Ten Steps to Building Trust in Business Relationships
Trust is hard won and easily lost, as scandals in the banking
worlds have shown. In a client/sales realationship, it’s useful to ask yourself: what does trust look like when it walks into a room?
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- Trust should have great key soft skills. When you’re first introduced; warm facial expressions, positive body language, (no folded arms, or fidgety movements), a well-modulated voice, careful attention to dress, a firm handshake and respectful eye contact, will make the first and future meetings memorable.
- Trust listens with respect. Take the time to really hear what your opposite number is saying and what they want. Thinking too hard about what you’re going to say in response while they’re talking can lead to a perceived lack of attention and their feeling of your not being focused. Try not to look over their shoulder when they’re speaking.
- Trust has no hidden agenda. Ensure that there is real transparency, clarity and proactivity in all your dealings with people. Never assume anything and never be seen to be taking advantage of your client/sales relationship.
- Trust brings its own respect. Your own self-respect should be mirrored in your respect for your client. Hold your own position, but make tangible your respect for them through remembering and having interest in small personal details such as their holiday or family.
- Trust is confidential. Total confidentially is expected and should be delivered without question.
- Trust manages expectations. Make sure yours are managed as promised. Nothing damages trust more than under-delivering in any way on any project.
- Trust is gentle. Subtlety and authentic humility are key ways to gently building rapport with your marketplace. A supplier which blows its own horn too much can get on the nerves.
- Trust is kind. Demonstrating a genuine care for business relationships is a major factor in their development –- most of us enjoy being popular and likeability is a big part of trust.
- Trust is honest. A reciprocal belief in the individual and their reputation, as well as your own, can only lead to an open and truthful communication and understanding between you.
- Trust is confident. Your innate ability to deliver all of the above shows a natural self-confidence and self-believe that will nurture your relationships with others. This develops the trust in yourself and your business that will build your client’s success and, most of all, your reputation.