If there is one thing that you have to remember as a business person, it is 'Trust doesn't come easy.'
Most successful businesses use subtle psychological tricks to establish and win trust. It is much better than tooting our own horn and bragging. For instance, do primary care physicians go around telling you I am a doctor, I solved these many cases or have these many diplomas?
Yet thanks to those (hardly-decipherable) framed certificates mounted on the wall, we trust them implicitly. Every business needs credibility but not all of them can have diplomas and degrees.
Restaurants establish credibility through food licenses. But what wins them business is a clever psychological bragging technique. They show off through celebrity visit photos, guest books, colorful sticky notes left behind by customers and review ratings.
These are all subtle tricks used in traditional brick and mortar businesses. Thanks to social media, we can do that online too. However, talking about your awards and achievements on social media is just half the job done.
You cannot miss opportunities to establish trust via your branding, website and marketing materials. For instance, Dr. Mercola products have this USDA Organic label which allows them to sell their chocolate bars at staggering prices. They even placed other badges such as Gluten Free, Soy Free, etc. on their website page.
Blue Fountain Media placed a Verisign Secured trust seal on their Request a Quote form and saw an increase of 42 percent in signups. The transition from plain http to the green https bar is a subtle way to win trust.
Another clever technique is to place reviews from independent sites, media and industry leaders. A lot of marketers these days' place 'Featured in' section on their home page which shows logo of big media companies. You could even do the same on your social profiles.
Talk numbers. For instance, NeedyMeds' discount card page proudly displays this figure (when last checked):
Saved with the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card
Whether you are an online store or a brick and mortar store, think of ways you can establish trust. Here are some other ways you can win your customers' / audience's trust.
Use positive words as much as you can. Positive words like authentic, approachable, bustling, clear-cut, delight, fast-growing, etc. make a huge impact on people's psychology.
Use positive images such as mother, baby, green pastures, sky, etc. in your printed as well as online banners and presentations. If you are meeting someone personally, choose a place which has happy and warm colors like yellow, green and blue.
Clearly mention all contact details including your physical address on your website and business card. Use real customer and employee photos. Cheesy stock photos are equivalent to suitedconmen.
Black Milk uses this clever ploy by embedding their customers' Instagram photos on their product page.
Build reputation through networking be it physical events or on social media. Connect with reputed peers so that their reputation rubs off on you.
Avoid sob stories and too-good-to-be-true proofs that are so favored in the hair loss, weight loss and beauty industry.
When it comes to trust, deliberate and manifest ways of showing you are trustworthy don't work. Most people trust innately or impulsively outside of conscious awareness.
Deliberative or planned strategies to win trust could make one believe you are bragging or worse, conning them. This is why these subtle tricks to brag / establish trust work more effectively.