Last time I talked about building a rapport with a prospective client, but that’s just the start of building trust.
Break the ice; make the prospect feel at ease, but then move on. The prospect doesn’t want a new friend – he wants a deal (and so do you).
Here are five fundamental rules for building trust:
Rule 1. Be trustworthy. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But when you tell the prospect that he will have an offer by Friday and he doesn’t hear from you, guess what? – trust goes out the window. Do what you say you are going to do, and be transparent and honest at all times.
Rule 2. Focus on the needs of the client. Find out what are the issues and concerns for them. Don’t just ask finance related questions find out about the whole business.
Rule 3. Be an expert. You may be sitting across from the cleverest, scariest FD you’ve ever met, but remember you know more about your field (and your business) than he does. He is there to learn from you. So know your stuff.
Rule 4. Be collaborative. Work with the client. Get feedback. “Does that sound good to you?”, “Would that work for you?”
Rule 5. Focus not on short-term transactions, but on longer-term relationships.
Finally, trust works both ways. You need to be able to trust the prospect. They also need to be open and honest with you – that’s what you should expect. If they are not then always be prepared to walk away.