Gaining Customer Trust is Hard. Here’s Why

Transcript of my newsletter from 30th May.

If you prefer to listen:

There’s not much trust around these days, especially online. But even in the real-world people are becoming more guarded.

Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t seem to care about building trust. This does provide an opportunity for those that do, but it’s not easy.

Here’s a personal example of a business that seems to be trying to lose trust:

Here in Hong Kong we are fined (heavily) if our air conditioners drip onto the pavements or sidewalks below so, as the weather turns hot each year, warnings are posted in residential buildings telling people to get their air conditioners serviced.

The casing of one of my aircons is rusty and, sure enough, it was dripping. So I engaged a local business to sort it out.

That was a month ago, and I’m still waiting for the job to be completed.

Dates have been promised – and missed. Several times.

I live in a small village and I support local businesses wherever I can. But support needs to be reciprocated.

That means, at the least, keeping promises.

Of course, there are other factors that go into building trust: openness, honesty, transparency, and communication.

If you don’t run your business that way (i.e. professionally!), your reputation will suffer and your business will wither and die.

In the first article this week, Brian Clark looks at techniques for building trust online, where you’re not in personal contact with your prospects.

It’s more difficult, of course. In a small community, dealing face-to-face, people engaging in business are pre-disposed to trust and support.

Online, without the personal contact, it’s the opposite: the growth of disinformation, misinformation, scams and spam has made people pre-disposed to be suspicious.

Overcoming this and building trust online takes time and work, but the rewards if you’re successful are well worth the effort.

This week’s links

In addition to the article on building trust, I’ve also covered how to get more out of LinkedIn and two articles on strengthening your story-telling skills.

How to build trust

Brian Clark discusses three techniques for building trust with your prospects online. He also shows how to use transparency in a way that doesn’t come over as bragging, and avoids putting you in a difficult situation when things don’t go well:

How to build trust

How to get more out of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is my preferred social network. Not only is it business oriented, but there are less spammy, conspiracy-theory type posts than appear on other platforms.

If you’re in the B2B sector, it’s definitely the place to be because you’re interacting with your target market.

And even if you’re B2C, raising your profile using some of the techniques Larry Cornett discusses here, will bring interesting and valuable contacts:

How to get more out of LinkedIn

Two tips for better story telling

The best, most effective marketing campaigns tell a story – think of Apple’s Home Pod campaign and dozens of others. Story telling is a powerful way to draw people in and introduce them to your product or service.

Mayya Azarova describes two techniques you can use to improve your story telling skills:

Two tips for better story telling

Growth story-telling vs traditional content marketing

There’s more content online than anyone could possibly consume in a lifetime. That’s made the original concept of content marketing obsolete, so your approach must change.

I’ve talked about content distribution as a better alternative to content generation many times, but here’s another angle to consider: Growth story-telling.

This article on uses a Growth Story-Telling Model to illustrate how it works and why it can make your marketing efforts more successful than traditional content marketing:

Growth story-telling vs traditional content marketing


Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.

Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

Smart, current and insightful tips from:

Andy Nathan

Jeff Bullas

Useful resources

Content Marketing Courses

Find influencers who can boost your content

Fun flashback

I was browsing through Al Stewart’s ‘Down in the Cellar’ album when I came across this un-released song that he recorded at the same time – Some People Never Know’:

Struggling to grow your business?

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Martin Malden

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