The KLT (Know, Like & Trust) Factor – Why you need it to have more customers


“All things being equal people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”  ~ Mark McCormack

I admit it – I’m a bit of a nerd. As a kid I always loved learning about formulas, technology systems and scientific discoveries.  I would spend hours in the local library reading how-to articles from their vintage Popular Science magazine collection.

Needless to say, while my social skills are much better than they were when I was a kid, as an introvert, a lot of face time with people can really wear me out.

So when I bumbled into my first job as a webmaster and site editor, I immediately started gathering together all types of ‘blueprints’, ‘quick start’ ebooks and ‘action’ guides to help me unravel the then puzzling world of online marketing.

After marketing is about “selling” to people right?

The Only 3 “Sales” Tools You’ll Ever Need for Marketing

Finally, I found it! An easy to follow system that I nicknamed that ‘KLT Thang’ short for Know, Like & Trust marketing.

This system – which I will explain in greater detail later in the article – helped me clear away the confusion and provided me with a simple way to organize my online marketing priorities.

If you’ve ever wanted to use online marketing to grow your business but have been confused by all the conflicting marketing and sales advice then here is a formula you can use to get started fast.

Online marketing, when done well, is really just a system to connect what you have to offer with people who want it. Simple.

Now, I admit that most online marketing can seem to be as much arcane art as it is modern day science.

But even the most creative and complex of arts, like music for example, are really very simple to understand – once you break it down into its component parts.

Music has only seven basic notes. But those notes create scales, chords, rhythms and compositions that in turn form specific music genres. So we can get everything from Bach to Rock to Lady Gaga – from one simple system made up of 7 notes.

This is why the concept of using an online marketing system like KLT can be so powerful for a small business…

First, It’s a System
As you have seen, any system; no matter how complex or big, can easily be broken down into its smaller, interconnecting parts.  And any single part is always easier to understand and work with than trying to grasp everything at once.

Second, It’s Sequential
The system I’m going to share with you has only 3 moving parts – each just a stepping stone to the next level up.

By being able to chunk it down into one-after-the-other ‘baby steps’, you can focus your all attention on job in front of you.  This way you are never stressed out or struggling do to a step before you are ready.

Third, It Can Be Automated
Since this is a system, you can setup a network of web technology tools and resources to automatically operate this system – almost completely without you.

Plus by using automation, you can save yourself lots of time and effort over the long haul.

Fourth, It’s Repairable
The one thing almost no one knows about an effective online marketing system – is that can be repaired if something breaks down.

The worst question you can hear yourself ask is, “What happens not that the X I used for my internet marketing has quite working? “

Hey it’s happened before.

When I first started working in the IM (internet marketing) industry, MySpace pages and article marketing were ALL the rage. In fact for 6 months I supplemented my unemployment check using freelance web article writing.

But soon Google changed the rules of the game (again) and the huge article directories and content ‘farms’ were severely penalized and the article marketing business almost dried up overnight.

And we all know that in the social media industry, Facebook stomped on and then rolled MySpace off into a filthy roadside ditch, where it has almost died from lack of attention.

But with the concept of “online marketing as a system” can work indefinitely – since it is not just a bunch of one-shot techniques, tricks and tactics strung together to scam the search engines.

With a real marketing system in place for your business, when things do crash and burn, you can quickly troubleshoot all the remaining parts of your plan – repair what you can and replace what you can’t – then find a way to get things back on track.

The KLT System

What I discovered all those years ago you only needed 3 things to be successful online: getting people to know, like and trust you.

“But what is Know, Like and Trust marketing system and how does it work?” you might ask.

First, let me explain what online marketing is…

Online marketing is any activity performed on the web that helps, “…to get more people to buy more [of your] stuff more often, at higher prices so [your] company makes more money”.

Anything else is just bull-crap. But that is why the KLT system works so well. It helps to get more people…

• To know who you are and what stuff you have to offer,

• Helps people to like you better so they want to visit your site or store more often.

• And it helps them to trust you (and what you say) so they buy your stuff

The original KLT process was said to have started as a quote, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” Now this quote has been credited to everyone from Mark Twain to Dale Carnegie, to Bob Burg.

But the truth remains people DO prefer to buy products and services from people they know, like and trust – as least better than the seller’s competition!

KLT has been used in sales training courses for decades and is still being used by thousands of coaches and sales trainers even today.

But this powerful real-world sales and marketing process was quickly adopted by savvy online marketers, which is where I found it – hastily mentioned inside some internet marketing special report or another.

But the biggest problem I first had with KLT was the obvious one: How the heck do you get people to like and trust you?

But once I figured that out and learned how to apply this process to my clients’ websites… WOW!

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that I hit a home-run every time I’ve used this system for a client. There is no guarantee in life or online. But my results have been very good.

I recently used this system to launch a new website that had zero visitors to over 112 visitors a day in less than 60 days!

As you can see the simple formula can make a big difference in your business. The KLT system provides you with an organized way to drop breadcrumbs to potential customers as you lead them step by step through the buying process.

1. KNOW = you must be seen or visible to your online target market in order for people to know about you, learn about your products or services. Articles, press release, ebooks and videos are all good ways to attract attention.

2. LIKE = you have to build rapport thru blog posts, emails & social sites so your target market learns to like you and feels comfortable enough to listen to you and take your advice or recommendations.

