The Evolution of Know, Like and Trust

It’s been common knowledge for decades. In order to make a sale the prospect must know, like and trust you.

But in today’s “wild west” marketing environment, knowing, liking and trusting isn’t enough.

In fact, in these days of out of control social media ads, live streams and chat bots, I’m know fewer marketers on a deeper level, I’m not sure if I really like many of them, and I certainly don’t know whom to trust anymore.

This seems counterintuitive, since these business owners have become more visible to their prospects than ever.

The problem is, this increased visibility seems forced. They’re making themselves more visible because they feel they have to in order to be competitive. This sense of forced visibility comes out in their videos, webinars and other online strategies.

They’re going through the motions instead of being authentic and focusing on their strengths. They’re asking open-ended questions on social media, not because they are genuinely curious, but because it increases engagement.

When this happens, the “know, like and trust” factor gets lost, their community becomes jaded, and their business suffers.

I was talking with my coach about this phenomenon recently, and we concluded that know, like and trust has evolved into something deeper, more rarified and much more potent. Know, like and trust has been replaced with connected, attracted and valued.

Let’s take these one by one.

Connected: We’re all more connected than ever, so this one seems easy. But is it really? To become truly connected with your prospects you must use the right words consistently. These words have to reflect your core beliefs, your values and your passions. To be truly connected you have to be vulnerable, sharing stories that you may be hesitant to share, but letting yourself be open to judgment and criticism as well as praise and celebration of your opinions and status.

This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to have true, lasting connections with people who can eventually become your best customers.

Attracted: Customers and clients are attracted by truth and authenticity in a sea of deception and double talk. The fact that they like you at that point is a given. You’ll be a breath of fresh air and they’ll want to learn more about how you can help them.

Developing this attraction in the words you use is based on turning the focus on the pain and pleasure points of your prospect, through empathy and understanding, and through weaving your own story into theirs.

Valued: When people value who you are, why you do what you do, and what you offer, they will purchase. This seems obvious, but most businesses only place the emphasis on the value of what they offer, without seeing the bigger picture. Your “who” and “why” are just as important as your product or service.

This goes beyond the trust element of the “know, like and trust” trilogy. In this congested business climate, when people are falling over each other to identify the latest trends, utilize the most cutting edge marketing techniques, and offer the shiniest objects, it’s the establishment of personal value that rules the day.

Fortunately using the “connected, attracted, valued” strategy is relatively easy. You simply use the right words in your marketing, on your website and in every way you touch a client, customer or prospect.

It’s all about being transparent, authentic and vulnerable about why you’re in business, who you really are, and what you uniquely bring to the party. When people see this about you, they’ll be ready to buy.

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