Building trust with clients should be at the forefront of every organization’s thinking and planning.
Look, making a sale is great, but just because a buyer agrees to purchase your product, use your service or work with you doesn’t mean your job is done.
Let’s talk about a few ways to build trust with clients.
1. Do What You Say You’ll Do
It’s ridiculous how common it is for someone to tell you that they’ll call you, send over a proposal, or deliver your product by a certain day and time only to have that day and time go by without any word.
Even simple, everyday emails get sent that advise a client that they’ll “be in touch by the end of the day” only to have that day end with no coordination.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. When you commit to a call, to finishing up a project, or sending a communication by a certain time and just don’t bother to follow through, it slowly (or in some cases, quickly!) erodes trust.
I get it. Things come up. Deliverables are underestimated in terms of scope and time to completion, or important details needed from another party to send that “end-of-day” email don’t come through. One-offs and periodic delays like this occur in any business. But, the client should be advised, and simply going dark and leaving your client to guess what’s going on is not the right way to handle scenarios like this.
2. Put Yourself in Your Buyer’s Shoes
The best salespeople and organizations understand and anticipate their clients’ decision-making and thinking. They leverage their expertise in their product, industry, or service so much so that they can predict, in a sense, what their client is thinking.
In other words, if you know your product has received complaints on a certain feature being difficult to execute, the smart seller takes extra care to properly instruct the customer on the feature prior to the product being delivered.
If you know the same question comes up repeatedly upon activating a particular service you offer, again, the smart seller will anticipate the question being asked again and answers it prior to the client bringing it up to avoid confusion or the “need” for the client to get in touch.
This is only possible though if you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
3. Be Someone People Want to Talk to
Nobody wants to deal with someone who acts as though they’d rather be somewhere else. People are repelled by those who constantly complain, anger easily, or balk when someone offers an alternative idea or poses a question.
Generally speaking, people also don’t like interacting with those who seem unprepared or so low-energy that it would seem they’ve just rolled out of bed.
Smile, be friendly, be energetic, and be enthusiastic. Be receptive to new ideas and offer your own thinking. Send holiday, birthday, or milestone notes to your clients. Ask them about important details about their life if they’ve openly shared them with you in the past.
This isn’t rocket science. Yet, it’s unfathomable to me the amount of times this simple advice is ignored by salespeople across the industry.