Trust. One word. One very powerful word that can increase both first time and repeat sales to an unlimited degree. Trust. What is it? Why is it so important? How do you get it? Confidence in you from your cutomers, builds relationships and as a result, more sales, and through excellent customer service. That’s the short and sweet of it. Now, how about a little more meat to it. What is trust and why is it so important? Definition: confidence in a person or thing because of the qualities one perceives or seems to perceive in him or it. (Webster’s) The confidence that any visitor or potential customer has about your business, service or product is the foundation of present and future success. Before any potential customer even enters your site for the first time, there’s this underlying feeling of distrust. It’s automatic. Either they’re new to the Internet, received a poor product or service from a competitor or have already been scammed a few times. Your first contact is either in some ad you placed in an ezine, classified, message board, banner, search engine description or some other form of advertising. Was it full of hype or were you honest in what your product or service delivers? Once that customer enters your site and they don’t see what was stated in your ad……….. goodbye, you just lost a sale and probably a lifetime customer. If you can’t be honest in your ad, then you’re pobably not going to be with your product or service. So, why should that visitor stick around only to be disappointed or scammed again? Would you? Do you know what happens when that visitor leaves your site? They email an ezine editor, friend, or leave a nasty little post on a message board about their not so wonderful experience with you, and you’re credibility is gone. How do you build that trust? Believe it or not, it’s not that hard. It does take effort and it’s an ongoing process, not something you do once and forget about it. Be Honest. The importance of building trust really shows through here. Honesty should be at the front of your mind when you write up your ads and web site copy. Especially when that advertisement includes something free. Don’t use free just to get visitors, your trust and credibility takes a hard nose dive when the "freebie" is junk. Only write exactly what your product or service delivers and leave the hype and exageration out. Don’t Hype I always skip over the ads that actually promise truckloads of money with little or no effort. Come on. BIG BOLD HEADLINES are a sure sign of hype to nth degree. Promises that are impossible, like the truckloads of cash, are always a big giveaway. If your product doesn’t have it or do it, then don’t promise it. Follow Up If you’ve done everything right so far and you are making sales, don’t forget about the customer. Follow up with a thank you letter. Add a special bonus that they didn’t know about. Ask them if they like your product or service. Ask if there is anything else you can help them with. Bottom line is, build a relationship without trying to always sell them something. Talk to them, not at them or down to them. Be their friend and actually help them out when they need it, if you can. Use Testimonials on your site. When you followed up with your customers and asked if they liked your product, then ask if you can use their comments on your site. Of course, you’ll also include their name, email and website address. Testimonials build enormous instant credibility. If a visitor to your site sees that there are already satisified customers, then you deliver what you say you will and you’ve kept in touch with that customer. Plus the name and email also keeps the visitor comfortable as they know that they can get in touch with that person to verify what they had to say was, in fact, true. As you can see, building trust isn’t all that hard. Just be sincere. Be personable. Be available. If you follow these few rules to help you gain trust and credibility among both your site’s visitors and your peers, then you’ll gain both lifetime customers of your product and lifetime relationships with some really good people.