Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

Looking to add some finishing flair to your next marketing piece?

Unique, eye-catching folds offer so much room to flex your creativity! When creating your next masterpiece, here are some fun print folds to consider:

Sliding Message Sleeve Mailers

To fuel engagement with your prospects, try a die-cut envelope that peaks through to a sleeve mailer inside.

Upon first glance, readers see one message or image. But when they slip the inner card out of the envelope, a brilliant reveal appears from the back panel.

Accordion Folds

Accordion folds are great because they fold down small but hold a great deal of information.

Accordion folds resemble the letter “Z” and zig-zag back and forth, dividing a page into thirds (or even sixths!). Use them for brochures, mini-booklets, or sticker-sealed mailers. The average accordion-folded sheet includes two folds and six panels of design space (front and back). Make the most of your real estate with this flexible, engaging design.

Poster Folds with a Zip Strip

Looking to send something large in a pocket-sized package?

Try a zip strip opener with an inner package that unfolds to a unique shape or size. Whether the folded section is wide and narrow or opens as an iron-cross brochure, this small package blooms bright for a big, memorable impact.

Roll Folds

Rolls folds consist of four or more panels that roll into each other.

Also known as a barrel fold, this option is perfect when you have a considerable amount of content but you need to keep the finished product as compact as possible. Roll folds also spark curiosity and depth as you reveal a new message or theme with each opening panel.

Exotic Folds

Like intricate origami, exotic folds are non-standard, completely unique folds created to a designer’s specifications.

Though they can be expensive, exotic folds allow you to stretch the limits in unforgettable ways. From a flower-petaled postcard to a custom-printed folding box, these highly tailored pieces will give your media a fancy, luxurious edge.

Pop-up Folds

When you want to add extra dimension to your booklet or brochure, go 3D with a die-cut and fold technique that creates a pop-up feature from within.

Pop-up pieces should instantly pique customer interest with a direct focus on the product or service you are promoting. Examples might include:

  • A performing arts invitation that reveals a pop-out “stage” once the card is unfolded
  • A fold-over mailer or brochure designed to look like a briefcase, which springs open to deliver your unforgettable offer
  • An architect’s brochure that brings to life a 3D city skyline, with revitalized storefronts in the center

A Shape That Tells Your Story

No matter what fold or design you choose, remember your story should play the starring role.

Choose a focused narrative and weave it through your imagery, tabs, pullouts, pop-up text, or brochure copy. From fun folds to creative exterior packaging, great designs will blend all these elements to share your clever, cohesive story.

Want to go a cut above the competition? Leverage your printed piece’s shape to add character or dimension people just won’t forget!

Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

Have you exited a bathroom without realizing there was toilet paper on your shoe?

Or awkwardly tried to make conversation with someone who had food on their face? Whether someone is clumsy in conversation or they have really bad breath, a lack of self-awareness can profoundly hinder their reputation or influence.

Success Starts in Relationships

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self: including traits, behaviors, appearance, and feelings. Researchers find two areas of self-awareness to be especially important in leadership:

Internal self-awareness: This represents how clearly you see your values, passions, aspirations, fit with your environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.

Internal self-awareness is associated with higher job and relationship satisfaction, personal and social control, and happiness. It is negatively related to anxiety, stress, and depression.

External self-awareness: Understanding how other people view you can make you more responsive as a team member and more skilled at showing empathy or taking others’ perspectives.

When you more clearly see yourself as others do, you will have better relationships with your team, and they will view you as a more effective leader.

If success starts in relationships, self-awareness is arguably the most important capability for leaders to develop. The numbers reflect this. In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.

Know Yourself to Empower Better Choices

Do you want to grow in self-awareness? Here are a few areas to focus on:

1- Strengths and weaknesses

Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that can hinder us or help us reach our goals.

Take ownership over these regularly, and compensate for shortcomings through personal development, honest acknowledgement of your struggles, or by delegating weak areas to someone with greater expertise.

