Trust is one of the most valuable assets you and your business possess. Trust permits the free exchange of information and promotes an atmosphere of openness.
As you build trust, with clients, with employees and with your community, you gain influence and your advice is heeded. Clients open up to you when they trust you and that provides you with useful information. Trust allows you to serve your clients with
greater effectiveness because they are open to you about their business needs.
You will receive more
business referrals because people refer you when they trust you. You are less stressed when clients trust you. They are more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. Small problems are less likely to become big problems because trusted clients will
have your back and give you an early heads-up. Your negotiations will have better outcomes because you are trusted.
My business is accounts receivable factoring which gives me the opportunity to interact with many small to medium sized business owners. I can tell you from personal experience that what has been stated about trust
and its importance to business is absolutely true. Given all the benefits that trust engenders, I thought you might appreciate some tips on how to earn it and keep it.
- Be honest. Even when no one is looking
- Respect the client. Treat your client as if he were the President of a visiting nation
- Be truly sincere and caring. That makes it difficult not to trust you
- Don’t be perfect. Don’t you just hate that? So does everyone else
- Don’t watch the clock. It is just rude and dismissive of the person you are with
- Find common ground. Seek the win-win. Win-lose events have no repeat performance
- Don’t hedge. Be definitive with your answers. A hedged answer looks like an “out”
- Don’t show off. It’s off-putting and breeds resentment rather than trust
- Call your clients. Especially if you have no need to
- Take responsibility. If you admit mistakes it makes you easier to trust
- Maintain poise. It’s difficult to trust someone who is overly emotional
- Empathize. You are easier to trust if your client sees that you understand him
- Be accessible. I have a difficult time trusting people I can’t contact
- Learn to say “I don’t know.” Clients will respect your honesty
- Be vulnerable. Trust grows with openness. People connect to the human side
- Don’t fidget. It is difficult to trust a nervous or anxious person
- Explain. If your client shows confusion, take the time to help them understand
- Don’t abuse privileges. Gaining trust results in more privileges. Don’t abuse them
- Give honest feedback. If your client is wrong, tell him. Yes men aren’t to be trusted
- Give good advice. If your advice helps, people will trust you
- Don’t drop names. It is a turn-off. I just hate that, don’t you
- Keep a secret. If something is told you in confidence, that is the way to keep it
- Don’t lie. Even a small lie is nuclear material and can blow up a mountain of trust
- Be consistent. Flip-floppers don’t get elected. People do not trust them
- Don’t gossip. Don’t gossip about your clients and don’t gossip to your clients
- Be the first to trust. It is hard for others to trust you if you don’t trust them
- Demonstrate loyalty. People naturally trust those who are loyal to them
- Give credit. The more credit you bestow on others, the more trusted you become
- Expect nothing. Help but expect nothing in return. This avoids disappointment
- Lead by example. If you talk the talk, walk the walk
- Be fair. Always treat people with fairness. Reward and discipline accordingly
- Don’t flatter. Insincere compliments will cost you trust
- Never exaggerate. Truth-stretching does not contribute to a trusting relationship
- Don’t quit. They might not trust you now, but later they might
- Trust yourself. If you don’t … who will?
- Look people in the eye. Cliché I know … but ever so true
- Do what you say and say what you do. Do what you say and say what you do
- Volunteer information. Why wait for your client to follow up? Tell him now
- Deliver as promised. This is one of the best ways to build trust
- Remove distractions. Clients need your undivided attention. Provide it
- Always add value. Do great work and then some. Your reward will be their trust
- Get personal. If you only know your client’s voice get out there. Face to face builds trust
- Avoid over-explaining. This can sound like an excuse. Excuses do not build trust
- Be curious. Ask questions and show interest but don’t take over the conversation
- No hard sell. No one likes to be badgered and it’s hard to trust those vicious little critters
- Pay attention. Make sure your body language matches your words. Eye roll please
- Make things right. Did you make a mistake … fix it!
- Be transparent. People and companies that hide things are tough to trust
- Find a common enemy. Focusing on a mutual cause builds rapport and that builds trust
I hope these tips help you achieve the trust your business needs to grow and prosper.