This morning the phone rang. It was a recorded message. It's rare that I listen to one of these recordings. My knee jerk response is to hangup. But there was a reason I kept listening. The offer was something I wanted. And the sales presentation was surprisingly excellent. The recording had a strong, clear, energetic voiceover and the brief message got to the point quickly. The ending had a strong call to action and a sense of urgency. You could press 1 and speak to a representative or you could press 2 to disconnect and give your competitor the opportunity for a one person per industry opportunity. Wow! I wanted to know more. I called and spoke to an outgoing and knowledgeable telemarketer. He answered my questions. He showed me the site online with an example of a customer's site. The price wasn't out of reach. All I had to do was give my credit card over the phone and I would be assigned a representative who would get me started. The offer sounded exciting and something that would help me grow my business. He asked for my credit card and I said no.
And there was one major reason I didn't do it. One little five letter word stopped me cold. That word is TRUST. I didn't know the person on the other end and couldn't be sure if this was a legitimate company or a telephone scam. If there had been a television or radio infomercial with an 800 number there would've been a little more legitimacy. But an unsolicited call will always raise doubts no matter how well the caller speaks or how polished the presentation.
In today's market, trust is at an all time low. Audiences have a prove-it-to-me attitude. Not only are they slow to part with their money; the lack of trust is a symptom of fear. Speaking continues to be the new competitive weapon. But use it wisely. Build a relationship with your audience. Develop a know-like-trust process through social media, articles, blogging, youtube, and third party endorsements. So that when you call or even speak before a live audience there will be a spark of recognition and the beginning of trust.