Feb 22, 2011

Want Trust? Tell Your Story

It’s very hard to trust someone who is guarded. It leaves nagging questions. Questions like, what are they holding back? What are their motivations? And, why won’t they talk about it?

Nagging questions are problematic in a personal relationship, but they can be detrimental for a customer relationships. The more doubts and worries a customer experiences, the less likely they will buy. Every time a nagging question pops up, it forces the customer to question their decision to buy. If they are comparing two equivalent products, the company that delivers the least doubt will win the deal.

Share your story

Too often companies fear sharing their inside story, because they will be perceived as “small” or “unprofessional.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Avoid being a faceless company at all costs.

Let your customers know more about your team, your roots and where you’re coming from. The more you let your customers into your world, the faster they will trust you.

Dyson is an interesting example of a company who shares its back story. As you read through the company history, you discover an inventor who relentlessly pursued new design innovations back to the mid-70’s. James Dyson invented sea trucks, wheel barrows, trolleys and other unique concepts before working on the vacuum cleaner that made him famous. The history weaves together an interesting tale of design, invention and the pursuit of new thinking. And it all ties back to the original work and passions of its founder.

What’s your company’s story? Work on building your story by answering why the company was founded, what its purpose is, and where you have come from.

Tell customers why it matters to you

Inquisitive toddlers love to ask, “Why?” They ask why over, and over, and over again. Each time they ask, they learn something new. “Why?” is one of the most revealing questions in the English language.

Ask it of your company. Why does your company exist? Why do you make the products you do? Why do you deliver them the way you do? Why do you work with your customers?

When you tell your company’s story work to answer the “why” questions. As the Dyson story reveals, James Dyson “is a man who likes to make things work better.” He didn’t have to make a new vacuum cleaner. He did it, because he saw an opportunity to improve the traditional vacuum cleaner’s design.

On the weekend I experienced Dyson’s Airblade, a hand dryer for public restrooms. It worked remarkably well, and it was aesthetically pleasing. It looked like something Dyson would make. The Airblade fit the company’s story, and I knew why they made this product. A well connected story provides a brand a lot of room to stretch and grow.

Create shared experiences

When you tell your company’s story, what aspects of it resonate with your customers?

James Dyson focused on a passion for design and “making things better.” It’s a story with universal appeal. People who appreciate innovative design will appreciate Dyson’s brand and products.

By sharing your story you create shared experiences. Open up. The more your customers get to know you, the more they will trust you.

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