They say there ‘is no fear except fear itself’. People may have a fear of the unknown to begin with and likely are skeptical if not suspicious when they are in unfamiliar territory. In the case of a home business start-up, there are lots of areas that could become ‘deal breakers’. That is why it is doubly more important than ever that you are perceived as being honest and reliable to your prospects and customers.
It is a good idea if you focus on the areas where it may seem small or inconsequential but it actually is not, as far as building trust. You should always keep your word even if it doesn’t seem important; for example understand that there is a difference between 9:00am and 9:30am. If you set up an appointment online or otherwise, you need to be there on time. Stuff happens? Then just be sure to call BEFORE you are late to say that you have been delayed and will be there ASAP. Really make an effort to be there on time or as close as you can. It is actually very rude and disrespectful to keep someone waiting. Might as well start off your relationships on the right foot so that you build trust instead of disgust.
This being honest thing extends to your advertising and marketing techniques as well. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you stick to that rule you shouldn’t run into any problems with being perceived as trustworthy and reliable. An example here might be even something like saying a deal will end at 12:00am on Tuesday. A time deadline may be an effective ploy to get people to take action (the fear of missing out). However if they go to the site at 1:00am and it is still there, or a week from now, you have been caught in a lie. To someone you hope to do business with, they could feel you are less than genuine and that is not a good way to build a relationship of trust.
You can bend this just a little bit and still appear honest – for example at 12:00am post something to the effect that the time has been extended due to the huge response or slow response, and give the next deadline. The point is just don’t leave it there because there are too many people just looking for a reason to walk away and pronounce everything a scam. You are still saying what you mean and meaning what you say, it’s just bent a little. The perception is what counts and you are still attempting to be honest with them. Of course you want to change the deadline few and far between times – so maybe give it a broad range like a week rather than a specific hour.
Sometimes you ‘don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’. It is really shocking how skeptical people can turn the most innocent thing into a ‘scam’ — You don’t have phone support, therefore this means you must be part of a scam; maybe your customer service is a little slow in responding, therefore you must be a scammer. Even something that you said or printed that was misconstrued by them, you guessed it, that means you must be a scammer; how about they expected something from you, but that is not your policy or protocol and you try politely to explain that, but to no avail, this makes you a crook since you are not doing business on their terms. Nothing much can be done about people like this, but do what you can to ‘take the high road’.
For normal home business start-up relationships once you establish yourself as someone who is friendly, open and reasonably honest, then you can begin to build trust which can mean everything to your new business’ bottom-line, including repeat business from loyal customers and peers. Building trust is what you want to strive for in developing your home business. Even if what you are selling is one-time-only, there is still much credence given to those word-of-mouth recommendations, so you want to build your reputation in the right direction!
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