What is the underlying purpose of all the PR work you’re doing? Why are you spending all of this time and money? Yes, it’s inevitably to bring in more business, but you accomplish this through building relationships. So all the public relations work you do — it’s to get people to like and trust you with their hard-earned money.
Now having said that, what a lot of small businesses fail to realize is that all it takes is one or two unintentional faux pas to negate all your hard work and make your customers distrust you. Here are a few things you may find yourself doing that could cause this to happen.
- Poor communication. It’s a busy world; you won’t hear me denying it. And the more our marketing efforts succeed, the busier we become. But a negative side effect of this calculated growth is that it’s easy to let our procedures and communication falter in the process. So when you jump from 5 clients to say…30 clients, suddenly those prompt return phone calls may slow down a bit. Just remember that much of that trust you built up with your first clients was founded on the open communication lines you fostered. Once a client sees them closing, you can bet the seed of distrust is planted and taking root.
- Jargon. Time and time again I see companies fail in the way they speak to customers. Whether it’s simply how you’re used to speaking about your industry or you are looking to assert your expertise, it’s easy (and dangerous) to get caught up in throwing out those multi-syllabic words or acronyms. But rest assured that your clients will be anything but impressed. What it ends up doing is making you seem all high and mighty, as well as making your client feel left out of the loop. Instead, get down on their level and speak in their own language.
- Complex contracts. Have you ever sat down to do business with a company only to find their contract too long to even begin to read? At that point, how did you feel? First of all, you probably felt a little apprehensive to sign. Secondly, you likely just wanted to get the whole thing over with. So you slapped your signature on there, crossed your fingers, and prayed that you were not getting screwed by signing away your life’s rights. What you probably didn’t realize is how you lost a bit of trust for the company in the process. Look, plain sentences work just as well as long drawn out ones steeped in legalese. So do your best to shorten your contract down to only what you NEED to protect your business transactions.
- Unprofessional web presence. Let me get right to the point here. Nothing screams scammer like a template website full of pop ups and Google ads. Do yourself a favor and pay money up front to have a decent website built for your company!
- Overpromising. Ever got that feeling that an offer was just too good to be true? What happens then? Either you just walk away because you know you’re going to get a knife in the back, or you proceed with your guard up. Consider this: yes you want to offer something different than other companies. But you don’t want to overpromise to the point that you sound suspicious.
What other things have you found will cause customers to distrust you? Share them with us.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html