Leanne Hoagland-Smith suggested I take a look at a very interesting post by Steve Rubel that draws attention to some recent research his company, Edelman, the largest PR firm in the world, has done in the area of trust. His findings are most interesting for sellers and small business owners even though his real target is larger corporations engaged in constructing advertising and public relations campaigns.
One of the major findings is that there has been a decline in the number of people who trust in a person “just like myself.” Rubel goes on to give his analysis: ”I believe the reason for this is that, as more of us join social networks, there’s been devaluation in the entire concept of ‘friendship.’”
Another finding was that trust of credentialed experts increased to 70%. According to Rubel, “This is a trend that began last year. In addition, for the first time we looked at the credibility of technical specialists inside a company. Trust in this group is off the charts (64%). This hits home the need to identify those with expertise inside a company who can engage across different channels, many of which today are digital – or will be soon.”
Very important for us in sales, the study also found that in developed countries such as the US and the UK people need to hear a message as many as NINE times—and from multiple channels to effect behavior change. Now this study was looking at media communication, but human nature doesn’t change—if it takes multiple hearings in multiple channels for marketers to change recipient behavior, it’s logical to assume the same is true when dealing directly with prospects and clients (one of the reasons historically we’ve had to we talk to them, give them collateral material, and make formal presentations to them—multiple hearings from multiple channels). The key here is how many times the recipient had to hear the message before behavior changed. Nine. That’s a lot—and most of us probably give up on a prospect long before they’ve heard our message nine times.
You can get a mini-whitepaper of the study here.