In my last post on Pendulum and business we looked at two scenarios that show how belief in others might play out, as a way of demonstrating the importance of creating trust in your clients for you and your services.
Your customers are going to hold you up to their own criteria before extending their trust to you. You can implement several important practices and principles you in your own business to facilitate this critical part of building and maintaining relationships.
Here are five steps to help you keep the promises you make:
1. Get clear. Avoid misunderstandings by asking questions. Get things in writing. And before finalizing an agreement, verify that all parties are on the same page. Things must be made evident in clear, concise language that your client understands. There’s nothing worse than quibbling over an interpretation that can lead to mistrust, which might have been avoided if you’d been simple and direct upfront.
2. Your options with agreements. There are three things you can do with a promise or agreement: You can keep it. You can break it. Or you can renegotiate it. If something legitimate comes up or plans change, talk to the other party and explore renegotiating your current agreement. Keep communication channels open. People change their minds, and give yourself some room to allow yourself to change to accommodate them within reason.
3. Responsibility, accountability and reliability. Take responsibility for your part of the agreement. If you make a mistake, own up to it—then do everything in your power to make it right. (Sometimes admitting a mistake is the greatest trust-builder – it’s shocking how few public figures have realized this.) Build a solid track record of getting the job done. Word of mouth will make or break you.
4. Anticipate and answer questions. Use your website to build trust. Keep advertisements to a minimum (and keep pop-ups away – people hate being disturbed by intrusive advertising). Be generous with your content on your blog. Anticipate and answer questions your customers will have about your products and services.
5. Do what you say you’re going to do. It’s that simple. Keep your word. Your audience wants to connect with you. Make it easy on them—frustrate them or break the trust, and they’re gone. And they’ll let everyone in their path know exactly what they think of you and your company.
We will continue to explore this in our next post.[rps]