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Trust Is the Key to Selling

I'd like to kick off the Selling Help area with a very simple post.

One of the fundamental principles in selling can be summed up as follows:

"People buy from those they know, like, and trust."

How can that apply online, on boards and other online communities?

Let's knock these points down one at a time.

First, how do people know you online?

People know you by your activity:
  • Do you identify yourself by name?
  • Do you post helpful tips and answer questions?
  • Are you friendly or grumpy?
  • Do other people recommend you through praise, testimonials, and referrals?
Much of this also contributes to being liked. These practices also help:
  • Participate in a helpful manner on forums and in all communications.
  • Answer questions in a friendly manner.
  • Deliver good customer service.
Lastly, how do you develop trust?

Everything you've done to be known and liked also contributes to trust. But you can do more:
  • Always provide large, clear photos of the items you're selling.
  • Provide accurate and detailed descriptions of your items.
  • Point out flaws in your items if they're present; don't try to hide them.
  • Be clear with your pricing.
  • State your terms of sale and consider offering a return policy in cases where your customer feels you didn't deliver on your promise.
  • Tell your customer how you'll pack and ship their items, so they arrive undamaged. (always pack in boxes or other secure packaging and let you customers know this -- no padded envelopes!)
  • Provide testimonials from satisfied customers (make sure to provide real names for credibility).
  • Fix problems. Work out problems with customers to their satisfaction.
Your online reputation is a precious thing. Always keep that in mind before you act out of anger, annoyance, or greed.



Rick Krantz
Jul 05 2011 04:53 PM
This is alll good stuff. I wish that my early days of pen collecting were with people that exhibited these traits. I cannot tell you over the years, how many pens I bought from people that were not as represented, only to find out later their true condition.