about some imaginary catastrophe that never happens, and that tends to render us powerless,” Anderson said. “Focus on one aspect of the task at a time, instead of looking at it in its totality. If you make a list of every step and use a “paint-by-numbers” approach, you’ll be fine.”

Resistance Training Builds Strength

Whether it is demands from your boss or supply chain obstructions, every person has obstacles that threaten to derail them from success.

But ultimately, stressful situations can push your performance to levels you could never reach otherwise. As University of Tulsa psychologist Jennifer Ragsdale says, “without challenge comes boredom. A life with zero stress is not a life worth living.”

Embrace Conflict and Diversity to Grow the Strongest Possible Teams

2020 has been a time of unrest, listening, and re-evaluating priorities.

Businesses have been particularly challenged to examine their own biases and to proactively seek the well-being of all people. While topics of diversity and inclusion can be difficult to navigate, strong leaders recognize that a variety of opinions and backgrounds bring a better result.

At P&G, this mindset drives leaders to embrace conflicting opinions. To create an inclusive environment, supervisors try not to shy away from disagreements or heated discussions:

“Accessing diverse points of view is vital in creating optimum strategies and plans,” said Geraldine Huse, CEO & chairman of the board. “An inclusive leader creates an environment where disagreement is viewed positively. I have learned from experience that the more diverse the team, the more debate and disagreement we have and the better the outcome . . . Listening to people, understanding and solving problems collectively, taking advantage of all the diverse experience – this is what makes an inclusive leader successful.”

Leadership is Influence

No factor plays a bigger role in creating a company’s culture than its leadership. 

Many people think of leadership as a top-down, closed circle of directors. But real leadership is influence, so scientists describe leadership differently. Specifically, leaders are people who can navigate a psychological process that enables individuals to improve collective actions. The best teams are comprised of people who set aside individual, selfish agendas to work as a cohesive unit. Here, groups achieve something powerful they could never accomplish alone.

If you want to develop effective, influential leaders, collaboration is key. While there is no simple method for building an inclusive corporate culture, here are three traits you can encourage in yourself and others.

Humility

Being in charge doesn’t mean you are right.

Read that sentence again, because we all need to hear it! One of the primary reasons you’ll fail to grow as a leader is your temptation toward pride. Just because you feel confident about something doesn’t mean you couldn’t be wrong. Humble leaders are willing to listen to others, to admit weakness, and to change their minds.

Courage

People who influence others are those who drive change.

But this can be very uncomfortable! While it is rarely convenient to challenge the status quo, innovation and diversity can’t flourish in static environments. In particular, courageous leaders are clear on their values and principles, but they are brave enough to do things differently. As Dr. Carol Dweck once said, the word FAIL means “First Attempt In Learning.”

Courageous leaders can walk away from unproductive situations, and they view diversity as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and no trait is as foundational for growth as curiosity.

Curious leaders are interested in other people and don’t shy away from those different than them. They are eager to understand why people think the way they do, and they aren’t afraid to engage with those who disagree.

To be a curious learner, ask a lot of questions (even dumb questions!). Work to suspend your embedded attitudes, experiences, or assumptions, and lean into a mental or emotional state where things “might” fail. Allow people to explore imaginary outcomes with phrases like, “could it be?” or “what if?” Then listen without judgment to learn.

Fuel Synergy From Diversity

Do you want to build a culture where everyone can thrive?

Leaders who can create a strong synergy out of diverse (or even opposite!) individual elements will embrace conflict and welcome different perspectives. By reducing the homogeneity of groupthink, you will maximize collaboration, encourage personal and corporate well-being, and keep your decision-making biases in check.

Communicate Excellence with Vibrant Printed Posters and Signs

One glance is truly all it takes, and recent eye-tracking studies demonstrate how quickly first impressions happen.

Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of technology at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, employed eye-tracking software to analyze and scan response patterns as students viewed website screenshots. Subjects averaged merely 180 milliseconds on a particular section before moving on. (For a reference, 185 milliseconds is about the time it takes for a helicopter rotor to make one full rotation).