2- Triggers

Identify what factors, triggers, or indicators – both negative and positive – prompt others’ behaviors toward you.

Think about questions like: why do you do the things you do, and how do others respond? How do you respond in turn, and why do you react the way you do? What is the impact of culture on your perspective and others’ perceptions?

3- Moods

Try not to make decisions when you’re in a bad mood.

Whether you’re feeling depressed or just “hangry,” bad moods can make you lose sight of your hope or your values. Emotionally aware people can push pause, allowing trying situations to simmer down before they respond.

4- Personal Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and curious people are nimble amidst challenges.

While you can’t control your circumstances, you can take responsibility for who you become. Stay curious, respect others’ opinions, and don’t stop seeking to grow and change.

Commit to Continual Growth

Emotional intelligence empowers you to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and to proactively manage your relationships in healthier ways.

Leaders who focus on building self-awareness will seek honest feedback from others and examine why they succeed or fail in different circumstances. And this can be fun! Remember, no matter how much progress you make, there’s always more to learn. That’s one of the things that makes personal growth so exciting.

Envelopes: The Humble Hero of Direct Mail

Who doesn’t love a good party?

As we move toward year-end holiday gatherings, many of us look forward to gathering with friends and family. However, a party is only successful if people actually COME, and most people attend for one primary reason — they were invited!

Attractive Envelopes Invite People to “Come on In”

The same principle is true in business.

A mailing is only as effective as its response rate, and an envelope serves as a great invitation to dig deeper. Custom envelopes are a simple tool that dramatically increases reader response. In a world of distraction, envelopes serve as a soft introduction, inviting people to “come on in” and experience more of what you have to offer. Thoughtful, creative envelopes will entice people to dial into (and not discard!) the message you have carefully crafted.

Do you want to expand your business by reaching new prospects? Current direct mail statistics are exciting! The 2018 Direct Mail Association Response Rate Report revealed household list response rates are around nine percent, significantly up from 2017, when it was 5.1%. The prospect list response rate was 4.9%, also showing a significant increase compared to the 2.9% the previous year.

What’s contributing to this spike? Technology. Thanks to technological advancements, mail marketers are gathering more data about consumer behavior. On average, response rates increase by 30% when direct mail is paired with digital targeting.

When you send mail to people who actually look forward to it, you’ll prompt much greater interest!

4 Keys to Getting Your Envelopes Opened

When you’re ready to create your custom envelope, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate

Larger envelopes prompt a reader response rate of around five percent, the highest of any direct mail format.

When you break from the norm, people will notice. Experiment with a wide variety of shapes and sizes, colors, and textures (linen, cockle, matte, coated, glossy, or metallic). Make your envelope stand out from the other envelopes people receive every day!

Follow the three-second rule

When designing your mailing, remember the envelope has about three seconds to engage readers.

Grab attention with enticing product photos or short teaser prompts (like, “your free gift is here!”). You pay for the whole envelope, so why not use it? Use every inch for impact by including your logo, taglines, or back-flap branding.

Experiment with the “extras”

There are so many ways to build curiosity with your envelope.

Have fun with options like these:

  • Try a peek-through window featuring a color photograph of your product, a membership card, or contest entry form.
  • Embellish your envelopes with foil stamping or embossing to feature an anniversary or warranty seal.
  • Drive engagement by using a zip-strip opener, a peel-off sticker, or a pull-off repositionable note to encourage reader retention and reaction. The longer your prospects engage with your envelope, the more likely they will be to open it.

Put the reader First

When crafting a sales pitch, many marketers focus more on the product than its audience.

But readers are not primarily concerned with how slick your idea is, they are concerned with how great it will make their lives. Envelope taglines or images should concisely present a key benefit your product brings to consumers.

Packaging Matters

Great packaging can increase response rates and enhance emotional connections with your clients.

Are your envelopes offering people your best? In a world of visual clutter, excellent envelopes are a vital component of every marketing mix. Be sure your envelopes carry a message that’s classy and confident, just like you.

