Earlier in the year I wrote an article about how being honest can lead to higher conversions and increased sales. The article touched on how being honest and transparent within your business always leads to something positive (i.e. better customer relationships, improved brand image and increased sales).
Let’s look at Tiger Woods for a second. We’re currently in the midst of his sex scandal and as I type this, Tiger Wood’s is still in hiding. We (the public, the consumers of his products…i.e. his Nike apparel, Gatorade, his video games, his Tag Heuer watch’s, etc.) have not heard a peep from him in almost two weeks. And with each passing minute, his reputation, his brand image, his entire life is dwindling down the drain.
Now let’s rewind for a second and go back a few years when Kobe Bryant faced a similar problem. Kobe was accused of sexual assault and was caught cheating on his wife. Although a similar story (with a similar world reaction), Kobe did something not many people would do. He held a press conference the very next day and took full responsibility for his actions. In front of the entire world, he admitted to committing adultery on his wife and sincerely apologized for his actions.
In a world full of sin, when someone shows their weakness and admits their faults (similar to what Kobe did), it is impossible not to look at your own problems and issues and forgive. At that moment when Kobe showed complete transparency into his life, I’m sure almost half the world respected him instantly (at least I did). And having done so, he was able to continue through the NBA season, fight his court battle and eventually gain the trust of the public and his sponsors. It took a while as it should, but his transparency was the turning point to rebuilding his image.
Now how does all this relate to businesses? Personally, I preach this all the time. Small and Mid-Size businesses can learn from both Tiger Woods’ mistake and Kobe Bryant’s (I’m sorry speech) and start being more transparent to their customers. This is not to say businesses need to “rebuild” their image. I’m saying by showing more transparency, you can build a stronger image of your brand and inject trust into your potential customers, turning them into loyal paying customers.
For business owners, this principle is quite simple…just show people who you are. Start with a photo of yourself. Show people the inside of your shop. Show them pictures of your company picnic. Show them how your product is made or how it works in the real world (using video). Show people that you make mistakes, that you’re human. What this does, it shows people you’re honest. And then, they’ll trust you and start doing business with you. And for those that are already doing business with you, your relationships will grow much stronger.
If you’re a small business owner and you want to discuss some techniques on how to build trust, improve your customer’s perception of your business and increase sales while doing so, give me a shout – I’d be happy assist.