Trust is difficult to earn but easy to lose. It is also an incredibly valuable resource for people who hoping to be successful. If a person trusts you, the relationship will continue to grow. Once trust is lost, it can be impossible to earn it back. But how does one earn trust from a client?
Speak Clearly and Confidently
Confidence is intimidating to many and mastered by few. However, speaking confidently is essential for earning trust from a client. Let’s look at an example between a client and a project manager for a app development agency.
Client: “Can you explain your process for developing apps to me?”
Project Manager: “Um, well we as a team do research and um, look into certain areas to understand your industry, and our devs put together a tech spec, and we deliver results.”
It’s tough to read. Would you trust your project with that project manager? A better answer would have included no “ums” and stayed away from industry jargon such as “devs” instead of developers. It would have gone into detail about the process so the client understands that he or she is in good hands and that the decision to collaborate with this agency was a good one.
Make sure you are knowledgable: know what the team’s process is, the goals of the meeting, and the goals of the project. But most importantly . . .
Know the Needs of the Client
The best way to know the needs of the client is to listen to the client. During in-person meetings, maintain eye contact, or if the meeting is held over the phone, stay focused. Regardless of the channel, put away distractions, take notes, and ask questions. Attentively listening to the client will ensure a strong understanding of the client’s goals, what is a success, and the pain points.
Stay focused on these needs. It is easy to become stuck in routine day-to-day tasks and client work and to forget why the task is being done in the first place. Be sure that the client’s needs are always in mind when performing work. This will benefit both parties.
Show Your Value
It is difficult to show your value if you don’t know why the client is working with you. If you don’t know why, how can you speak to that problem and solve it? Be sure to understand why the client is working with you, and use that information to illustrate the benefits of working with your team.
Other ways to show your benefit include being the first to tell the client news whether good or bad. If it is bad, come to the client with it and the solution that your team is working on. That way, your team is being proactive, which will show that you care about the client’s project as much as he or she does.
Trust is tough to earn, especially after you’ve lost it. Be sure to earn your client’s trust by speaking confidently and clearly, knowing your client’s needs, showing your value and, most importantly, keeping your word.