Why Carbonless Forms Make a Great Tech-Free Solution

When you “cc” someone on an email, do you ever think about what this abbreviation actually means?

In 1801, Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper to provide ink for his mechanical typing machine, which was one of the first typewriters. Five years later, carbon paper was patented and released to the general public. Carbon paper soon became a primary method for rapidly reproducing documents or booklets, and today its legacy has remained in the header of emails. The “cc” abbreviation stands for “carbon copies,” or copies intended for recipients other than the principal addressee.

Since Turri’s day, carbonless forms have largely replaced their early ancestor. Carbonless copy paper has micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, and a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from writing or impact printing), the dye capsules rupture and react with the clay to form a permanent mark duplicating the markings made to the top sheet. In the span of seconds, intermediary layers act as multipart stationery, adding flexibility and convenience to any business exchange.

Simplify and Save

In many industries, carbonless forms work better than electronic documents, and they may be a perfect fit for your business.

Carbonless forms offer a speedy solution that is ideal for capturing handwritten signatures or personal notes taken during an order or appointment. Want to ditch the unnecessary equipment or the headaches of expensive tech repairs? These forms are especially handy for team members who are frequently in the field, when you’re working face-to-face with clients, or when time and accuracy are essential.

Where can you put carbonless forms to work? The possibilities abound! Try these sensible custom pads for:

  • Invoices or inventory tracking
  • Design drafts or sales estimates
  • Onsite service calls
  • Patient intake forms
  • Inspections, permits, or delivery confirmations
  • As a customizable receipt for your small business

Carbonless forms are used in a wide range of industries, including mechanical, agriculture, funeral services, transportation, home improvement, auctions, and more. They are great for any situation where you want a simple business solution or a quick reproduction of up to four simultaneous copies.

And just because these forms are practical doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Experiment with bold graphics, two colors of ink, custom finishes, or three-hole drilling to allow for archiving in binders or booklets. Sequential numbering will enable you to easily track your transactions, or you can also send varying designs to print multiple for types in the same size and finish.

Get Your Forms ASAP

Ready to get started? Go carbonless with this convenient, budget-friendly option. Craft smart, rapid-return designs that will hold up for years.

Send an inquiry today for your free estimate!

How to Keep Your Cool in Pressure-Packed Situations

In July of 2020, more than four million people savored the chance to watch live Major League Baseball on the opening night of a historic 60 game series.

Due to the intensity of the abbreviated coronavirus season, each game matters immensely. By winning the first game, a team instantly has nearly a 3-game lead over the team that it beats. With the number of season games shrinking by half, every homerun and strikeout is intensified. Only those teams that can perform well under pressure can pull out a short season victory.

Many people in the business world are facing a similar pressure.

Corporate teams have been forced to adopt tighter timelines, operate with a slimmer margin, or do more with fewer teammates. How will you respond to that pressure? And how can you encourage those around you to avoid panic or stress?

Here are three tips to guide you through moments of high intensity:

1. Create a Prioritization Strategy

Make a list of monthly tasks and then assess each item.

Ask questions like: is this item important to me? Will it relieve pressure or clear space in my day? Does it move our team forward? If not, look at delegating, postponing, or eliminating this task.

2. Focus on the Fundamentals

You never really become better in the moment.

In moments of immense stress, it is easy to make foolish decisions or go for the "Hail Mary" option. With so much uncertainty, playing a wild card can be a costly mistake. Instead of looking for a magic bullet, focus more on the most basic, time-tested strategies for success. Whether this is following up on prospects, or just a willingness to make the high-percentage "predictable" move again and again, stick with strategies that have historically brought success.

3. Change How You Think About Pressure

"Pressure is a privilege."

Tennis great Billie Jean King has been credited with this quote, and there is a reason it hits home for so many.

