María Alcaraz

How to gain the trust of your client

Gaining the trust of our clients is a must-have for every professional all along his career. We should keep some basic principles into account in order to be able to establish stable, productive relationships with our clients:

Being honest

That’s for sure: if you cheat on your clients, you will never see them again. But we should take into account that “cheating” includes many more things than expected. When we say we can do something, we do so because we can do it. No promises if we are not sure we will be able to keep them.

When we offer a budget, we give the price we honestly think our work is worth. Nothing more but nothing less, because we all work to make a living and nobody will provide their full potential and the best services when not feeling fairly rewarded.

And when we set a deadline, we need to stick to it, otherwise we lose all our credibility.

This does not imply we need to work for twenty hours a day if necessary. What is necessary is that we are frank and honest when we give a timing to our client and tell him how much it will take us to do the job (considering we work as many hours as usual).

Offering what the client needs

This is another reason why several businesspeople lose clients without even knowing why. When a person or a company is willing to hire our professional services, the first thing we should do is make sure what the needs of our prospective client are. And give them exactly what they are asking for.

As I mentioned before, nothing more and nothing less. Most often, we give more than we were asked for. For instance, many freelancers or SMEs owners hire the services of a web design studio in order to have a corporate website created.

Luckily, only a few of such web design companies are not as honest as they should be, and they will offer a wonderful website to the client, the best in the market and with multiple tools available. However, perhaps the client just needed a small corporate website.

Having a website far above their needs will involve unnecessary costs (and he will be wary of it for ever), and the website will be set aside for good. However, this does not mean we shouldn’t be proactive. If the client requests a given solution to a problem or need, but we know there are better tools to cater for that need, we should tell him about it.

This is being proactive. Having a client who needs one thing and giving him something quite useless and much more expensive is a fraud.

Always being there

Whenever the client needs us again, however trivial the reason may be, we must be there. Our client will feel much better knowing that, in some way, he has a “24/7 assistance” (even if this is not exactly the case). Selling a product or a service is not something that ends when the client pays for our services. In fact, this piece of work never gets finished. Because we need to take care of the client, but not through presents or cards (which are also nice, of course) but by treating him as a family member. Would we leave somebody in our family behind if they needed our help?

Always being responsive

This is related to what I mentioned above: we should always be responsive to any communication started by our client. If he calls us, we need to call him back. And if we can’t devote our attention to his phone call in that moment, we should also answer his call at once, in order to tell him we will call him back as soon as we may give him our undivided attention.

If he writes us an e-mail, we should answer it. Even if we can’t provide what he is asking for in that moment, we should answer and tell him when we will provide him with what he is asking for.

Ultimately, having our clients trust us is a job that must be done every day, and we’d better never stop doing it.

 “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 of advertising”. Jim Rohn.

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