Every time I talk about the Know-Like-Trust paradigm, I feel compelled to state that it’s a simplification of the Buyer’s Journey. That’s because the journey from random stranger to repeat customer is long and nuanced. Know, Like, and Trust aren’t simply switches you can flick. They all take time, and they all take work.
Every time I talk about the Buyer’s Journey I make an analogy to the Hero’s Journey because I’ve been obsessed with stories since before I could ride a bike. Story is my thing.
But the similarities are real. Every story starts with a Hero. They’re living a perfectly normal life until they encounter a problem. Maybe that’s the Empire killing their aunt and uncle and burning their moisture farm. Maybe that’s Andy getting a new toy and playing with it a lot. Whatever it is, the story really gets going when the Hero goes out and looks for a solution to the problem. In many cases, they find a Mentor along the way that teaches them about the problem and the solution. Ultimately, the Hero goes back to face the problem only to find they’ve changed a bit in the process.
Most customers face precisely the same journey. They’re living their lives when they encounter a problem. Their pipes freeze. They need a better way to relax. They need to lose weight, get healthy, or get more done. They go in search of a solution.
That’s when you get to step in and be the Mentor. You can teach them about their problem, demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about. You can teach them about the different solutions to their problem so that when they make a decision, they can feel good about it.
Yes, you’re trying to get complete strangers to Know, Like, and Trust you, but knowing you is more complicated than just knowing who you are and what you do. Liking and Trusting you aren’t switches, they’re feelings that grow over time and repeated interactions.