The service you give your clients is worth nothing if they do not trust you. Trust is difficult to achieve. Clients care about more than your products and services. When you show them you have great problem-solving abilities and won’t waste their time, you’re on your way to building trust. How do you build that kind of well-rounded trust after you complete a sale? David Dodd offers some insight into this conundrum in his article, “How Marketers Can Nurture Buyer Trust, and Why That Matters.”
Dodd points out that, according to a Trust and Building Essay by Roy Lewicki and Edward Tomlinson, initial trust is built on the foundations of identification and calculation.
Identification stems from the emotions your clients develop when getting to know you. This form of trust is related to you as a person and tends to be the stronger of the two foundations since it’s a more personalized connection. How do you build on this?
Obviously, the first step is to be proactive in your outreach. Now, that doesn’t mean send a weekly email to your client just for the sake of doing so. Your email topic should pertain to them. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, and clients will be less inclined to open your emails in the future. Also, what you have to say is too important to cover up with sales talk 24/7. If your emails are full of sales pitches or always have an underlying tone of sales, your client is going to think that you only see them as a way to make money. Show them respect and write about different topics that may interest them. Keep your emails conversational, but also purposeful.
Calculation is how your clients think you will act/react in certain situations. This perception is extremely important. It covers everything from how quickly and thoroughly your clients believe you’ll respond to their request for help to how much effort you’ll put into solving the problem.
The feedback portion of this is easy: be available to them and timely in your responses. The problem solving part is more complex. You have to respond quickly and convey a sense of authority when you do so. Don’t make accusations to distract from the problem or flourishing promises that you probably can’t keep. Your clients can tell when you’re bluffing. Apologize, mean it, and then be confident in what you say after. Reliability inspires lasting trust, and people tend to rely more on those who seem confident in their abilities.