Trust is key in ANY relationship. Today’s environment breeds a need to be sure that those we trust ARE truly trustworthy. Think about the lack of trust we now have of big businesses that once were looked upon as a secure place to work. How do THEY gain our trust again? In many cases, we only deal with them because of the lack of choice.
Trust is HUGE for small businesses. What are some of the steps we take to “trust” a new client or a new service provider? Building trust with an individual is difficult enough when you see them everyday so how does one gain trust when the relationship is virtual?
Trust should not be taken for granted. In my experience, when one trusts you, they trust you, and will give you the space to get it done. I have met people that said at the very beginning they don’t trust anyone. When someone told me that years ago, in a personal relationship, I found that a little disturbing. At the time, I was very attracted to this person and I felt a little offended. I guess eventually I gained their trust as we ended up in a relationship for 11 years.
I have to admit, for my longest clients ( 5 years), we spent some of our original time working together in a common office. I would visit once or twice a week to get work done and/or to organize their offices. I am sure that helped gain and solidify the trust. After all, when working with clients AND you are truly their FULL support, you will have quite a bit of personal information.
How do you gain trust virtually, especially when the new client doesn’t know you at all?
- Be honest. When the initial conversation takes place, lay it out there. Don’t sell yourself short by misrepresentation. Everything in the dark comes to light.
- Do what you say you are going to do. For example, if you say that you will have a proposal to them by a particular time, make sure you meet that schedule.
- Set reasonable expectations. When there are requests for particular tasks, don’t short change yourself, especially when the relationship is new.
- Listen..responses to questions, statements about the work provided, always provide insight. Listen and learn from it…
- Offer a 30 day trial at a reduced rate…Take the first month to learn each other. Most likely, the client will utilize the time for something that is critical and will use that reduced rate to test you out.
Most importantly be true to yourself…that will always attract the right business situations every single time!!!