One of the most daunting parts about working in tense conditions is the temptation to psyche yourself out. Sports psychologists help athletes overcome this by using visualization of positive outcomes. Before a match or competition, top players coin short phrases describing who they are at their best: "I am consistent, I am intimidating, and I never give up without a fight." When stressful moments come, athletes don’t focus on the worst ("don’t strike out, don’t strike out") but consciously visualize success. When confidence flows, players are more likely to rise to their potential.

Another way to visualize success is by breaking a mammoth task into manageable pieces so you can actually "see" how the work could be completed. Best-selling author and business coach Dave Anderson says people can face overwhelming situations by breaking their response into manageable pieces:

"More often than not, we worry about some imaginary catastrophe that never happens, and that tends to render us powerless," Anderson said. "Focus on one aspect of the task at a time, instead of looking at it in its totality. If you make a list of every step and use a "paint-by-numbers" approach, you’ll be fine."

Resistance Training Builds Strength

Whether it is demands from your boss or supply chain obstructions, every person has obstacles that threaten to derail them from success.

But ultimately, stressful situations can push your performance to levels you could never reach otherwise. As University of Tulsa psychologist Jennifer Ragsdale says, "without challenge comes boredom. A life with zero stress is not a life worth living."

Sell Yourself with a Winning Elevator Pitch

Can you introduce yourself or your business in a brief, compelling way?

An elevator pitch does precisely that. While the origins of this term are debated, the name reflects the idea of a quick speech that could be given in the span of an elevator ride (thirty seconds to two minutes).

An elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way that any listener could understand. This engaging summary could be used to entice an investor, to explain an idea, or to sell your services. Done right, your pitch can help you land a job or connect with prospective customers.

It can take time to solidify your pitch, but here are four tips that can help:

1. Build a Connection

The start of a conversation is a perfect time to establish a relationship.

Begin by introducing yourself and, if possible, build off a previous connection or shared experience. As you share, try to reference your credentials, training, or something that differentiates you from competitors.

Here are a few engaging openers:

–How does your organization recruit new employees?

–Can I tell you about the best mobile tools for training your staff remotely?

–Let me tell you about the time I took our products all the way to South America for ___.

2. Introduce Your Company or Career Goals

To move the conversation forward, draft a one-sentence story that answers the question, “what do you/your business do?”

Since listeners are inherently self-focused, make sure your account highlights what you can do for your prospect, including the value you can deliver or the problems your business can solve.

If you’re selling yourself, remember to outline your big picture vision. Say something like, “I’m looking to land a role in marketing,” or “I’m hoping to relocate to ___ for _____.” When a person understands your role or goals, they are in a better position to help to connect you to someone who can.

3. Highlight Your Unique Value or Achievements

After establishing who you are, now it’s time to shine.

Point to any unique selling points or personal achievements that make you (or your business) stand out. Back this up with evidence or testimonials from satisfied customers. Anticipate potential skepticism ad head this off with facts, examples, or trustworthy referrals.

4. Ask a Question

As you close your introduction, be sure to ask an open-ended question.

This can help engage the person in a longer conversation or open the door for you to trade business cards or follow up with a company brochure or a personal resume.

Here are a few compelling closers:

“Here is my contact information, can I get your email and follow up with you later?”

“Could you connect me with your business manager so I can share more about what I could offer your team?”

“If you have time, I would love to meet again to chat more.”

Practice Makes Perfect

It takes time to grow confidence, so hone and refine your speech over time.

Most people will go through multiple drafts before settling on the words that are just right. And depending on your audience, your pitch may be slightly different each time. Remember, the most potent conversations are those whose subject matter is highly relevant to the listener.

­­Be upbeat and flexible and you’ll make connections like a pro!

Embrace Conflict and Diversity to Grow the Strongest Possible Teams

2020 has been a time of unrest, listening, and re-evaluating priorities.

Businesses have been particularly challenged to examine their own biases and to proactively seek the well-being of all people. While topics of diversity and inclusion can be difficult to navigate, strong leaders recognize that a variety of opinions and backgrounds bring a better result.

