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March 16, 2009

Using business downtime to grow your Trust Account

I received an email the other day from an old acquaintance  who I had used in the past as a mortgage broker. I enjoyed the experience, and I think he did a good job for us in terms of advising and helping us to make the right decisions. I intend to use him again.

The email was a newsletter  he had put together. A little amateurish - but great content. I am in Australia and he wrote about issues relevant to my market.For example:

  • The Reserve bank of Australia's latest decrees on interest rates and what that meant to potential borrowers,
  • Some thoughts on the current environment if you are thinking of moving ahead with a purchase
  • Great advice on prepayment of your mortgage and some tips on pre-purchase inspections

This is a great display of how a company that is in tough times is leveraging its trust based assets to create ongoing touch points, and to keep themselves at the tip of their prospective customers minds.

  • I have already worked with them, and we came to a great solution. I trust their abilities and their character - and -
  • They write about things that I can use to get immediate value from in their e-newsletter, reinforcing my trust in their abilities to help me.

I thought it was a great idea. If you are in the Mortgage industry, or another industry that is feeling the pinch what can you do to create a Trust Based Asset today?

Is it time for you to go into the publishing game? Everyone has their own channel these days. There are literally millions of people now publishing blogs, newsletters and even local newspapers.

  • Make sure to get authorization from your existing clients / prospects to include them in the initial email mail out.
  • Find (say) 10 stories to print over a two week period. (Each week is a good idea, but a weekly schedule will kill you if you are also trying to boost flagging revenues)
  • They need to be related (even slightly related) to the central theme of the newsletter. And including how-to tips and opinion pieces on recent market developments is a great starting point.
  • Include the obligatory forward to a friend email links so that your readers can include others in the news mail out.
  • Get a sign up box for your site, and think about starting a separate site just for the newsletter!
  • Advertise it on notice boards, shop windows and others in your chosen area. (Most small business is local, if not then there are internet versions of water cooler venues today)
  • Soft sell, light promotion of your abilities and character. Side adverts on your offerings.
The goal is to build your Trust Account with your prospects and past clients. Including regular links to your LinkedIn profile (say) and asking them to provide recommendations is another way that you can leverage this, and grow your Trust Account at the same time.

The results? You are on the tip of their mind when it comes to investing or spending in your area. You are providing continual value by writing about areas and issues that they can use immediately, and that they need further information on. 

And if your story is about them, with their permission, then you are able to provide them with a bit of notoriety - which most people appreciate when done with sincerity. 

Good luck!