Earn our trust.

You’re selling a toaster.

I don’t want to read a press release about your toaster. I don’t want to watch commercials about your toaster. These are the tired old methods that this generation of hyper-connected customers just don’t care about. We don’t listen to what commercials say. We ask our friends. Why? Because they won’t sugar-coat and they won’t stretch the truth. We go to them because we trust them.

If you want to earn our trust, you have to prove it. Tell me about some of the weaknesses of this model. Send me a jar of Nutella on my birthday. If you mess up, say you’re sorry like there’s an honest-to-goodness human on the other side of that email. Write up with a booklet of toaster tips, and give it away for free online. Show me that you care in ways that hurt your bottom line.

Paradoxically, by doing so, you’ll earn my trust, I’ll tell my friends, and it won’t hurt your bottom line after all. In fact, I will be your evangelist, and I will work for free. Once you have an army of unpaid evangelists, it’ll be hard to believe you did it any other way.

It doesn’t matter what your industry is. We signed up for Republic Wireless a couple months ago, and were blown out of the water. While every other wireless carrier on the map was pumping out commercials, Republic was earning trust. The difference was night and day.

Seriously, no more press releases. Don’t toot your own horn. Don’t like your own status. Don’t tell me you’re awesome. Show me.