At P&G, this mindset drives leaders to embrace conflicting opinions. To create an inclusive environment, supervisors try not to shy away from disagreements or heated discussions:

“Accessing diverse points of view is vital in creating optimum strategies and plans,” said Geraldine Huse, CEO & chairman of the board. “An inclusive leader creates an environment where disagreement is viewed positively. I have learned from experience that the more diverse the team, the more debate and disagreement we have and the better the outcome . . . Listening to people, understanding and solving problems collectively, taking advantage of all the diverse experience – this is what makes an inclusive leader successful.”

Leadership is Influence

No factor plays a bigger role in creating a company’s culture than its leadership.

Many people think of leadership as a top-down, closed circle of directors. But real leadership is influence, so scientists describe leadership differently. Specifically, leaders are people who can navigate a psychological process that enables individuals to improve collective actions. The best teams are comprised of people who set aside individual, selfish agendas to work as a cohesive unit. Here, groups achieve something powerful they could never accomplish alone.

If you want to develop effective, influential leaders, collaboration is key. While there is no simple method for building an inclusive corporate culture, here are three traits you can encourage in yourself and others.

Humility

Being in charge doesn’t mean you are right.

Read that sentence again, because we all need to hear it! One of the primary reasons you’ll fail to grow as a leader is your temptation toward pride. Just because you feel confident about something doesn’t mean you couldn’t be wrong. Humble leaders are willing to listen to others, to admit weakness, and to change their minds.

Courage

People who influence others are those who drive change.

But this can be very uncomfortable! While it is rarely convenient to challenge the status quo, innovation and diversity can’t flourish in static environments. In particular, courageous leaders are clear on their values and principles, but they are brave enough to do things differently. As Dr. Carol Dweck once said, the word FAIL means “First Attempt In Learning.”

Courageous leaders can walk away from unproductive situations, and they view diversity as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and no trait is as foundational for growth as curiosity.

Curious leaders are interested in other people and don’t shy away from those different than them. They are eager to understand why people think the way they do, and they aren’t afraid to engage with those who disagree.

To be a curious learner, ask a lot of questions (even dumb questions!). Work to suspend your embedded attitudes, experiences, or assumptions, and lean into a mental or emotional state where things “might” fail. Allow people to explore imaginary outcomes with phrases like, “could it be?” or “what if?” Then listen without judgment to learn.

Fuel Synergy From Diversity

Do you want to build a culture where everyone can thrive?

Leaders who can create a strong synergy out of diverse (or even opposite!) individual elements will embrace conflict and welcome different perspectives. By reducing the homogeneity of groupthink, you will maximize collaboration, encourage personal and corporate well-being, and keep your decision-making biases in check.

What to Do When You’re Tempted to Give Up on Your Business

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

– NFL Coach Vince Lombardi

Should I give up?

It’s the question that hits every aspiring leader at some point. It’s a seed of doubt rooted deep in our emotions and our identities as humans.

As an entrepreneur, you will continuously face discouragement that threatens to cheat you out of hope and possibility. When you are tempted to quit on your business, what should you do?

Rest is Best

While there are many things you can do to combat discouragement, one of the best things is also the simplest: REST.

Making decisions when you are fatigued or depressed can have long-lasting consequences. A pessimistic outlook can shape the trajectory of a decision, leading to poor outcomes down the road. And weariness has real effects: one study found that U.S. clinicians were 26% more likely to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics to patients during the fourth hour of work on a typical day.

When you feel beat down or uncertain, get a few good nights of sleep, take a vacation, or focus on a different aspect of a challenging project for a bit. Taking time to replenish your emotional and mental resources is one of the best decisions you can make.

Look for Opportunities

When you only focus on problems, the result is restlessness, anxiety, and ulcers.

Instead, push yourself to look for opportunities. In the COVID-19 season, that’s what many businesses are doing.

