Trust. It’s a word that you generally associate with your personal life and your friends and family. It’s a word that decides whether you feel secure with a person and it’s a word that prevents you from second-guessing their choices and decisions where you are concerned. When it comes to business, trust means something entirely different.
Running a business is no easy feat. You have a bunch of employees that you have to trust to man the cogs of your business machine so that you can make the profit that you projected for yourself in your business plan. You have your management team who work alongside you to drive your business, and you don’t work under each other’s feet, so you have to trust that they know what they’re doing and they keep your business in their eye line with all their decisions. You then have your clients, and building trust with them is the most difficult of all. They are your bread and butter, and the more clients you have, the more successful your business.
However, these are still just people that you’ve met, and when you have doubts about the credibility of a prospective client, you need to know more before you sign them up. Let’s look at five ways you can build trust with your clients and create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Don’t Talk Shop
A big part of building a relationship with a client is getting to know them on a little more of a personal level. Go to lunch, crack open a bottle of wine and put business off the table while you build a relationship with them.
Check Out Their Background
Okay, so while this sounds like you definitely don’t trust them, if you’re going into business with someone, it’s just good sense to check out their background. A KYC check can really help you here by checking that your prospective client isn’t someone shady in the industry. Once you’ve completed a background check, you can feel a little more secure you’ve made the right decision.
Always Follow Through
When you’re hitching to get a new client aboard your books, you cannot make empty promises with what you’re offering. Trust works both ways, and if your client is ready to trust you and what you say, then you should prove you’re a person of your word.
If you place the needs of your client on par with your own, you’re going to be able to have a mutually trustworthy relationship with a prospective client. You can lay down expectations from both sides before any agreements are signed, and go into a new business relationship with fresh eyes.
Trust Your Instinct
Above all else, trust your instinct. If, in the middle of a meeting with a client, you are getting a bad vibe from the situation in front of you, pause. Play the meeting out but don’t commit and let them down later. Your instinct is there for a reason, and you can ensure you follow it.