Trust is one of the master keys to unlocking true success in business.
We’re in business to sell something. If we didn’t make sales we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open. But when we approach a potential client as a potential paycheck rather than as someone we can help, we’re doing a disservice to that potential client and, ultimately, ourselves.
We have a service to provide to our audience. An expertise that makes us a go-to person in our industry. That service can bring us the income we desire, but it also brings a good deal of responsibility to do what’s right by our clients and potential clients.
As the business owner, the expert in our field, it’s our responsibility to vet the client to make sure product and client is a good fit.
It’s up to us to ask the hard questions and provide the information and feedback our client needs.
A potential client may come to us thinking she needs something. But after talking to her, we discover she needs something completely different than she thought she needed. Because we took the time to find out, we save the client and us time. Plus, we’re doing a huge service to the client, too.
I’ve seen many business owners take on clients because we view our own success in the form of dollar signs. But we aren’t creating trust with our clients because when we approach a new client with a “ka-ching” in our head, our clients’ success isn’t at the forefront. The paycheck is.
When our business is struggling or just getting off the ground, it’s easy to enter into a client relationship with the thought, “Wow! She’s got money to spend and I hope I can get her into my biggest package.” But a better approach would be to think, “Wow! I really want to help her get to XYZ or do ABC in her business, life, health, marriage, etc.”
Here’s a few ideas to help you sell from a position of trust:
- Build trust and connection with the client.
Find out what the client needs, not what the client thinks she needs or what we want to sell her. We can do this by putting money aside and really talking to the client. Find out what she knows and doesn’t know and ask what her goals are. This will help give us the clarity we need and be a value add-on for the client.
- Have our guidelines in writing.
This puts all expectations up-front, for us and the client. It’s clear what’s included in the service and what we can and can’t do for the client. If something goes wrong in the project, we have a written record of what was said at the outset that we can turn to.
- If we can’t help the client, be honest.
We’re not all experts in every area. If this client needs something that we just can’t (or don’t) offer, refer her to someone who does.
Coming at a new client relationship from a financial perspective means the relationship is broken from the start.
If a new client is just a dollar sign, we’re not really getting to the root of what she needs. We’re not really doing our job as the “expert.” We’re collecting a check and giving her what she thinks she wants or needs. And in the end, the problem she came to us with doesn’t get resolved. This mindset leads to upset clients and business owners with self-doubt, anger and resentment toward clients.
It leads to fewer return clients, fewer referrals and ultimately a lower income.
Which means our business isn’t growing and thriving as we’d like it to.
Want support in creating more trust in your client relationships?
It would be an honor to have a 90-min Clarity Creator Session with you.