Sugarbird Sweets and Tea, a California-based scone specialist, grounded their business in selling sweets and teas wholesale to restaurants and hotels. But once stay-at-home orders were issued, these catering orders dried up and clients disappeared:

“Within three weeks, we were down 95 percent of our revenue,” said Kei Okumura, founder and owner of Los Angeles-based Sugarbird Sweets. “We had to quickly pivot to support and provide our services to consumers, direct.”

Sugarbird made an intentional shift from catering to individual online orders. This meant upgrading their platforms and shipping logistics to better serve current and future customers. Okumera says that, though this has been challenging, she sees the rapid increase in online presence as a push toward growth:

“I think it’s a good thing—I think it’s a great thing,” Okumura said about going online. “If I could ship this nationwide with hubs across the nation, so I can do two-day shipping to New York or to the Midwest, that would be fantastic.”

While this season is demanding, it can push every entrepreneur to tighten their business plan and drop any distractions.

Reconnect with Your Why

People are most tempted to quit when their business isn’t making money, or it’s just not fun anymore.

A business won’t survive long if enjoyment or profit are the only things driving you. So, when you’re feeling weary, re-examine the greater meaning that motivates you. Get with other trusted friends and talk through questions like these:

  • What do we love to do?
  • What was the difference we set out to make in people’s lives through this business?
  • How does our company or idea bring distinct value, comfort, or joy?
  • Why is our company unique?

The Heart of Every Entrepreneur

While ideas come and go, entrepreneurship is an identity.

To be an entrepreneur is to declare that your mission is to create extraordinary value in the world. Businesses are just vehicles for that value creation, so while the outward form of your business may change, your heart as an entrepreneur will not.

5 Best-Value Print Products to Increase Your Sales

Advertising dollars are sometimes in short supply, and it can be hard to know where to invest yours.

Print marketing is alive and strong, but if your budget is limited, you may need to focus on a few thoughtfully-crafted items. Here are five pieces that can stretch your dollar the farthest.

1. Business Cards

First impressions can make or break your business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting relationships.

Despite our online connections, business cards continue as a staple of every industry, because of their role in the branding experience. These cards hold more than just contact details: smart strategists view them as a glance into a company’s quality, personality, or services.

While they are inexpensive to print, their impact is significant!

2. Targeted Postcards

A physical object in their hands gives your message palpable weight.

And recent stats bring news of impressive direct mail response rates. In 2018, postcards sent to generic prospect lists generated a 4.9% response rate, while targeted household mailing lists generated 9%. Thanks to technological advancements, today you can send content-tailored mail to people who actually look forward to it, prompting a higher response!

Want to step it up a notch? Today’s printing capabilities allow you to dream and DO almost anything with sizing, shapes, or finishes. Think outside the rectangle with tri-fold layouts, square promo cards, or coupons with detachable referral slips that people can give a friend.

3. Presentation Folders

Want a tasteful way to share your message?

Presentation folders allow you to distribute information in a convenient, memorable package. Offering people a stack of papers is a good way to have your marketing thrown away quickly, while packaging pricing information, brochures, and contracts in a folder is a great way to keep documents safe and front-of-mind. Containing anything from USB flash drives to stepped insert flyers, even smaller folders can offer the business solution you need. Here are two examples:

Use a 3 * 7-inch promo (including a business card, personal introductory flyer, and coupon incentive) to share during informal introductions or social gatherings.

Try a 4 * 9-inch pocketed folder (including a business card cutout slot, stacked product promos, and customized question/answer flyer) to use during client meetings or referral contacts.

4. Retractable Banners

Want to put your message front and center?

Gain exposure for your brand with classy custom banners! Retractable banners radiate excellence, and can be used for retail spaces, special events, trade shows, and more. Portable and cost-effective, retractable banners are well-suited for changing out banner prints, ensuring your message stands tall in the busiest pedestrian spaces.

5. Catalogs

Ready to give catalogs or booklets some consideration?

