How to build trust
I am often asked how I manage to build trust with my clients so quickly and easily. For me it is a vital component of successful client relationship management. In my experience clients will only conduct business with people they trust. This blog will give you tips on: How to build trust and trusting client relationships.
If you read my last blog post about building revenue through rapport you will already be seeing a difference in the way your clients interact with you. If you apply the principles of the blog: http://serenapyke.com/rapport-building/ you will have had an introduction to the art of relationship management, rapport building and empathy in 8 simple steps. The next step of the client / business relationship is to build on that rapport by really understanding your client's emotional needs, how to build trust and maximising profitability through trust.
What is trust?
Definition: reliance on and confidence in the truth, worth, reliability, of a person or thing.
When applying this definition to business; trust forms a great part of your business reputation. How do you influence your business reputation? You build trust with your clients. The two go hand in hand.
Trust is a feeling, a belief in something or someone. There is no checklist that can be ticked off to guarantee a trusting relationship, it needs to be built. This is what makes it a challenge to businesses, it takes hard work and commitment!
The interesting thing about business relationships is that so much of your success depends on how you make people feel. The key here is in how to build trust.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou
Therefore if you are to generate, retain and maintain a profitable client relationship it is essential to focus on the emotional needs of your clients: Building business relationships through trust.
8 Top tips: How to build trust
Give something back: Building trust is a two way process. Think about the conversations you have with your closest friends and family members. You share part of your personal life, they also share in return. If you want to find out what your client's emotional needs are, you need to share information with them.
Be prompt in your correspondence: If a client calls you, pick up the phone. If you miss the call, get straight back to them. Time is money. A missed call back will cost you business and can even cost you that full relationship. If you do not reply you are in danger of being seen as unreliable.
Keep your commitments: If you commit to a Skype call, be there waiting for your client to arrive. If you commit to a meeting, be there. Likewise if you cannot attend, pick up the phone and explain in full to your client why you must break the commitment.
Pay attention: If your client mentions something important to you, ask them about it. If they open up to you it is a sign they are starting to trust you. Pick up on it and build that trust right back! Business is not just about business, it is about the relationship you hold with your client!
Nip potential problems in the bud: Sense some hostility from your client, or a breakdown in communication? Address it and ask your client about it. Have the insight to understand your client's emotions. If you approach them and anticipate any problems you will be building trust.
Place in writing your verbal agreements: This reinforces commitment and consolidates what you have said. So many times I hear clients say that they were told something only to have confirmation in writing that differs from the verbal agreement. How can you trust a company that moves the goal posts without consulting you? Words mean nothing without action.
Act with pace: If a mistake has been made, address it immediately and rectify. If a client has an urgent query, respond with urgency. If you are unable to act with pace (because we are all human and busy) advise your client and keep the communication lines open fully until you can get the job completed.
Above all in order to find out what needs your clients have it is simple: Ask them.
However, you will only get the true answers if you have built a trusting relationship first.
Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.