In this guest post, Certified Go-Giver Coach and hugely successful entrepreneur, Doug Wagner shares an excellent insight into how trust is the key to influence, and how both go a long way to your successful brand.
Enjoy Doug’s wisdom! – Bob Burg
Bigger companies tend to have a well-known and established brand. Good or bad, you know what you are getting when you buy from them.
If you don’t know you can find out on the Internet.
Your brand is how others perceive your ability to deliver on your value promise.
Yes “others” determine your brand perception, not you.
This can make business owners a little uncomfortable at first.
If you are a small or mid-sized business, you don’t have a huge budget to spend on advertising and marketing to sway that perception.
Even with the mighty budgets deployed by the big companies on marketing and advertising, it is getting harder to hide a weak delivery on the brand promise.
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and
refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”
~ Bob Burg
Know and like are fairly easy to understand.
But what does trust really mean?
In business people may trust you to be a great person with strong ethics.
If they don’t trust that you and your company will deliver on your value promise, they still won’t buy from you.
When you are a small business and especially when you are starting out; trust is the beginning of your brand.
So it is important that you start building trust the moment you begin a relationship in your networking or prospecting. Initially the trust is with YOU. Your brand might not yet be powerful enough to convey trust and they haven’t yet had the experience of being your client.
Don’t worry, if you do things right those will come.
A huge tool in establishing trust is applying The Law of Influence (from The Go-Giver) which states:
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first.”
If you focus on them first with no strings attached they will start to trust you are not motivated solely by your own interests.
When you deliver value they will start to trust your ability to deliver on your promise. When you deliver on your promise you will have a happy client who will give you a reference and referrals.
Your brand will grow.
Growing Your Brand
Effective marketing can communicate your value promise to your target market. Remember that you can only communicate your promise.
Your clients and the public in general get to decide on whether you keep your brand promise.
Value is more about perception than facts.
They must feel they got value in order for the facts to ring true.
So you need to know what you stand for. What is your promise?
Put that into your mission and core values and share it.
Then build a company culture that lives and breathes the mission and values. Manifast it!
Your brand will end up being a reflection of who you are as a company and your ability to deliver on the promise.
Your Brand Starts With You
You have an ability to highly influence how your brand is perceived, without spending a fortune on cover-up marketing with these tools:
- Create trust in your ability to deliver on your value promise,
- Abundantly put the interests of others first, and
- Deliver on or exceed your value promise.
Nice post Doug with many very valid and important points. The one thing I will take exception to is your comment that “Value is more about perception than facts.” Value is clearly known by both the receiver and the giver. They may have different ways of defining what that value is – but each will know value by their own assessment.
Perhaps a better way to say it could be that “Value is both tangible (goods/services received) and intangible (peace of mind/problem solved)” – both add value and either way the value is factual…in my opinion.
Hey Bill, thank and I see what you are getting at and I don’t disagree. I just believe that decisions on value (where the person is attached to the outcome at some level) are first made at a subconscious, emotional level (perception) and then validated at a conscious level (reality). So the perception hits first and then the validation. The perception can still be based on tangible and intangible factors which is why I also agree with you.
Consider which statement would have a higher perceived value:
Great news! When we were preparing your taxes we were able to find an additional $5000 in tax savings. Not only did we save you time, effort and hassle, but you after our fees of $2000 you are still $3000 ahead. Plus if your claim is ever audited, we will be there with you to help you defend it.
We saved you $5000 in additional tax savings. Our fees are $2000. Your fees include claim defense assistance should you ever be audited. Thank you for your business.
The quicker you can appeal to the subconscious the higher the perceived value will be even if the tangible and intangibles are the pretty much the same in reality.
Of course you could also argue that appealing to the subconscious is part of the “intangible” and perception is reality since we cannot interpret reality directly. 🙂
This is brilliant (and true):
“Value is more about perception than facts.
They must feel they got value in order for the facts to ring true.”
Science is uncovering more and more data that supports what we have always known intuitively – whatever perception people take away with them will become their “facts” when they recall that encounter.
It’s why first impressions matter, it’s also why referrals are so powerful. When you make a great first impression, or when someone meets you after hearing great things about you, they are predisposed to think favorably of you in the future.
We form impressions, then opinions, then we look for facts that support what we already believe. It’s the way the mind works.
For instance, statistics show that most people who sued a doctor, or refused an out-of-court settlement sited their belief that the doctor didn’t really care as their #1 reason for wanting to be compensated. Not what the doctor did or didn’t do, but were they PERCEIVED as caring. That isn’t something you can have a FACT about.
So it won’t matter what you REALLY delivered. It will only matter what they perceived that they received because they will only focus on, or perhaps even only recognize, the facts that align with the opinion their subconscious has already cataloged as true.
Wow Dixie! That comment is a valuable blog post in it’s own right. Thanks for sharing these insights with us.
Awesome post Doug – Thanks!
I must say I agree with Dixie’s assessment of first impressions and perceived value. One Mentor of mine told me a long time ago, that “Image is Everything.”
At the time I didn’t fully understand but I soon began to realize. It seemed that I actually took note of the phenomenon that reactions to relationships were pretty much defined from the first contact. It was later that I also learned that people remember more how they felt than facts or information delivered, at least until actual transactions took place. After that “phase,” realized value was imperative to maintain trust. It is a blessing and a curse at the same time, I think, because first impressions are usually built on the highest degree, which may or may not be easy to maintain. I recommend that ones’ own limitations are clearly heeded to the self, so as not to make false self-recommendation, whilst maintaining true relationship building intentions in a free and uninhibited manner – in other words, true respect toward a new person is the best way to make friends and influence people (trust). This is a skill that many people are unaware of in our fast-paced-techy-information-cellular-instant gratification-age of humanity.
As brain vibrations are analyzed more and more through practioners, mystics, and scientists, alike, we all ought to be learning that the higher the vibration levels, the more best-value is “manifasted” for all parties, even over long distance! 😉
I’ve made a small motto based on this:
“Image is Everything – Be Yourself”
So, I smile allot! (it’s true!)
Thanks Bob. Dixie’s comment was amazing wasn’t it? Glad to hear it resonated with you and keep smiling.
Doug, great post that has us all thinking about the real meaning of value – job well done. The value is your bottom line with trust in the formula that gets you to the value proposition. You are right, the trust is focused on YOU but not just in the beginning, it will stay on you even though the products and services provided will be what they depend on once the engagement begins.
If a product or service fails to live up to an expectation, you can intervene with the trust built and keep the agreement in tact. If the trust is compromised, the ability to intervene at even the slightest sign of an issue will be severely limited.
Thanks! Excellent points Gary.