You should. Studies from the Data & Marketing Association show that the response rate for catalogs is increasing, partially because younger people enjoy catalogs:

“Millennials stand out a bit higher than other generations in terms of engaging with mail,” said Neil O’Keefe, the association’s senior vice president of marketing and content. “Millennials are very engaged by imagery, and the catalog really allows that to stand out. So, the response rate there is very different than what you would experience with a display ad, even an email. The response rate for a printed piece has been on the rise.”

The return rate on catalogs can be especially effective when you reach the right audience at the right time. According to CNBC, catalogs sent to key customers at strategic times yield an average return of $3 for every $1 invested – and up to $9 for every $1 invested when sent to the very best customers.

Look Your Best in Print

Print marketing is an effective way to generate leads, make sales, and solidify customer loyalty.

Ready to start your next masterpiece? From first-glance flyers to head-turning portfolio pieces, we’ll resource you with compelling pieces that make your reputation shine.

How to Establish Trust with Potential Clients

Have you ever received a cold call from someone trying to sell you something?

Which of these actions characterized your response?

  1. You found an excuse to hang up
  1. You used short words or sentences in response to leading questions
  1. You used delay tactics or told the salesperson you’d call them down the road
  1. You were excited about the call and took proactive steps to learn more

If you are like most people, you probably lean toward a quick disconnect. That’s because behaviors 1-3 are basically kneejerk reactions that display a lack of trust.

Easing Past Apprehension

Sales can be scary – for everyone involved.

When you begin by recognizing this, you gain an immediate advantage. If you want to influence how a person thinks or responds, first you must guide them out of the calm sea of apathy and into riskier waters of decision.

And that requires trust.

So how do you get there? Especially if you’re wooing prospects you might never see face-to-face? Here are three helpful options:

1. Become More Transparent

Transparency simply means making something accessible.

There’s been a shift in marketing, especially as content marketing has gained traction, and your clients expect answers at their fingertips, without a middleman or any layers of hidden information.

Want to get things out in the open?

List prices on your website

(rather than hiding them behind a phone call)

Address uncomfortable or controversial questions upfront

(instead of waiting for prospects to ask)

Invite people into your world

(show prospects the faces and voices of your team: a group of actual humans who have lives and families and who are working hard every day to make your business thrive)

2. Stop Trying to Praise Yourself

Claiming you’re the best or tooting your own horn can make you seem unrelatable.

Instead, do everything you can to provide social proof from previous or current customers, such as

  • Sending surveys with every order
  • Using follow-up calls to get feedback on your service
  • Advertising where and how people can place a review
  • Creating case studies or testimonial examples around frequently-ordered products

And remember, reviews mean nothing unless you use them! Add them to your sell sheets and brochures. Paste them at the bottom of emails or sales letters. Create an arsenal of testimonials for your marketing team to pull from, and categorize them around pain points or specific buyer personas so they can be used at just the right moment.

3. Provide Assurances

Want to tip people toward a decision?

There are several little things you can do to bolster trust. Here are just three areas you can tweak:

Email Sign-Ups

What’s the biggest reason prospects avoid offering their email address?

Fear of spam. Assure your leads with phrases like, “We hate spam and promise not to spam you.” Or let people know up front how often you intend to communicate.

Account Registration

Doubt or uneasiness can creep in when people are asked to create an account on your website.

To alleviate this, provide assurances about how people can cancel or the benefits they will receive by moving forward.

Affirmation

Sometimes people need a little validation to boost their confidence.

You can do this by adding encouragements to your sign-up or order forms, like: “Thanks for choosing Acme Associates. You’re in good hands!” or, “Over ___ subscriptions filled each week!”

Customers Buy from People They Trust

The economy doesn’t run on money – it runs on trust, and so does your business.

When you’re selling, first focus on building trust with buyers. Then you’ll find people will not only listen to your advice, but they’ll be more willing to take it and to move forward with you.