Walk your talk. Recommend what you honestly would for yourself. Honesty is always the best policy.
That should be your starting point. Not the one of selling. Help out is your first mission.
Be a model. Apply your advice to your own blog, business and network. Be coherent with what you preach.
Be a servant leader, asking: "How can I help you vs. me succeed?" Share, give support, inspire, encourage, guide.
Customers love to have as a supplier a passionate expert. Someone who knows every product in the market, and the differences, strengths and weaknesses of each one. Competitors are also an enormous resource for inspiration. They often have cool ideas before you that can inspire you, they make mistakes just like you do and it is good to know and learn from them yourself. The more you you ignore your competition the more your customer will ignore you.
Listen to real, hidden goals. Don't force your solutions on your customer. Listen in between his phrases to what he is really looking for to obtain and find a way to get him there. Restate what the person is telling you to be certain you understand his perspective. Listen for emotional messages, not just logic. No stereotypes.
Potential customers have great stories and ideas to share. Create venues for them to do so and utilize their best stories to let your know customers learn what to expect from you.
Welcome criticism and leverage it to make improvements. Reach out to customers to have them suggest new ideas and solutions to improve your product. Utilize an integrated, contextual feedback service like uservoice.com or getsatisfaction.com.
People don't like when someone tries to openly sell them something, unless they are the ones asking for it. That's why your goal, when trying to win your customer trust, should be one of first listening and trying to understand what the real problem is. They try to help out sincerely, without the pressing desire to sell something at all costs. Do it because you care about helping people in your niche marketplace. If they get help, they start to trust you, and when they trust you, they are going to ask you where they can buy what you actually sell.
Provide extra value. For some this may mean to "give in abundance". For others it just means giving REAL value to your customers, beyond what is the "standard" expectation. This can be done in many ways: * by providing more than the customer expects, * by throwing in additional bonuses, * by offering free support, * by extending service and in many other possible ways. It's the "go the extra mile" philosophy.
Give away something so valuable that speaks miles for your products and your desire to satisfy your customer needs beyond expectations.
Always give opportunities to try your product / service. Not allowing your potential customers to see, or try out directly your product is an indication to them that you have something to hide.
Do something special for your customer. Give her a present, a gift, something good is always effective. Take the time out to do an informal text chat to help out with something problematic or just share something nice you have just discovered yourself.
Cheer your (potential) customer up and make a party each time you meet, just like people do with their dogs when they get back home - it works!
Customers and prospective ones love to see how you actually create / edit / produce the product you offer. It allows them to see how much passion, skill and expertise you put into it.
If you don't have what your potential customer is looking for, don't send him away. Suggest an alternative solution if it involves sending your customer to the competition. Show that you care about finding a solution for them, not getting their money.
Have a place where you publish regularly your sources, your insights (Twitter, blog, Facebook group / page, Tumblr, ClaimID, etc...) Freely share new communication tools vs hogging info to make yourself look better. This will communicate your attitude towards knowledge sharing and collaboration to everybody else, and your potential customer will see it as a proof of your engagement in the area. Even more-so, of your willingness to help them succeed! Share not only your flow of data (search results, Digg, bookmarks, links...) = information, but also your network of contacts and valuable / trusted sources = people.
If you don't have what the customer needs but your competitor does, let your customer know. He will be thankful if he will happen to come around again, as he now knows that you are there just to sell him something. You have gained some trust.