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Trust is an essential ingredient in our personal and professional relationships. Know your clients as friends.

Trust: The Foundation for Business

Studies show 9 out of 10 Americans would not refer the products or services of an organization they do not trust. Without trust, transactions can’t take place. Lack of trust can be your biggest expense so if lack of trust can have a negative effect on businesses, wouldn’t the opposite have to be true? Trust would be your biggest asset; trust would have a positive impact and increase business, and the only way to build that kind of trust is through building relationships.
Trust is crucial, enabling businesses to function and increase their value. Businesses are built on trust, so trust is the true currency in making a successful business and now more than ever trust is critical to your business.
Trust is an essential ingredient in our personal and professional relationships. When someone says one thing but does something completely different, it tears down the walls of trust so restoring confidence is critical to any initiative taken. A lack of trust can undermine the whole system. Research has demonstrated that perceived trustworthiness includes three elements: ability (are you competent?), integrity (are you honest?), and benevolence (do you care about my interests?).
The result of building trust is a strong, happy, and loyal client base. Did you know one study showed almost 90 percent of people would trust a friend’s recommendation over a professional critic? Knowing your clients as if they were friends will give you a crucial advantage over your competitors. Every interaction we have either increases or decreases trust levels. Deloitte research indicates trustworthy companies outperform their competitors by up to four times, and 88 percent of customers who highly trust a brand have bought again from that brand.
Written by Jenny Mason
About the Author >>>
Businesses must be intent and take actionable strategies to earn more trust from clients.
Let’s look at some of the key elements needed to build trust:
Connection Build the relationship, break through the surface, ask questions, get to know their wants and needs, be relatable, and greet the conversation with here I am, instead of there you are. As Phil M. Jones says, “know their context before you share your content.”
Clarity Be clear in all of your communications; your vision, your purpose, what you provide, and what you need. Without clarity, people become confused. Being clear on vision brings unity which results in motivation. Think about every conversation you have. Is there a way you could be clear?
Clear conversation is critical to laying the foundation of trust. Keeping people informed and up to date. A study revealed 89 percent of people believe having effective communication is extremely important. Strong communication, both internally and externally, leads to better efficiency, clarity, and results.
Benevolence Caring about your clients’ interests proves to them you have their best interest at heart, and they are more than a dollar sign. Is there a way you can show them you care more, and as the famous quote says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Competent Continue upping your game by learning and being a true advisor. I don’t think you’d ask your family doctor to perform heart surgery; the same is true with your clients. They need to know you know what you are talking about, as this is one of the biggest investments of their lifetime.
Commitment Be committed to their best interests. Is there a way you could show clients how truly committed you are to them? Actions and fulfilling your promises produce trust. When we are committed, we find a way; when we are not interested, we find an excuse.
Consistency As with anything, consistency is key. Be consistent in your words and actions. It’s the little things. Consistent actions and behaviors set a solid foundation (groundwork). “Trust is earned when an organization makes a good promise, and then consistently and reliably delivers on the promise,” says Ashley Reichheld, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP. Consistency leads to results, which are the deliverables.
Character Be honest. Being temporarily uncomfortable is far better than losing a client. Your clients notice what you are doing in and out of the office. Are you being whom you say you are and doing what you say you do? Your reputation precedes you. Be authentic, be the real you. Remember when Coca-Cola launched New Coke; it didn’t succeed. People want the real thing, so be you; there’s only one of you for a reason. Be uniquely, awesomely, you! That’s what will give you a competitive edge over your competition.
Be reliable so can you be counted on. Businesses are built on trust, so trust is the true currency in making a successful business and now more than ever trust is critical to your business.
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