When a customer makes a buying decision or even whether or not to hire you, it becomes a question of trust. It’s not if they trust your firm, but if they trust you.
Do they trust that you will keep their business’ interests ahead of your own? Do they have confidence in you and your new relationship to spend their scare resources with you? From the very first moment you are in contact with a potential customer, during the presentations, meetings and email contact, you must give the client the sense that you are to be trusted with their business and their livelihood.
In a thought…
When writing to the customers via e-mail, web content, brochure, or an introductory letter, use words that evoke confidence. Your messages should be strong, clear and crisp. Avoid phrases such as “I feel” or “might be able to”. Embrace words like “I know”, “confident”, strength”. Make your sentences simple and concise. When the customers are evaluating you through what you have written, it’s not only important what you say, but how you say it.
In a look…
Do you remember that old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, people do.
First impressions are everything. Before you leave for work that day of a big meeting, look in the mirror. Does the image you see invoke trust? Is your hair cut and combed? Is your suit a dark neutral colour and is it pressed and are your nails clean? I’m sure you’re saying, “these things don’t matter.” They do.
Use good eye contact. Watch your body language. Don’t be defensive. Keep an open posture. When you’re at the meeting, be neat and organized. Perhaps the customer is considering what your company has to offer, but they are really evaluating you as a representative of your company. If they don’t trust you, they won’t deal with your company.
In a word…
What you say is the most important part of earning the trust of your customer.
The key to knowing what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it is to practice. It sounds silly, but it is not. Before going to that big meeting, consider carefully what you will say and how you will say it. Ask a co-worker or spouse to roll-play with you. If you have the opportunity, video tape yourself and ask someone to critique what they see. Avoid “ums” and “ahs” and using the word “ok” fifty times. Be strong, but truthful in your statements, giving the customers a reason to trust you.
The Internet has made people even more nervous and hesitant. Clients are discerning and cautious in their spending. In order to gain their business, you must earn their trust. Once they trust you, you will be in a position to help them and earn your own success.