Written by: Joe Peters
Methodically Develop Client Trust
Building trust with your clients and prospects is essential in the art of business. But doing so is a challenge for younger salespeople who might not have the same history, relationships, experience, or credibility as their older counterparts.
Fortunately, with the right approach, you can become more effective at creating trust between you and your clients.
Five Ways To Methodically Develop Client Trust In The Modern Age:
1. Put the Clients’ Needs First
When David Priemer was a young technology salesman, he dealt with customer pushback about his age. However, he quickly realized the power of knowing your market after pitching to an entire boardroom of older clients. David was able to make the sale relatively early in his career.
If you want to develop client trust, demonstrate to each that you want the same thing they do. Your goal should be to:
- Deliver what your client wants precisely
- Deliver on requests in a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable price
- Prove that you are on the side of your prospects and clients
The best way to do this is to study your market endlessly. Learn as much as possible about your target market. You can read industry data, magazines, and reviews from clients. Ask for your company’s data on demographics for your market.
Once you have that primer, you can walk into a meeting or a sales call with confidence. Of course, you need to implement smart sales techniques and ask the right questions.
When clients believe that you genuinely want to know their goals and desires, they will open up. Then, when you share a solution with them that appeals to these goals, their trust in you shoots through the roof.
2. Boost Personal Credibility
Attempting to develop client trust methodically can be challenging if you don’t have an extensive career or body of work behind you. If you work in an industry where your results speak for themselves, you can create a mock portfolio.
The method works particularly well for those who work in creative fields like design, coding, and writing. However, sometimes you need to create credibility in other ways.
For instance, you might research your market and conduct a speech that educates your target clientele. Additionally, you can work on your social media presence to ensure it shows you in the best light.
Don’t wait around asking for permission to gain credibility. If you want clients to trust you, it will take a proactive approach. It may also require numerous attempts for serious consideration.
3. Highlight Results with Case Studies
Even though your clients believe that you have their best interests in mind and that you are a credible businessperson, you still have some work to do. Prospects need to think that your particular product, service, or company can solve their specific problem.
A convincing case study will point to the credibility of your solution. The facts can be in the form of a writeup, video, or other documentation. Include a specific example of a previous customer that benefited from your solution.
Typical case studies involve interviewing past clients about their experiences with your company. You’ll want to ask them questions such as:
- What was your life like before our solution?
- What main features or benefits did you like about our solution?
- What is your life like with our solution today?
First, establish a problem. Next, demonstrate how your company solves similar issues. When potential clients see this, they will be able to imagine themselves gaining those same benefits. Otherwise, it’s difficult for prospects to have full trust that your product will work.
If you are working for a larger company, they may already have a handful of case studies that you can use during the sales process. Should they already exist, you will save a lot of time. If not, you’ll need to do the work of assembling them on your own. It’s a worthwhile time investment as they will help develop client trust.
4. Make Rapport a Priority
Ultimately, building trust is to be on a person-to-person basis. You can’t outsource it. Therefore, it comes down to your ability to establish friendly rapport throughout the sales process.
Far too many salespeople take an aggressive approach to sales. They view every piece of business as transactional. Most miss out on the human connection that so many clients crave.
By focusing on rapport from the beginning, the conversation becomes more enjoyable. Client trust is far more likely to develop and grow.
5. Check Your Clients’ “Temperature” During the Sales Process
No one is a mind reader. You need to have a process for flushing out potential objections or concerns. There is a need for entrepreneurs and salespeople to be adept with reading body language and verbal cues. One way to is through the “trial” close.
Unlike the traditional sales close, you are not asking for a decision. You aren’t asking your client to buy anything or commit. Instead, you are asking for an opinion.
The result is that you begin to develop client trust. The reason is, you didn’t pressure your prospective client to purchase anything before they were ready. Instead, you showed that you care about their thoughts and have the intelligence to bring those thoughts to the surface effectively.
Here are a few examples:
- “Does everything make sense so far?”
- “Do you have any concerns I should know about?”
- “Other than the cost of this project, are there any other concerns that would keep you from moving forward?”
Notice how each question provides your client with a chance to share their concerns. The give and take of conversation allow you to build rapport and overcome objections simultaneously.
It’s not a secret that clients do business with people they know, like, and trust. However, arriving at a place of trust, in the first place, can be an uphill battle for unproven entrepreneurs and salespeople.
Instead of learning the hard (and long) way, use the five tips above. They will help you take the fastest and most authentic route toward building trust. That way, you can grow your business and your income exponentially.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech devotee devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters.