The Power of Gaining Trust and Standing Out From the Competition Using Your Website

Why do consumers decide to choose your product or service? The answer comes down to trust. Here's how to gain trust online.

The Power of Gaining Trust and Standing Out From the Competition Using Your Website

Marcus Sheridan, keynote speaker at the 2022 PIMA Summer Insights Conference, shared great information about the power of gaining trust and standing out from competitors. Let’s examine some of the strategies he provided for gaining trust via your website.

The Importance of Trust in Buying Decisions

Let’s face it: Today’s average consumer is sophisticated. Whereas consumers once waited for marketers to take them through the marketing funnel after an initial touch
point, they are now reading online reviews, gathering pricing information firsthand, and answering comparison questions almost entirely on their own. When people purchase products or services online, they have high expectations because they’ve done the research themselves.

The ultimate question, however, is why a customer decides to purchase a product or service from your company. The answer hinges on trust. Whether you are selling insurance or a technology solution, people choose your company based on emotion, specifically trust. At some point in the buyer journey, your company proposed a customized solution a specific customer needed, and they felt you could fill a gap.

In fact, there is a formula for gaining trust online and becoming the most trusted voice in your online space. Importantly, once you become a trusted voice online, people are more
likely to trust you offline as well. As marketers and sellers navigate a rapidly evolving digital marketplace, insurance, and financial services companies must find ways to connect
with consumers and build trust, so they can meaningfully impact consumers’ purchasing habits online. 

5 Methods for Gaining Trust With Your Website

To effectively reach consumers, it’s crucial to develop customized solutions for their problems or pain points. In a way, “selling” to someone creates a form of opposition. As
you’ve likely guessed, however, the best way to overcome this opposition is by gaining trust. Here are the five things people care about the most that you can prioritize to gain
consumer trust:

1. Cost
When browsing online, most customers gather pricing information and make comparisons before committing to a specific company’s product or service. When customers can’t find this information, however, the buyer journey suddenly shifts from curiosity to confusion and, ultimately, to frustration. Although customers used to call companies or search
websites for long periods of time before giving up, this is no longer the case.

Now, customers will spend about 10 seconds looking for price information before giving up. Why do they give up so quickly? When companies fail to feature price information,
customers feel like they are “hiding something,” which causes a loss of trust.

2. Problems
By mentioning the potential negatives of your product or service upfront, you can begin gaining trust with consumers by addressing those issues before they become bigger concerns. For example, suppose your company sells insurance, and a prospective customer reaches out to you while exploring insurance options for their home. In that case, they might ask you about the pros and cons of different packages.

Eventually, you are booking hundreds of appointments dominated by discussions regarding At this point, you’ve gotten ahead of the conversation and are controlling the narrative while also addressing concerns with customized solutions. This is preferable to someone else in the industry — such as a competitor — dictating these conversations.

3. Negative Comparisons
Although it might seem counterintuitive, it’s critical to openly talk about your product and compare it to competitors’ offerings. When answering negative comparison questions, it’s tempting to omit a discussion of the competitors’ products on your website.

However, avoid disregarding other products people are examining. When you are on a call with a prospect presenting information about your product, stay factual about competitors and refrain from saying anything negative about their products. Remember, it’s inappropriate to inject your opinion into the discussion.

4. Online Reviews
When searching for products or services, one of the first things most customers research is online reviews. By looking at reviews, customers can see what many people have deemed as “good,” “bad,” “best,” and “worst.”

Reviews shape perceptions of brands before consumers even begin to work with those brands. That’s because they serve as authentic evidence, or social proof, needed to either convert a prospect into a customer or turn someone off a brand in a matter of minutes. Online reviews are key to gaining trust, so try asking customers for reviews once you deliver your product or service to garner more social proof.

5. ‘The Best’
If a business puts itself on a “best of” list, it tends to lose credibility, and customers lose trust in it. For example, let’s say someone moves to Richmond, Virginia, and searches for
“best financial service provider in Richmond.” They will get a list of results and engage with various companies to discuss their options.

When they explore various offerings, they will likely want to know your honest opinion about which financial services in Richmond would suit their needs the best. Stay honest about competitors and ensure that customers are as informed as possible.

Consumer ignorance isn’t a viable sales or marketing strategy any longer. By being honest with potential customers online, you can gain more trust and eventually become the most visited website in your space. Attracting more leads and converting more customers through your website hinges on consumer trust. Once you’ve gained trust, you can continue to increase traffic and inspire people to work with your company in the future.

Stay up to date with industry trends and hear insights from great speakers such as Marcus Sheridan by attending a PIMA Conference.

Published on November, 2, 2022.

PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the affinity market.