Building trust does not entail pretension. You just have to be yourself and treat the person with respect and dignity. A genuine interest in their business, a focused approach and a cordial demeanour can work wonders. Here are some essential keys which can help in building the client’s trust in you:-
1. Body communicates as well as your mouth
Body language plays an important role in creating first impression with a potential client. This will support any convincing conversations you make any further. Be confident about yourself and have faith in your abilities. If you don’t trust yourself, why anyone else will?
Do not sit with drooping shoulders or look distracted. It can make the other person feel uneasy around you. Rather sit straight and make frequent eye-contact. Neither be overdressed nor underdressed. That doesn’t mean you head in casuals. This will make the client will as if you are not serious about working for him. Wear easy breezy formals. If you are peace, you will feel in control too.
2. If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there
You have already fixed up meeting with the client. But, if his business is unbeknown to you, how will you event proceed? So you need to be well prepared beforehand. You’ve got to read his business strategies in the past and any broken links with competitors.
Even though you might be unaware being from a different field, but that cannot serve as an excuse if you are looking for a client. However, a thorough research can do the trick. You will have enough information about his strategies over which you can hold discussions whenever you fix the meeting.
Your interest in his business can act as a driving force which can hand you that project. The more facts, framework and knowledge you will serve the client, the easier it will be for him to trust your analytical abilities.
3. Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how
Obviously you are focused to not only make the client trust you but also hire you. But do not commit the mistake of considering him mere potential business opportunity. He is much more than that. Before you get down to agreeing to the terms and conditions, make sure you make him feel comfortable. He is a human before a client so make him feel like one.
Make small talk, be it about their favourite restaurant or holiday destination. Don’t just remember the name of person but also some personal traits. You cannot always expect the client to be as cordial so don’t wait for him. This is a chance for you to show how you can be trusted and these little things will act as building blocks of your relationship with the client.
Keeping warm relations in the beginning lays groundwork for long term association. A person at ease with you will begin to trust you. Don’t work as customer and expert but as two human beings.
4. Plan your work and work your plan
The value of planning can be easily inferred from these golden words of Napolean Hill. He promptly correlates work and planning.
The interdependence of the two shows one cannot exist without the other. Since you have already derived necessary information about the client’s business, it is time to put that thinking cap on. Find creative ways to take his business to greater heights. You might have found some loopholes in the business plan while rummaging through its history, so try to work around it and don’t be afraid to confront the client about it. Rather, he will be happy to have a person who knows how to bend such situation for the company’s benefit.
Spend time in talking to your colleagues or friends from the same professional background, seek their advice and accordingly work on the strategy. Go to the client with an open mind, let him see your planning and always leave scope for the changes he makes. A full proof scheme makes him want to trust you with his business.
5. Telling creates resistance, asking creates relationships
Client relationships author of Power Questions, Andrew Sobel emphasises on the power of effective questioning. Mere exchange of ideas is not going to help unless you are ready to question. Of course the client will be interested in knowing about you first. So it’s time to turn round the table by putting questions to him.
Do not be afraid to ask whenever needed or it will have a negative impression on your work since you would not be meeting his needs. Questioning is important for it gives you an insight into the client’s mind, his goals and expectations. Unless you know what he wants, you won’t be able to deliver quality work. Be it the first meeting or the second, remember his priority list. You need to put yourself in his shoes and then be able to commit quality services that he deserves.
6. The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory
The biggest illusion is remembering whatever the client mentioned. But who will be answerable if you miss on some important detail? The client trusted you but you left the necessary part.
If you want to escape such untoward situations, be sure of carrying a notebook and pen whenever you go to see the client. Taking notes of the conversation will make you recollect the client’s plan which you need to closely follow while delivering the project.
This also gives him the assurance that you will not forget anything you were communicated during the meeting. Jotting down will also create an impression that you are a focused person who does not take his words lightly.
Additionally, you can also repeat the client’s words to confirm whatever he said is being correctly written by you. You got to be on the same page if you want to build trust. Taking time to echo those words back to him will exactly help you in doing so.