10 Tips on Using Trust to Grow Your Business
David Turner explains that showing genuine interest in your clients' business and managing expectations are crucial to building the trust that will ensure a healthy and profitable relationship on both sides
David Turner, director of Questas Consulting and a recent speaker at the EMEA Regional Meeting in Lisbon, provides 10 tips on the importance of building trust in growing your business.
1. Deliver as promised
Never make promises that you know you cannot deliver on. Strive for excellence in the way you plan and execute the project. Understand the client’s expectation about how you and your team will communicate with them and adapt the way you communicate to suit all key contacts.
2. Communicate internally
Make sure everyone in the firm understands the promises that have been made and the role they play in ensuring the firm delivers what the client expects.
3. Manage your client’s experience
The client’s perception of doing business with your firm is the cumulative result of hundreds of ‘moments of truth’. Moments of truth are touch points with your firm that are opportunities for an ‘ouch’ or ‘wow’ experience. Ensure that the number of ‘wow’ moments far outnumber the ‘ouch’ and treat everyone as if they were the decision maker.
4. Understand the strength of your client relationships
Develop objective criteria and metrics to measure the strength of your firms’ relationship with key clients. Score the relationship to arrive a ‘loyalty quotient’ and identify potential risks and opportunities to improve.
5. Really understand your key clients
Understand your client’s world, their critical success factors and what motivates them. Demonstrate genuine interest by asking questions about horizon issues and not just the current project you might be working on.
6. Build great relationships by providing valuable content
Share through all your marketing channels content that is of real value, which is useful and timely. Have an abundance attitude; sharing articles, research, white papers, reports and thought leadership freely and willingly. Today the differentiator is notifyou provide valuable content but howgoodyour content is.
7. Think like a client to identify what content your clients will value
Clients want to know you understand their world. Understand their critical success factors and the issues affecting their sector or business and you will learn what content to develop that will be useful to them. Only very rarely will this be anything that talks about how good your firm is!
8. Build a network on line and off line
Be seen in the same places your clients and potential clients network both face to face and using social media. Social media has become a vital business tool and has real power to help you build trusting relationships. Be helpful to people in your network and share valuable content with them.
9. Put Principled Selling into business development
Selling can be the most natural and comfortable business development activity if done ethically and with integrity. Be authentic and demonstrate a genuine interest in your clients world by asking questions (about what interests them) and listening - really listening.
10. Support and develop professional staff
Most professionals did not qualify hoping to get involved in marketing and selling. The real world means they need to be involved in attracting new clients. Provide continual support and development not a one off ‘sheep dip’ workshop in the hope that this will be enough to make them into ‘rainmakers’ - it won’t!
David Turner MCIM FIfL DMS(Ed) has over 30 years experience working with top organisations at the senior level. His diverse experience covers civil and oil engineering, creative industries and post-16 education. He is an educational consultant and a director of Questas Consulting Ltd helping organisations develop skills and practices for profitable growth.
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