One of the easiest ways to start a relationship in the absence of any face-to-face contact is to build familiarity. Developing familiarity is one of the most effective techniques you can use to build rapport with prospects. The key to building familiarity and establishing yourself as an expert is to keep your name in front of the prospect. There are several ways you can do this, and in this blog, we cover the “Old School” way and how it’s now moving towards a Digital Age.
The “Old School” way
For years, one of the best ways to build familiarity in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer context was advertising in trade publications. Maintaining a highly visible presence in those publications helped companies gradually build up familiarity among their readers, who presumably were their target audiences. Then, when sales reps made contact with those audiences, they already heard about the company or knew something about it.
Moving into the Digital Age
The rise of digital media has created a long list of other marketing channels that can accomplish the same purpose, such as email marketing and social media. In particular, video provides an excellent way to build familiarity and trust. When you include a brief video clip in an email or have team members on short videos on your website, your prospects develop a sense of familiarity more quickly. When you finally meet in person, they feel they already know you, putting you steps ahead on the road to building trust.
There are other digital channels that offer more proven ways to build familiarity and demonstrate your expertise. But that is only if you’re willing to put in the extra work to make sure you’re being seen. Companies spend too much money to create a website, then just sit back and wait for business to come to them–which rarely works. Instead, demonstrate your expertise and use your website as a hub for all that content.
One of those most simple ways of doing this is developing a blog in which you share advice or address common questions about the issues your customers are facing. You can also develop videos that show how your solution helps customers solve problems. For more complex or detailed situations, you may want to consider creating white-label resources that collect valuable information and share it with an educational, authoritative tone.
Wrapping it Up
You already have knowledge that would benefit your clients, so it’s just a matter of conveying your expertise in a variety of formats. No matter what channel you use, a critical element of building familiarity with prospects is to focus on them, their needs, and concerns. Use blogs, articles, videos, and more to position your company and what you offer as a solution. Focus on areas where they need help and show them how you can provide it. That’s the most effective way to create real familiarity and trust.
For more on building familiarity with your prospects, check out episode #85 of our Talent, Sales, and Scales Podcast. In this episode, host Bryan Wittington and James Buckley dive into the benefits of Continuous Learning & Development!