Sheng also found it took people less than two-tenths of a second to form first impressions that significantly affected outcomes:

“The longer the participants stayed on the page, the more favorable their impressions were,” Sheng said. “First impressions are important and . . . [these impressions] can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization.”

Big Statements Win Business

If a website glance can have such an impact, how much more will a large-scale display? 

Research shows that people are 70% more likely to remember a brand advertised in print as opposed to online, and large-scale posters and signs are a logical, cost-effective way to spark interest. No matter what product or service you are promoting, a perfectly placed sign can stop people in their tracks. Thanks to their size and bold colors, there’s no doubt that your vivid images will meet people where they are and naturally stick in viewers’ minds.

Printed posters and signs demonstrate that you are vibrant and capable. Signs that appear in public places radiate confidence, making your business seem more creative and trustworthy. For example, one Health and Information study showed that posters were among the best ways to increase knowledge, change attitudes, and alter behaviors. A well-designed poster shows you do things with excellence, and people are in good hands with you!

And signs aren’t just static. Large scale displays can be customized to include a coupon or a quick-response (QR) code, leading your prospects to your website, landing page, or even a creative video advertisement. From explaining complicated processes to posing a question that someone absolutely MUST find the answer for, interactive graphics are a great way to engage bystanders or snag curious prospects.

Whether you exhibit one poster or sign or display a whole row, big displays get big results!

A Fast Track to Success

Ready to get started?

Check out our online ordering options! Here you can design online, re-order from your existing products library, or submit a custom design. Plug into creative concepts like these:

–Use big color posters as art reproductions, event features, service menus, or promotional collectibles

–Create patterns of simple posters to build a striking, geometric display

–Add frames, cardboard or foam backing, or swivel display mounting for stability  

–Extend your poster’s lifespan by adding a durable laminate coating

Need a jump start? Contact us today about full-service graphic design. We’ll work hard, so you don’t have to!

Target the Right Customers with Your Next Direct Mail Piece

You wouldn’t spend $100 million on a new national advertising campaign without carefully set goals and objectives.

But when it comes to direct mail, marketers often spray out postcards or fliers without a great deal of thought. In direct mail marketing, careful planning is vital to your success. While the average direct mail response rate is around five percent, strategic targeting can drive that number to nine percent for house lists and as high as 16 percent for personalized mail.

To simplify your targeting, start with these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • Who is the prospective buyer?
  • Who will receive, read, and hopefully respond to this mailing?

The beauty of direct mail is that you can use it to reach only those people who are potential buyers for your product or service.

This is called target marketing, and it means that during the development stage, you can use multiple criteria for selecting recipients.

Demographics may include age, income, gender, geography, home value, marital status, vehicle driven, occupation, hobbies, and more. Selections for B2B mailing lists can also vary, including the company’s industry, type of product, annual sales, number of employees, locations, etc.

Helpful Hints for Compiling a Mailing List

If targeted mail is so crucial, how do you find a list filled with these “perfect” customers? 

If you haven’t compiled your own mailing list (of current customers, qualified leads, or streamlined prospects), there are two basic types of mailing lists: compiled lists and response lists. 

Compiled lists are those assembled from a variety of sources (think association members, graduates of specialty programs, qualified purchasers, etc.). For example, a list might include dentists from Boston or Lutheran youth pastors. Compiled lists are more complete and can work well for driving people to a specific online landing page you’ve designed specifically for your direct mail campaign. You can usually get a compiled mailing list in one business day.

