We all know the adage that people do business with people they know, like and trust. While most people believe that building trust takes time, here’s how you can start the process, even before meeting in person:
A third party introduction from a trustworthy person gives you instant credibility. Your introducer can create a bridge between you and the person with whom you hope to establish a relationship. He or she can vouch for your character, competence, and integrity based on their own experience from knowing or working with you.
For the last several weeks, there has been a spirited exchange in one of my on-line groups, asking participants whether or not they would do business with someone who didn’t post their photo in their profile. The question has generated over 1,500 comments so far! Despite the variety of opinions shared, it’s safe to say that if you do post your photo, be sure it conveys the message you intend.
Try this exercise: choose three adjectives or attributes that describe how you want to come across, such as “friendly,” “approachable,” or “professional.” Now look at your photo. Does your photo mirror that message? Even better, show your photo to a close friend or associate and ask for their impression.
Be certain that your photo is current, within the last two years, depending on how much you have changed in the interim.
If your email communications are confusing, too informal, or ungrammatical, it creates a negative impression. Instead, show your professionalism through the written word. Take time to organize your thoughts, use proper salutations, and check your grammar. “Professional” doesn’t mean you can’t show your sense of humor, but be certain it’s appropriate to your recipient.
The quality of your voice sends a message to your listener, intended or not. Is your voice upbeat? Or tired, lacking energy? According to research conducted by UCLA Professor Emeritus, Dr. Albert Mehrabian:
What is the message you want your voice to convey?
Social Media Presence
Leverage your on-line presence. Would you want to do business with you based on how you come across on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media sites?
Remember, your goal is to find effective ways to connect, not disconnect.
Put these tips into practice to get your new relationships off to a promising start.
What tips do you have for inspiring trust in a new relationship? Leave a comment here.