So far in your new business relationship, you have set a foundation of trust through your photo, email correspondence and voicemail communications. You have also leveraged your social media footprint to create an aura of trust before meeting your new contact face-to-face.
At your first meeting you came prepared and continued to build trust through your verbal and non-verbal communication. Your new relationship is off to a promising start.
So what’s the next step? How do you maintain the trust you have already established? Here’s how:
Do What You Say You Will Do.
If you say you will follow up with additional information within 24 hours, do so. Even better, do so sooner than expected to exceed, not just meet, expectations. But the unexpected happens. What if you’re unable to provide what you had intended within the stated time frame? When you run into obstacles, let your client know as soon as possible.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open.
Check back with the client to assess the business results and on-going relationship. Ask open-ended questions. Tune in to what’s not being said and probe further. Actively listen and adjust as needed. Keep the client informed of on-going discoveries.
To keep the lines of communication open, value confidentiality. When the client knows that you will not reveal sensitive information to others, you become a trusted partner to their success.
Stay true to your values. In your partnership, the client depends upon your unique perspective, insight and experience. Say what needs to be said, not just what the client wants to hear, and mean it.
Look for Reasons to Stay in Touch.
While some absence makes the heart grow fonder, be careful not to let your absence become “out of sight, out of mind.” Continue to invest in your trusted relationship. Check in with a phone call or email periodically. Pass along a useful or relevant article. Send notes of appreciation and congratulations on milestones reached.
How do you maintain trust in your relationships? Share your practices with us here.