I was with my mom this weekend, so I think I’m going to be a little wackier than normal. Hi Mom.
Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be to create a business and a life that you love. And this is Q and A Tuesday, and today’s question comes from Miss Evelyn. And Evelyn writes, “Hi Marie. After watching all your recent videos, I’ve been thinking a lot about the strong sense of trust you create in your business. Through free phone calls, videos and newsletters, you come across as a genuine friend, and a funny one at that, who we can rely on to pursue our dreams. As an artist, it’s crucial for me to communicate this same sense of trust to potential clients in order to get more commission work. However, I’m struggling with where to begin. Since I can’t really offer full refunds once I put paint to canvas, I feel like I’m a step behind in the ‘please trust me’ game. So my question is, what are some steps I can take to communicate a genuine sense of trust to appeal to potential clients? Thank you for your time, Evelyn.”
Great question, Evelyn. Creating trust is an essential part of creating a business and life that you love. But before we go any further, I want to nip something in the bud. So you talked about feeling a step behind in this “please trust me” game, and I want to tell you something, that is not true. You do not have to offer refunds in order to create trust. Obviously that doesn’t work for your business model. So just don’t do it.
Now I know you’re asking yourself, well, what do I do then? And I’m going to give you some insights, but I got to say in our business, ironically, we’ve never really thought about creating trust, and maybe that’s why people feel a great sense of trust with us. There’s no formula to follow. There’s nothing really strategic we do besides be really honest, be really transparent, and only do and say what we believe in.
So all that being said, here are two principles that can help you inspire trust in your customers. Number one is be true to you. So in my company and on this show, we only do things that we really believe in. We only say things that we can stand behind, and in my own life, both in the business and personally, if I don’t feel it, I don’t do it. And if I don’t believe in it, I don’t say it. Bottom line is I don’t pretend ever, except perhaps maybe when I’m playing Smurf Kingdom. I am Queen Smurfette, and I summon you all to get in my mushroom.
So a little behind the scenes secret from Marie TV. When we start to write out these episodes, if I start to make a suggestion, I always ask myself, “Wait a minute, would I actually do this or do I actually do this?” If the answer is no, I don’t write it. Same thing. If I’m like, “Oh, I can really relate to this fear,” and I check myself and go, “Wait, I actually don’t have that fear,” then I don’t say it. And similarly in our business, if people try and give us money for things that we don’t want to take money for, for example, like putting ads on our site, we just say no.
As an artist you can and should do this too. So, for example, if you’re an abstract artist and someone wants you to paint a portrait of their pet ferret named Big Dick, you can say, “No thank you, I ain’t painting Dick.” In other words, if you don’t feel it, don’t do it. And when you’re honest with yourself and honest with your market, you will instantly inspire trust.
Number two, you want to set clear expectations. So in my company, we are obsessed with letting people know how things are going to work. So for example, if you sign up for our email list, we tell you here’s what’s going to happen next. Here’s when you can expect to hear from us. If you sign up for B- school, here’s exactly what’s going to happen next. We’re going to walk you through the process. Same thing with a live event. We’re always trying to let people know exactly what’s going to happen next. What this does is remove fear and uncertainty, and completely set people at ease, and it inspires trust.
As an artist, you can do this too. So you know the biggest concern people have about a commissioned custom piece, they’re thinking in their minds, “What happens if I don’t like it?” So why not set up a process where you walk people through exactly what’s going to happen. So in our business, we commissioned a custom piece of artwork for our office and we love it. And the reason I love it is because the artist actually took us through the whole process step by step. She showed us her timeline, she allowed us to give feedback, she showed us the progress along the way, and the thing came out amazing.
Now for you as an artist, you may not want to give your clients an ability to give feedback, so you’ve got to make the right choice for you. But the point is, if you walk people through the process and you give them an option somewhere to say, “You know what? This isn’t for me. I’d actually like to back out,” they’re going to feel so much more comfortable doing business with you. So let’s wrap this up with a tweetable. Build your business on truth and trust will build itself.
That was my A to your Q, Evelyn, let us know how it goes. And now I would love to hear from you. So what makes you trust someone enough to do business with them? Any do’s and don’ts that you’d like to share, either from your own business or as a customer? As always, the most awesome discussions happen after the episode over at marieforleo.com, so get yourself over and leave a comment right now.
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Greg, I’m going to give you, I’m going to give you something, Greg. Oh yeah. New set. New set. Kind of new set in the back. We are ready to go. Are you in the shot? Yeah, we’re really trustworthy. Go figure. I kind of like being a dirty Smurf.