Consumers often find it difficult to trust sales reps. In fact, 92% of people don’t trust companies who cold call them. The average email subscriber gets 416 commercial messages per month and the average American is exposed to 247 commercial messages each day according to Consumer Reports.
People are being bombarded by sales and marketing messages each day, making it harder and harder to forge meaningful relationships with prospective customers. One way sales reps can build trust is by using content to inform, educate and create awareness among prospective buyers. It’s a less threatening way to introduce them to your products/services without going in for the hard sell. Below are five types of content that are especially helpful in building trust.
1. Sales Letter – Whether delivered via email, direct mail or landing page, the sales letter is a good old standby that is still incredibly effective today. Prospects are more likely to respond to sales letters that are short, sweet and to the point. According to MailChimp, emails are more likely to be opened when the subject line is less than 50 characters long.
2. Pitch Deck – Once you have your prospect interested, the next step is to deliver an irresistible pitch that lets them know how your product/service can solve their problem. A great pitch deck tells a story, paints a picture, persuades the prospect that you are the right supplier and that this is the right time to buy.
3. Case Study – It’s time to show and prove. It’s easy to say what your product/service can do but it’s harder to back it up with results. Case studies help you to do just that. Where they really shine is when you are able to show the prospect a case study of when your company has seen success with an organization in the same field and facing the same problems they are. This creates a sense of confidence that you are able to handle the specific challenges they are facing and come out on top.
4. Visual Product Description – There’s an old adage that goes “I can show you better than I can tell you.” 65% of people are visual learners, therefore, it’s imperative that you appeal to their needs by providing a graphical representation of your offer. This can come in the form of a photo, infographic, video or SlideShare presentation.
5. Customer testimonial – It’s important that prospects hear what your current customers have to say about you and your product/service. While your case study may have been compelling, there’s nothing like hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of respondents claim that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions. Reviews and testimonials provide an added level of assurance for the prospect that you are able to deliver on your promises.
Content doesn’t fall into the realm of the marketing department alone. Good salespeople have always understood this. However, smart sales reps can learn from recent advances in content marketing to lean less on the hard sell and a lot more on information sharing with the intention of solving the customer’s problems.