(People don’t trust us.)

Trust_AA 2006 survey done by The Harris Poll found that out of 100 adults only 12 completely trusted mechanics. That rates slightly higher than telemarketers at 11 but not as trustworthy as lawyers at 14. I can relate to this survey… I’m a telemarketer. That just means we have to do things differently to overcome this jaded preconception.

In a Tweetdeck scan that I have running for the key phrases “car repair shop”Trust_B and “auto repair shop” the majority (about 85%) are relating unpleasant experiences with auto repair facilities or personnel.

Although this perception is grossly unfair and doesn’t acknowledge the vast majority of great shops running a fair and honest operation, it is something to consider in your marketing. If you are aware of this underlying perception, you can take steps to undo it from the beginning. Anything you do to ‘interrupt’ this conversation in their minds will serve to build a better relationship.

Trust_CIn hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), one of the most effective ways to interrupt an internal conversation or perception is to do something that is completely unexpected. I have found that random acts of kindness are one of the fastest ways. When we give to others first or perform a completely unexpected act of generosity or caring it helps awaken them from their trance-like beliefs.

The other benefit of relating to your customers above and beyond their Trust_03expectations is that it creates ‘buzz’. You tend to get talked about. You stand out and generate good PR. Above all though, you build trust -  which (from last week’s issue) is the one and only purpose of marketing.

I would encourage shop owners to sit down with their fellow workers and their best customers and open a conversation by asking, “What can we do to completely surprise our clients for good?”

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