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Vol. 1 issue #39  Nov 26, 2002


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Building Credibility To Increase Sales
 2002  by Cathy Kessler


The invention of Internet gateways is one of the most miraculous innovations to date.  It allows us to sell products and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the simple click of a few buttons.  However, this ease of selling has a downside as well.
Because it is so simple, all businesses - legitimate and illegitimate companies - can sell whatever they want.  As a result, credibility suffers!  How can you make sure your site portrays a high level of credibility?  I'll gladly show you!

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Back Up Your Statements - The Net gives an open forum to any breathing person that wants to speak his/her mind.  Truly outrageous statements are being made in order to turn a buck.
When you make a statement on your website - back it up with some sound research.  Instead of simply claiming that "Over 2/3 of most Internet businesses fail without a proper marketing plan," say "According to The American Management Association, over 2/3 of most Internet businesses fail without a proper marketing plan."  Then provide a link to the statistics you've found.

Create A Truly Professional Site - This means no "homemade" site designs.  Whether you are actually a scam business or not - homemade designs only damage your image.  Your image is the best way a site visitor has to form an opinion of you.  Although you may be excited about launching your online business, resist the temptation to quickly set up a site and then redesign it later. When you do it right the first time, you save a lot of time, money, and heartache.

Make Sure Your Site Is In Order - Scam artists move about the Internet so quickly that they rarely have time to have their sites checked. They are too busy worrying about getting as many sales as possible before they are "discovered."  To prove you are legit, give due attention to your site.  Be sure that all of your links work, that your pages load quickly, and that your text is proofread.  Broken links and copy filled with typos only downgrade your credibility with visitors.

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Communicate With Your Visitors - Most scam businesses simply will not communicate with their customers.  They don't want to hear your complaints and could care less about what you think.  To show you are a true pro, answer your emails (good or bad) quickly and professionally.

Clearly Display Your Privacy Policy - Many site visitors look for privacy policies before giving any information online.  If you don't have a privacy policy, create one.  It can be a simple statement of what you plan to do with the information you collect (emails, credit card numbers, etc.) and who will see it.  If you already have a privacy policy, make sure a link to it is clearly placed.

Trust is one thing that can't be bought.  However, by taking the steps necessary to build a website that demonstrates your credibility, you will instill a strong sense of trust with your visitors.  Remember that when you instill trust, you increase sales at the same time!

Cathy Kessler is a Certified Professional Virtual Assistant specializing in proofreading, copyediting, and research. Do you have books, ebooks, brochures, websites, articles, newsletters, or other documents that need to be proofread or researched? Visit http://www.kesslerva.com today for additional information, or contact Cathy directly at mailto:cathy@kesslerva.com.

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