Restoring Client Trust

Our book, The Geek Leader’s Handbook, says that the main thing we have to offer when selling products and services is trust. It makes sense because if client doesn’t trust you, they aren’t going to care what kind of skills our knowledge you have. The book also reiterates the point that relationships are important. Building trust builds a relationship, which is much more cost and time efficient than attempting to gain the trust of another client.


images (1)

Nobody wants to have the football pulled out from them like Charlie Brown.


Our book lists 8 steps for regaining client trust. Those steps are:

1: Be prepared – Know the project and the environment; Know the client culture

2: Get the facts – The key skill for success in this step is listening

3: Find the feelings – Just sticking to the facts is unlikely to help the relationship

4: Let them know you got it – Summarize what they are communicating to you

5: Question facts (If you must) – Only do this if the client has a misunderstanding of a VERY IMPORTANT fact

6: Frame the problem – Figure out both the client’s and your mental model, and then communicate your alternative model in the most effective way

7: Handle the feelings – This doesn’t mean you can always fix their feelings; just make an attempt to get past them

8: Handle the problem – Whatever you choose to do, document the agreement and FOLLOW THROUGH

But lets compare to an article on, which lists only 7 steps for restoring trust and confidence.

1: Observe and acknowledge what happened

2: Allow feelings to surface

3: Get and give support

4: Reframe the experience

5: Take responsibility

6: Forgive yourself and others

7: Let go and move on

These steps are fairly similar to the steps that are listed in the book, however, I prefer the 8 steps in our book. These seven steps don’t have anything about actually solving the problem. Judging from the entire article and the author, I believe these steps are more for personal issues with trust than with worth productivity trust issues. Still, I think there should be final step that is aimed at improving the future, instead of just forgiving and forgetting.


This video is just of John Authers segments at the Restoring Client Trust summit. He talks more about the lack of trust in the investment market in general, but it is still relevant because of the topic of regaining trust.

Share your thoughts