3. TRUST = you must create value by solving problems for your target market and developing ‘try before you buy’ content so people aren’t afraid to do business with you.

How to Use KLT

This formula is really very easy to understand – but it’s success solely depends on you learning about your target audience or market.

Remember I said the biggest problem with KLT was figuring out how to get people to like and trust you.

Increasing visibility or getting traffic (getting people to know about you) is usually what most internet marketing tactics are all about. But the hard part is getting people to like and trust you – so they will do business with you.

So who do people like and trust the most? THEMSELVES!

Hey, it’s just human nature, darling. So the more you are like THEM (your customers) the more they will feel comfortable around you,

This is why con men, poseurs and actors can make a killing – they can effectively ‘pretend’ to fit in with the people around them. Well, I can’t act and probably neither can you. So where does that leave us?

Okay, who else do people like and trust? Well, most people trust their families and close friends! This is because family and friends usually have similar values and are open and honest with each other ( yes there are exceptions and circumstance).

But as a general rule people trust other people who are straight with them, share useful information and who help them solve their problems.

Let me repeat that …

“People (consumers) trust other people (sellers) who are straight with them, who share useful information and help them solve their problems.”

3 Keys to Being Likable and Trustworthy

Be Honest. This is critical. Don’t lie to your customers or clients. Yes, I know it’s very tempting to tell a little white lie about why the shipment is delayed or why the project is late. But don’t.

Most mature people CAN handle the truth! Okay stepping away from Jack Nicholson for a moment, let state again – most adults can handle bad news better than you think they can – if you give them enough time to plan other options.

Next Be Yourself… Be Open, Be Real, Be Authentic.

Drop the formal, bull-crap you were talk in school about writing, talking or acting around potential customers. Just be YOU.

The more transparent and real your articles are, your videos are and even how you  are online, the more THEY will like you.

You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea of course and how you implement it depends your personality, your business and your industry.

An introverted web developer, like me is going approach the whole KLT issue much differently than a very social-minded person who happens to be a real estate agent or a lawyer.

This is why if you copycat the marketing processes of everyone you hear or see – you can expect mixed results!

Even two people from the same industry using the KLT formula will end up using completely different tools and techniques – and appear totally different.

Finally, Share Useful Information

So what is useful information? Hmmm, let me think – got it! Useful information is anything that is relevant knowledge or advice you can give to someone that might help solve their problems! 

Don’t hold back. Get it all out! If someone asks you a question tell them what you think and what you know. Unless you are legally tongue-tied by your industry’s code of ethics – speak out, write in down, record it and share the info-love.

Just remember the old advertising phrase: “The more you tell, the more you sell!”

Learn to Speak a Common Language!

I struggled for over a year attempting to explain to one client, why they shouldn’t keep calling their pottery pieces – “Southern Folk Art”. The standard response, I got was “But it is Folk art!”

And yes it is but I had watched time after time, people coming into their pottery studio were looking for “a fruit bowl for my mother-in-law” or “a good ceramic roasting pan” or whatever.

No one ever asked for a Southern Folk art piece – no customer cared what the business owners called it until they found what they wanted – a fruit bowl.

Note To Yourself: If they are buying it, you should be selling it. Call it (your product or service) whatever your customers think it is.  VW’s “Thing” was beloved here in the US (although it was priced too high) because it looked so very, very weird – like a “thing”.  Of course if your consumers don’t know what it is, you can call it an iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc.

Now back at the ranch…

Using a common language is a very powerful tool for communicating and building rapport between different cultures and people.

Don’t underestimate it.

It is no accident that the common “language” of aviation, medicine and science is English. No one wants to make a mistake on altitudes, dosages or radiation levels because of a language barrier.

And neither do you. So to make your KLT system work best, you have find out about your target audience.

Here are some more action tips to help get you started in KLT

1. Get Social – If your business is social in nature, use Facebook, Twitter to spread word-of-month.

2. Get SEO – If you or your business are NOT social, study up on search engine optimization to help get the word out.

3. Publish Your Own Blog – make updating your site faster and easier. Plus make online marketing simpler with your blog as your central hub.

4. Do Some Research – Learn everything you can about your typical customer. Who are they? What are they struggling with? What are they worried about? What do they look for online? How to they talk?

5. Attract Attention with Troubles – Speak to your target audience about their pains and problems but remember to respect their situations.

6. Redirect Traffic to Your Site – understand that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are NOT in business for you. Drive your FB fans, friends and followers to your blog, where you can capture their contact information.

7. Be Nice – friendly and polite online experts get more attention and do more business. Sure you can trash talk, but don’t trash your audience. Tease them to death with snarkiness if you want but slash out at them at your peril.

8. Start with the End in Mind – what are you working on? Do you want more visibility? Credibility? Profitability? Know what you want before you waste tons of time, money and energy riding a train that headed in the wrong direction.

9. Have Something Useful to Share – people like doing business with people who help them solve their problems.

10. Be yourself – people like doing business with interesting people who are real and authentic. Yeah, I thought I would remind you in case you forgot.

11. Care for Your Audience – remember your audience is NOT just a dollar bill wearing a suit but a real person who has real problems and issues they need your help to solve.

12. Embrace Technology – setup your blog, and all your marketing to run with automatic systems as much as possible. Replace routine processes with software.

If you liked what you have read about the KLT marketing system and wish to learn more, feel free to contact me > Discover how I can help you solve your online marketing problems.

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