Trust is one of those things that you know you need. You know the benefits. You understand what it is.
However, as I have heard from far too many business owners, the trust you seek to earn tends not to be enduring. It is more often fleeting and circumstantial, which is both frustrating and discouraging. So, how can you make it stick!?
Credibility reinforces client trust and turns it into something tangible. Credibility is dependent on your ability to provide evidence of your unique value from many different perspectives, and in many different forms, so that when your audience feels doubt and pokes at it, their skepticism is quickly put to rest, over and over again.
This brings to mind a recent client who ran a very successful and well-established business in professional services. He consistently invested resources into client relationships, professional development, and productivity improvement, and yet, he remained discouraged by the lack of loyalty displayed by his long-time clients. As committed as he felt that he had been to them, he had an underlying feeling that even some of his best clients were at risk of moving to his competitors. He was not confident that he had their enduring trust.
As we worked together over the course of a few months, he was surprised to discover that he hadn’t built enough sustained credibility into his business and value proposition. Once he recognized that, we worked through the four main components of credibility, and he was able to pick away at them and build them into his offer to enhance his corporate trust-factor.
This is something you can do, as well. It starts with understanding, from your clients' perspective...
The Four Main Components of Credibility:
Does your client believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that you fully understand and respect the unique nuances of his specific problem?
Does your company have the right skills, ability and experience to offer your client a solution that is fully aligned with her personal needs and values?
Will the experience of working with your company be easy, hassle-free and, possibly, even enjoyable?
How does your client's business support your bigger corporate objectives? Is it just about the money, or would a deeper relationship with your client help your company have a bigger and more meaningful impact on the greater good?
When you can ...
clearly and concisely address these questions
show evidence across several platforms (e.g., sales, operations, HR) that they are intentionally built into your corporate fabric, and
give your client the confidence that your company is committed to being held accountable to your intentions, both now and into the future,
... then you will have set the foundation for a loyal and trusting client relationship for many years to come.
If you’re looking for examples of where this level of credibility is being practiced, I encourage you to check out some of the Certified B Corps in your community. Although perfection is an ideal to strive for, these companies are committed to getting as close as possible to being a force for good, as they mature and grow their contribution and impact. And they expect to be held accountable to their promises.
How committed are you to building unwavering trust into your offer and what are you wiling to do to get it?
To your Success, Differently,