Trust In Others

Someone has a positive experience with you or your product – great, get a review. Bad experience – great, get a review.

Here’s the problem:

1/4 of people spend up to six months looking at alternatives to yours.

That’s not all.

Another report states that 46% of people display a distinct lack of trust to those they buy from.

So it’s a pretty big problem we on our hands.

A lack of confidence in products and services and people and brands delay purchases to the point where it becomes a real dogfight. It’s anyone’s game.

We can communicate value and elicit transparency.

But this still won’t stop consumers looking elsewhere.

Looking for trust.

In the 1970s, a psychologist named George Silverman conducted an experiment.

He brought physicians together to discuss pharmaceutical products.

He would set up focus groups for those physicians to begin a conversation about a particular drug.

In each focus group experiment, initially, the physicians would fall into three categories.

1) Those who had positive experiences with the drug; 2) those who were sceptics; and 3) ex-prescribers who had had bad experiences with the drug.

But as those discussions progressed, George Silverman noticed something happen.

He explained:

“One or two physicians who were having good experiences with a drug would sway an entire group of sceptics.”

“They would even sway a dissatisfied group of ex-prescribers who had had negative experiences!”

The physicians, highly educated in their field, were influenced by other physicians.

Regardless of what they originally believed.

Just by listening to the opinions of the other physicians who went on the record with their experiences about the drug.

Trust means believing that the person or company who is trusted will do what is expected of them.

Where trust is absent, every relationship or meaningful conversation fails.

During a purchasing process, people go on a quest to find trust online.

Seeking those opinions.

Google Reviews, Facebook, Trustpilot, Amazon, Yelp, Manta…

All influential platforms.

It’s here where trust – or lack of it – is found, based on others who have found trust – again, or lack of it – in those products or services.

For those selling, it’s reputation management.

We need to be monitoring the sites and platforms people review and talk on.

Anywhere where you – or your competitors – are need monitoring.

Then, we need to encourage customers to review on those sites. Even if the experience is a negative one.

(Telling them what sort of review to post because without this prompt most won’t.)

Then after leaving the review, we should look to move this word of mouth marketing movement to another level.

As some of those people could become brand ambassadors and referrers.

Okay, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. But that’s how a reputation marketer thinks.

When it comes to online reviews, though, it falls at the very bottom of our to-do lists.

Lots to do and no time to fit it all in.

Even though deep down we know the rewards are substantial.

We’ll conduct telemarketing campaigns and we’ll create product videos and we’ll and spend a ton of money on the flashy marketing technology.

But we’re not getting to the root of the problem: We won’t build trust or sell quicker.

Instead, we set up other initiatives that will create further problems.

This is why George Silverman’s experiment is worth remembering.

Opinions, decisions, and therefore buying experiences, are influenced by reviews. By the word of mouth of others.

Trust is now gained mainly by taking someone else’s word for it. There are too many alternatives not to consider the experiences of those who have experience with something previously.

Which TV would you buy?


The bonus prize…

(Here comes another study…)

A Harvard Business Review states that just replying to those online reviews can boost reputation – another nice task for the reputation marketer.

Maybe then the number of months people take shopping for alternatives will decrease.

Or they won’t need to shop for alternatives at all.

And they will trust you in the first instance.

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10 thoughts on “Trust In Others

  1. Very interesting point about answering reviews (good or bad) increasing trust. It occurs to me that the doctors valued the opinion of a member of their peer group, not just any old expert. Thank you for the insights, Gareth.

  2. Very interesting post and the detailed analysis in regard to the pharmaceutical product is exhilarating. Also thanks for liking my posts and following me. Kindly note I am also a Marketing guy. Read my other posts/poems.

  3. “Where trust is absent, every relationship or meaningful conversation fails.” Totally agree and it is one of my favourite theories – Rogers three core conditions!

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