TRUST

27 Sep

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Oh, how I hate discussing politics – especially this year when our two candidates are the LEAST TRUSTED Presidential candidates in my lifetime (http://fortune.com/2016/08/04/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-trust/).

Today, I want to talk about TRUST instead of politics. If your company earns the trust of your clients, you can probably keep a customer for a lifetime. If you are a Sales Director with a number of people reporting to you who like and trust in you, they will fight for you, stay with your organization and be willing to deal with all types of trials and tribulations. If you are a salesperson that develops trust early on with your prospects, your chances of landing them go up astronomically.

4 Keys to Earning Trust in All Relationships

Authenticity – This is usually the first word I use when discussing how to develop trust with your internal team, outside prospect or existing client. Be honest. Be real. Be you. If you approach working relationships similarly to your personal ones, you will develop solid connections with people; AUTHENTIC relationships.

I have a simple rule when it comes to furthering my relationships with people – would I want to have a beer or coffee with them outside of my work day? I develop a strong alliance with people who open up and express their challenges. Take a risk and be the first to share a personal weakness and deeper relationships will develop with clients and  co-workers. You just might find yourself looking forward having a Saturday afternoon cup of tea with these people!

Transparency – It sounds simple, but people can more often be passive aggressive instead of being a straight-shooters. Sometimes a prospect doesn’t fit your business model and you need to move on to better possibilities. Sometimes there is a piece of your solution that is flawed for that prospect and you need to confess the gap early on so that it can be overcome. Sometimes hidden costs aren’t revealed – and your new client ends up upset in the early stages of working with you. Be transparent or you will lose trust.

Money comes to mind when I think about transparency. Discuss it early and figure out if the prospect understands their complete investment and has the budget to afford your product or service solution. Sharing the costs in the beginning will avoid wasting a lot of your time as well as the time of your prospect or client. You need to convince them of your value and ROI as opposed to dancing around the $ numbers. 

Keep Your Promises – We aren’t always keeping them. If you tell an employee/prospect/client that you are going to do something by Friday, then do it. If things change, make sure you communicate that on Thursday before the promise fizzles on Friday afternoon.

I’ve made a lot of promises that I shouldn’t have made because they ended up costing me more time or money than I really want to invest. Sometimes you need to take the hit on the project’s cost or delivery time frame, “bite the bullet” and just do it. Other times you just need to come back to them and renegotiate the terms BEFOREHAND and discuss why you are having difficulty delivering on a specific promise.

Learn from mistakes WITH your customer – We are all human and things happen within our companies that are sometimes out of our control. Often, you develop better relationships with your customer having gone through problems together (and displaying authenticity, transparency and keeping your promises as you overcome the challenge). They aren’t deal-breakers if you are willing to put the work into it.

I remember a number of years back when I placed two salespeople with a marketing firm in Minneapolis. The employees came back to us after being hired and shared that the workplace was a mess. The entire office was cluttered and unclean and the garbage was typically overflowing. This basic problem was a little embarrassing to address with our client. But guess what? The management team showed concern and the office was dramatically cleaned up within the month. The employees were pleased and are still working there to this day. The client remains a repeat customer and in the end, thanked us for this outside feedback. Crisis averted!

Act like your children are watching you from 8-5:00 every day. My 13 year-old understands these basic rules. If only Hillary, Donald and other politicians acted on these principles, we wouldn’t be in such an embarrassing political pickle!

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

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http://www.blueoctopusllc.com

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