Is your business struggling to make sales and achieve the leads numbers you feel it should be? When business exposure is high and your website is inundated with traffic, but sales just aren't flowing, there is something you might be missing:
What is a Trust Factor, And How Do Trust Factors Affect Marketing?
Customers are prone to be cautious with their spending. They’re eager to pay only for what they perceive to be valuable. The trouble is, it can be hard to know — just from looking at a product or reading about a service — if it is worth the investment.
So, customers look to factors that help them determine whether or not they should make the purchase. Factors that influence purchases include competitive pricing, functionality of the product, and accessibility (shipping availability, booking slots, etc).
However, perhaps the biggest signal they’ll look for in value is trust. Can they trust that this product/service is any good and that it warrants spending money on?
According to SalesForce Search, 90% of consumers will only buy from a company they believe they can trust.
To verify trust, customers look at numerous factors. They look at brand reputation and notoriety, such as social media likes. They’ll also look at reviews and testimonials.
This is known as social proofing — it will help convince customers that their purchase is the correct decision. If it’s alright for others, surely it’s alright for them?
The more trust factors you can provide customers, the greater the sense of ease they’ll have in committing to buying from you. Yet, reviews and brand reputation aren't the only trust factors you can acquire.
But hold on. You might have reviews already, your brand may have a spotless reputation, and you have lots of likes on Facebook. So why aren't you selling? It may be because there is another trust factor that many are missing out on — a trust factor that can have a dramatic impact on sales.
Certification is considered a highly influential factor.
Certification as a Trust Factor
In certain industries, certification is incredibly important. This is particularly true for high-value businesses or those that require specific expertise — like legal businesses, financial advisors, healthcare providers, and accountancy firms.
When purchasing service products from these kinds of businesses, customers want to know that they are working with true experts. If they opt to use an accountant, for example, they want to know this accountancy firm has the necessary qualifications required to do the job properly.
Certifications help you achieve this goal and present the trust factor required to influence consumer purchases.
If you as a worker, or a business as an entity, can demonstrate to customers that your expertise and industry knowledge allowed you to achieve certification from trusted authorities within your community, then they are more likely to use your business.
In the example of accountancy, this would include getting certification from recognised and trusted organisations, such as The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
By achieving certification from these authorities, you essentially borrow their trust factors. If they approve and certify you, then it shows consumers you are taken seriously by the important players in your industry. Therefore, you can provide the value that they need.
How to Achieve Higher Consumer Trust with Certification
Continuing with the accountancy example, getting CIMA accreditation would be your first step towards achieving better sales through leveraging certification as a trust factor.
Gaining qualifications and awards doled out by authorities like The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants gives your business much-needed credibility. Every organisation will have an authority that can certify them to give them more market validity. The more there are available, the more you can acquire, the better you look.
But what if you have these certifications, but aren't seeing good results? The question is then — are you showcasing your certifications to customers clearly?
It’s not always clear to customers that you’ve been certified. A section in your “About Us” page of your website that briefly mentions it isn’t going to cut it. You want to really shout about your certification. Use images or badges on your homepage. Put it on your social media profile and even on your business card.
Never leave your customers with any doubt that you have this very valuable certification.
You may also want to tell customers why it’s important. Being CIMA accredited is great for management accountants, but do people really understand why?
Don’t just tell customers you’re accredited, tell them why it’s so impressive that you’ve been certified. Advertise what the certifying organisation is and why their seal of approval means you’re a business worth investing in.