Building Your Client’s Trust to Build Your Practice
By Bill Taylor
Our firm recently delivered an on-site business development program for a large insurance consulting company which focused on the
value of building trust based relationships. We highlighted results from a survey conducted by Miller
Heiman that singled out lack of trust as the No. 1 reason prospects do not buy from a certain provider. In
fact, lack of trust was cited by over 50 percent of respondents as the single most important reason buyers
turned down a service provider.
In contrast, and by a vast margin, the second
reason given for not selecting a firm, no need
for the services, accounted for only 13
percent of the responses.
Extrapolating from these two
responses; even if a client or potential client has a need, they will
not engage you if they do not
THE QUESTION THEN BECOMES
HOW DO YOU GAIN THE TRUST
OF CURRENT AND PROSPECTIVE
CLIENTS, AS WELL AS COLLEAGUES, SUBORDINATES, AND
OTHERS WITH WHOM YOU DO
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO BUILD TRUST IS TO ALWAYS DELIVER ON PROMISES AND COMMITMENTS.
When you commit to follow up on an issue, take ownership and do just that. A common mistake and “
trustbuster” is failing to regularly communicate status and
not keeping interested parties informed. You know how
frustrating it is when you are waiting for information
that is vital to your business; so avoid becoming the
cause of frustration for your clients, prospects, or colleagues by using great follow-up skills.
Bill Taylor is president of Corporate Ladders, a business
development consulting and coaching firm, specializing
in helping professional services firms grow top-line revenues.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANOTHER WAY TO BUILD TRUST IS TO ESTABLISH ON-GOING RELATIONSHIPS by keeping your clients and
prospects top of mind all the time and demonstrating that
you are thinking about them and their business concerns.
For example, if you read a newspaper story, online
article or blog that may be of interest to a client, prospect
or coworker, copy the article or forward the link.
Information may interest or affect them, whether
positively or negatively. Your short
note or interpretation is a value
add, which is particularly effective in demonstrating that you are
keeping them in mind. An enhanced opportunity to demonstrate your sincere interest
exists when you encounter
an article or some information that enables you to
leverage a third party’s perspective to support an idea,
product, or service you
may have already under discussion with them.
By maintaining regular contact, clients and prospects learn to
trust your motives and intentions and will
be more receptive to considering your advice
or proposal. To establish a trust-based relationship with
a prospect, do your homework and learn as much as you
can about their business and also about the person with
whom you plan to meet. When meeting for the first
time, do not begin the meeting by selling your firm’s
services, but instead take the time to learn about the
prospect’s business, and look for ways to help them.
Skillful and tactful questioning will get your
prospects and clients to open up and share information
and insights to help you understand their needs. Ask
well-formulated, open-ended questions to open up a dialog that allows you to learn about their business and
the challenges they are facing.
ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO BEGIN BUILDING TRUST IS TO
STOP AND LISTEN TO THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS.
May 2013 Consulting