Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to earn the trust of a stranger

Engaging a visitor to purchase a product on your website is like earning the trust of a stranger in the mall.  

Trust comes from many different places.  What you're wearing, the way you walk, the way to you talk and even the look in your eyes can serve to add or reduce trust in the exchange.  To begin a conversation, you generally only need a warm smile and a simple greeting.  If you want to make it past the common courtesy of a friendly greeting, you will need to bond.  

The best way to bond with someone is to share a common interest or view.  You can use visual cues from their wardrobe or belongings to find something that resonates with you and strike up a conversation about your shared interest.  Once you have earned the appropriate level of trust, you can ask your question or give your pitch.  

There are different levels of trust, necessary to achieve different results.  The general rule is that the higher the stakes, the more trust is necessary.  To ask someone for directions, a simple greeting will probably build up more than enough trust.  To ask someone for their birthday may require a little more. It is also important to realize that there is no common exchange rate for trust.  Different people require different amounts of trust for the same action.

Your website should have a friendly greeting and be able to strike up a conversation about a common interest with your visitors.  There is no harm in too much trust.  Someone who trusts you with their life, will easily trust you with their email.

Can your website earn the trust of a stranger?