It’s a question of trust

February 14, 2015

As I followed what’s happening with the measles outbreak, two things that matter for business owners came to my mind. What I want to discuss here is the need to establish trust and the power of beliefs, fears and anecdotes. The need for trust and the power of a compelling story is essential whether you want people to be a part of a cause or to convince customers to do or continue to do business with you.

As a professional who provides services to people, I get the reason why a pediatrician won’t accept as a patient the newborn of parents who refuse to vaccinate their baby. Like the Depeche Mode song said, it’s a question of trust! Having the trust of your clients, or in the case, your patients, is a must to do your job the right way.

Having trust doesn’t mean that the customers can’t ask questions, that the customers can’t express their opinions, request more explanations or openly discuss their objections. Part of your job, as the professional, is to educate your customers, to let them understand why you do the things you do and why it is done like that. You need to establish trust to be able to do that. You need to build trust for them to accept your advices.

As a business owner, you need people to trust you. You need to build trust and maintain trust every step of the way. This is why establishing a strong and authentic social media presence has always been on the top of my list.

By being active on social media, people are able to judge over time my skills and my character.

I use social media to establish my credibility and build trust. People are able to judge me through what I say on my blogs, to what I share and to what I discuss on social media. I also not afraid to share my knowledge on specific topics online. The topics that I chose relate to my brand; they become my brand. By doing this, people are able to judge my skills and my character. People are able to determine if we are a fit, if I’m someone with whom they like to do business with.

People believe stories more than features and facts.

Which brings me to the second must-have for people to take action. The anti-vaccination movement is the living proof that people believe stories more than features and facts. Sadly, you can’t fight beliefs and fears by only relying on education and facts. This is why despite tons of well-thought articles published over the years to invalid the myths surrounding vaccination, these educational articles filled with scientific arguments and statistics failed to change the opinions of anti vaxxers. What these educational articles lacked is the emotional aspect. The important emotional trigger that people need to change their mind.

What the medical community and the public needs is a more powerful emotional story, a story that people will easily remember and a story they want to share. They need a better story, a cause, a worldview that would rally people, something that the anti vaxxers could believe in or aspire to, a story more meaningful than what convinced them to be a part of anti-vaccination movement.

It seems like a tall order. Luckily for you, you don’t need to appeal to the vast majority of people for your business to be successful. The takeaway is that stories inspire people to take action. Only after they believe your story that people will be willing to accept the facts and the stats that you present to support your story.

Stories make people want to become a part of something. After they heard a story that touch them, people remember it. They happily and intuitively share the story that they like. More importantly, when they hear a story that truly resonates with who they are or who they aspire to be, people will make the story theirs. This is when the magic happens.

Here is what to think about over a coffee

Stories make people care; facts and statistics can’t do that. Stories gets people interested in what you’ re doing or trying to do. Stories build trust. People will remember you more through your stories than the features and facts you bombard them with. To be successful, you need to tell a story that means something to them.

How can you use stories more often in your business?

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