How Floor Dealers can Build Consumer Trust
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
A recent poll by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics shows a majority of Americans feel the federal government is corrupt and rigged against them. This massive loss of trust isn’t limited to government. It extends to many major corporations and institutions, including religious and education, among others.
Similar sentiments are being felt in Canada. The number of people who have expressed positive trust in Canadian institutions has been dropping since the first CanTrust Index published by Proof Strategies in 2016. From 2021-2022 alone, it dropped 10 per cent.
Consumer loss of trust is so important for floor dealers to understand that this is Part 1 in a series of three columns that delve into what it means for your business and how you can combat (and even leverage) it to your advantage.
Utilizing Lack of Trust to your Advantage
It’s important to recognize all your marketing efforts are set against this backdrop of distrust. Assume all prospects view you with skepticism and distrust. Your job is to overcome this.
It’s possible to turn this situation around to help your business. If you put in the effort to successfully position yourself as a trusted advisor in the market and your competitors don’t, you’ve given yourself a profound advantage.
Let’s look at some best practices for making this happen.
Protect your Good Reputation
As soon as you’ve established a good reputation in your community, it’s important that you protect this because once trust is lost, it’s hard to get it back. This means continuing to follow the five basic trust-building rules:
- Be honest with customers, especially if you have to deliver bad news.
- Under promise and over deliver.
- Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. If something unavoidable happens that makes this impossible, refer to the first rule.
- Be courteous and kind.
- Say please and thank you.
Train your team to follow these rules.
Leverage Testimonials and Reviews
Almost every business makes claims like number one in customer satisfaction, best products at the best prices and great service. These claims have virtually zero impact on prospects — even when they’re true — because everybody says them. You sound like everyone else. That’s where testimonials are a huge help because what others say about you is more impactful than what you say about yourself.
So, put systems in place to generate ongoing reviews. This will help your business close more sales and command higher prices, prevent less shopping around and build more trust. But don’t stop there. Repurpose those reviews by posting them on your website and social media platforms, including them in e-mail signature lines and featuring them in print materials. In other words, use them wherever possible.
Make Use of Video
When prospects see and hear you speaking directly to them, it helps build trust, especially when you’re helping solve a problem or giving them professional recommendations. Short videos of household repairs, maintenance tips, floor care — anything related to your prospects’ homes will work to position you as a trusted advisor. Create a YouTube channel (there are plenty of explainer videos on YouTube that will walk you through the steps) and host the videos on your website. Be sure to push these out on any social media channels you’re using.
Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of FlooringSuccessSystems.com, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s groundbreaking flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on The Table, visit FloorMillions.com. Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].