Business owners are always focused on making the sale. However, you must first gain the trust of your customers. Your customers want to trust you, so you may be well-served simply avoiding the common trust-building pitfalls many other business owners don’t.

Here are 10 things that you, as a business owner, could be doing to lose your customers’ trust.

  1. Incomplete SEO. Search is at the top of the trust list because, today, if you’re not showing up in a variety of online fronts, it looks like a red flag to your customers. If you don’t dominate the entire page one for a search on your company name, you’ve got an issue. Make sure your information is up to date in as many local directories as possible, and stay active on all available social media accounts.
  2. Bad Reputation. We won’t do business with companies when we’ve been told the owners, managers, and employees don’t keep their word -- even if we hear that from acquaintances or strangers through reviews. Proactively managing your reputation online and off has to be part of the marketing puzzle.
  3. Demonstrations. People often misinterpret demonstrations as methods of showing what a product or service does. They’re not. They show why the product or service is critical to your customer.
  4. Bad Website. Buyers often look at your website before making a purchase. You don’t want your site to be slow, confusing, or outdated. Be sure to regularly update your website, and occasionally redesign it with the times.
  5. Lack of Proof. Show your customers and prospects proof that others have actually achieved what they wanted to achieve by working with you. Post some success stories, or seek out positive customer testimonials.
  6. Public Relations. People will believe someone else who says you are super talented more than they believe you telling them that. Seeing your name penned by others or reading a piece you contributed to a publication they respect sends huge trust signals. Try submitting opinion editorials to your local newspaper, and invite press to events to generate positive publicity.  
  7. Networking. Building a strong network is essential. Building trust in your customers begins by building trust with people they trust. Go out to networking events, meet people, and expand your network.
  8. Associations. With whom do you associate? Be sure to keep an eye on your strategic partners, and actively seek connections with well-respected leaders and brands.
  9. Content. What free content are you offering to build a relationship with your customers? Write blog posts that your customers will find valuable.
  10. Consistency. You want to try and create the same customer experience for every buyer, every time. Simply having a process for when someone completes an online form or requests a demo is a start.

Trust is a critical component of any business/customer relationship. Don’t let it go to waste because of a lack of focus.