Trust is the key to all relationships, whether personal, professional. Just as with many other areas of your life, trust can make or break your business. If you have trust, you can secure long-term clients, but without it, well, you may as well give up – it’s sad, but true!
While there’s no way to instantly build trust with your clients, but there are things you can do to help build your business relationships.
Back Up What You Say :
If a client hasn’t previously worked with your business, they may need some reassurance. Be prepared to offer this through testimonials, work samples, facts and figures. This could include snippets of previous freelance work, a portfolio of recent projects, or recommendations and feedback from clients. Don’t be offended, but be willing to provide evidence to put your client at ease.
Be Respectful and Reliable :
We all want to be treated with respect, so don’t forget that your client is a person, too. It can be easy to look at a project as just another job, but your client is a busy focusing on their business just like you. Make sure you call when expected, show up to meetings on time, respond promptly, and don’t lie and say something has been posted when it’s not – use an expedited delivery service like TNT if you’re in a rush. Always communicate in a timely manner and treat your client in a way that you’d like to be treated.
Be Honest, Transparent and Upfront :
There’s nothing worse than someone who lies or tries to blag their way through a situation – although it’s slightly satisfying when they come unstuck! Instead, be honest and upfront: show a client how you will achieve a goal, be ready to apologise for mistakes, or if you simply don’t know the answer, then be honest. Transparency is always the best option. It may feel awkward, but honesty is the key to achieving trust and making your clients feel valued.
Communicate Effectively :
This may sound so simple and you’re probably thinking ‘hey, I listen!’, but when it comes to business, it’s about so much more. Learn to really communicate with your clients before racing ahead with plans. Listen carefully to their needs, concerns and questions, so that you are able to fully address any issues raised or put them at ease. Not only will this increase your efficiency, but by showing your client that you care, you’ll help to build lasting trust.
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