Purchasing a compiled list might work best when you:

  –Have a limited marketing geography
  –Want to reach all households or businesses in an area
  –Want to reach all homes or businesses that fit specific demographic criteria
  –Are on a limited budget
  –Want to mail fewer than 5,000 pieces
  –Want to make telemarketing follow-up calls before or after your mailing

Response lists consist of prospects who have inquired about or responded to other marketers’ offers, like purchasing a swimsuit through a catalog or by participating in a nonprofit fundraiser. Typical response list sources are magazines, membership clubs, catalogs, warranty cards, etc. Response lists are more expensive than compiled lists because they are more targeted, and you have more assurances about the buyers’ behaviors. You can usually get a response mailing list in 3-5 business days.

Response lists might be best if your product has a high price point or your target customer is very narrowly defined. The list cost will be higher, but your ROI will increase as well. Response lists are also not always current, so make sure you ask when the list was last updated before purchasing.

We’re Here to Help

Feel overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be.

For a simpler option, Every Day Direct Mail lists can be compiled using the EDDM Online Tool available through the United States Postal Service. Here you can target customers by demographics like age, household size, income, zip code, etc. Not sure where to start? We can help! Give us a call.

Most experts agree that selecting the right mailing list is the most important factor in your mailing’s success. The more information you can collect and refine, the better your response rate will be!

How to Establish Trust with Potential Clients

Have you ever received a cold call from someone trying to sell you something?

Which of these actions characterized your response?

  1. You found an excuse to hang up
  2. You used short words or sentences in response to leading questions
  3. You used delay tactics or told the salesperson you’d call them down the road
  4. You were excited about the call and took proactive steps to learn more

If you are like most people, you probably lean toward a quick disconnect. That’s because behaviors 1-3 are basically kneejerk reactions that display a lack of trust.

Easing Past Apprehension

Sales can be scary – for everyone involved.

When you begin by recognizing this, you gain an immediate advantage. If you want to influence how a person thinks or responds, first you must guide them out of the calm sea of apathy and into riskier waters of decision.

And that requires trust.

So how do you get there? Especially if you’re wooing prospects you might never see face-to-face? Here are three helpful options:

1. Become More Transparent

Transparency simply means making something accessible.

There’s been a shift in marketing, especially as content marketing has gained traction, and your clients expect answers at their fingertips, without a middleman or any layers of hidden information.

Want to get things out in the open?

List prices on your website

(rather than hiding them behind a phone call)

Address uncomfortable or controversial questions upfront

(instead of waiting for prospects to ask)

Invite people into your world

(show prospects the faces and voices of your team: a group of actual humans who have lives and families and who are working hard every day to make your business thrive)

2. Stop Trying to Praise Yourself

Claiming you’re the best or tooting your own horn can make you seem unrelatable.

Instead, do everything you can to provide social proof from previous or current customers, such as

  • Sending surveys with every order
  • Using follow-up calls to get feedback on your service
  • Advertising where and how people can place a review
  • Creating case studies or testimonial examples around frequently-ordered products

And remember, reviews mean nothing unless you use them! Add them to your sell sheets and brochures. Paste them at the bottom of emails or sales letters. Create an arsenal of testimonials for your marketing team to pull from, and categorize them around pain points or specific buyer personas so they can be used at just the right moment.

3. Provide Assurances

Want to tip people toward a decision?

There are several little things you can do to bolster trust. Here are just three areas you can tweak:

Email Sign-Ups

What’s the biggest reason prospects avoid offering their email address?

Fear of spam. Assure your leads with phrases like, “We hate spam and promise not to spam you.” Or let people know up front how often you intend to communicate.

Account Registration

Doubt or uneasiness can creep in when people are asked to create an account on your website.

To alleviate this, provide assurances about how people can cancel or the benefits they will receive by moving forward.

Affirmation

Sometimes people need a little validation to boost their confidence.

You can do this by adding encouragements to your sign-up or order forms, like: “Thanks for choosing Acme Associates. You’re in good hands!” or, “Over ___ subscriptions filled each week!”

Customers Buy from People They Trust

The economy doesn’t run on money – it runs on trust, and so does your business.

When you’re selling, first focus on building trust with buyers. Then you’ll find people will not only listen to your advice, but they’ll be more willing to take it and to move forward with you.