There are a lot of cheesy pictures and articles out there about how to gain trust from others in your life. Some of them have good content, and some are honestly just not helpful at all. I found a good article about trust called The 5 Keys to Winning Your Prospective Client’s Trust. The author makes a list of the top 5 things that clients value, including organization, specificity, reassurance, flexibility, and transparency.
- Organization is one of the top things that a client looks for when trying to figure out who to give their business to. If someone is disorganized and you can’t trust that they will get their things organized and done in time, there won’t be any trust in that professional relationship. If a company is not prepared and ready to do what you need them to do, they are not worth your time. It is an industry standard to be organized and efficient, and clients won’t let you get away with not having those traits.
- Specificity is important because you have to make sure that you’re clear what the client is expecting of you and what you believe to be your responsibilities. You have to be as specific as possible and communicate a lot so that there aren’t any big misunderstandings in the future.
- Reassurance is something that humans need to feel secure in their decisions. Clients need to hear not only that you’re going to achieve their business goals, but they need to know how you’re going to do it. The closer you get to completing a goal, the more important this is to the client.
- Flexibility is a hard one to implement sometimes because this varies with who the client is, what the project is, and how much time you have to get it done.
- Transparency is the last one they talked about and this is something that you need to have throughout the whole exchange. Clients want to know what’s going on behind closed doors so that they can feel confident in the decision they made to give you their business.
Trust is something that is hard to get back once you’ve lost it. It’s something that can be a long process when you are trying to earn back someone’s trust, and it’s not different with a client relationship. In our book, The Geek Leader’s Handbook, they give a list as well about how to be productive and resolve client conflict and restore trust. You have to be prepared, get the facts, find the feelings, let them know you got it, dispute the facts (if you must), frame the problem, handle the feelings, and handle the problem. These are all super helpful and should be implemented when trying to gain trust.
On a smaller scale, a good example of someone that’s hard to win over is Ron Swanson. He has such a strong distrust with technology because he’s a private guy who doesn’t like a lot of people knowing personal information about him. He doesn’t trust the creeps out there who can go on the internet and find out details about him or his family. Since he doesn’t trust many things in his life (he works in the government and is one of the most anti-government people to exist), he’s a hard guy to get to know. So, if Ron was your client, you could use the suggestions from the beginning of this blog. You would have to gain his trust, and in order to do that, you’d need to be organized, specific, reassuring, flexible and transparent, and maybe then he would be willing to do business with you.