How To Build Trust with Your Prospective Clients

Trustworthiness is strengthens your customer relationship

Many people have trust issues, and so we wonder, "how do I build trust now," and I thought the answer was pretty obvious, be trustworthy. But then, you may want to ask, "what does that mean?" "what does it take to be trustworthy?"

Think of the characteristics of a person who you can trust. It's not so much that we buy from people we like; we buy from people we trust. People buy from people they like and trust. More specifically, people buy from people they trust. If I trust you and you're giving me great information I will buy from you. If I believe you, I will buy from you. Credibility is always big, so here are things, and this is not a limited list it could expand, but here are the top things I believe would allow you to be more trustworthy with your clients.

1. Demonstrate industry knowledge. Industry knowledge entails understanding the activities in the market area of your selling. For example, if you're selling into the telecommunications industry, you have to know the telecommunications industry; you have to understand what's happening in the market trends and policy. You would be able to know what companies are jumping in, what companies are merging, what merges and acquisitions are occurring. You need to marinate yourself in the industry and understand everything that's going on. That means you're on the internet reading information, newsletters, building your knowledge base, your database, your mental database, and your cognitive database so you can talk about what's going on in the industry. This is what customers want; when you demonstrate industry knowledge to a prospective client, they're going to look at you differently.

2. Demonstrate product knowledge - you have to understand your product/service or at least understand every aspect of it that impacts the customer/clients. I do not mean some of the specifications, some features, or some benefits. I mean, you need to understand the functionality of your products or service from having a firsthand experience by trying it out.

3. Demonstrate the market knowledge - this is the overall view of what's going on in the market. It differs from industry knowledge. Industry knowledge is where that specific industry is going, while market knowledge is really trying to understand the bigger trends, the macro trends in the industry. Now, this requires a lot of studying and a lot of reading, but all three things, industry knowledge, product knowledge, and market knowledge really do require you to dedicate some time to reading and learning.

How much time are you spending on learning about the product industry or market in your area of expertise? If you do not spend at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, I think you're missing out. You may even spend 15 minutes getting little updates on what's going on in the market. Find a way to keep yourself informed about what's going on with your market, your industry, and your product. Those are the top three to be trustworthy. If you have the industry, product, and market knowledge first, you have a solid foundation built enough to start a conversation with your customers or prospective clients.

4. Be honest - As simple as it may seem, it's amazing how many people are simply not honest. Now let me highlight something; I'm not saying that people lie about their product, but there's something called lying by omission. When a customer asks you something, you don't just lie by giving them a false answer, but you don't give them complete information; in other words, your product may offer A B C and not D, and the customer only asks you about ABC, but later on, they're going to ask about B. You know that, and the fact that you didn't bring it up that you don't have it may be an issue that's what I call by lying by mission customers need help what they're looking for is something to guide them right now there are so many options out there things are getting more complicated too many options and complexity increases which means decision making is that much harder and what they're looking for is you to be honest with them.

5. Be even-handed- the best way to be trustworthy is to be even-handed. It means too often you ask somebody's opinion, and they just go off the rails. They may either go so far right or so far left that you feel like you can't listen to them because their viewpoint is so extreme. Being even-handed is taking a deep breath when a customer or a prospective client asks you a question and answering it in such a way that you acknowledge the positives and the negatives. Your response to your prospective client should not be so hard to one right or one left, it will undermine your trustworthiness. And people will ignore you because they see you as extreme or having extreme views, so be even-handed in your compliments, in your comments, and even in your criticisms; learn to look at it from both perspectives and try to provide an even-handed answer.

6. Listen - it's such a simple word but so hard to execute. The reason is our brains process information that's 500 to 700 words per minute. The problem is people talk at a slower

rate while our brain is processing faster. That's why we're always constantly in our mind saying, "hurry up, I get that, yeah." We have to learn to slow down and listen to what people are saying it is through listening that you align yourself and build that trustworthiness.

Keep in mind that building trust takes time to do it over time; it's not something that happens immediately. This is not a binary thing. Most people think trust is taste; let's make it happen

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