Make trust principles the foundation of your business
In Part 1, you read that feeling nervous marketing your business isn’t unreasonable. But it’s not necessary. When your intention is to build trustworthy client relationships, how you market is clearer. Putting your audience first is a game changer.
Potential clients want to trust you. But whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re searching for clues that you’re trustworthy.
The research of Stefan Grafe, founder of mext, a global brand building consultancy, and his partner, Barbara Grohsgart, a psychologist, identified what clients need to know about you to trust you. From their findings and Charles Green’s work with Trusted Advisor Associates, I’ve developed a list of Trust Principles.
Using these Trust Principles will make it easier to know what to say in your sales and marketing. You’ll know which messages really matter to your clients. And you’ll feel more comfortable with your marketing.
6 Trust Principles
1. Empathetic Relationships – Clients know you are concerned for their feelings. You listen and let them know you understand. You don’t have to agree with them. But you do understand how they think.
2. Purpose – They know your purpose and your intentions for your business and for doing this work.
3. Improvement – Clients know you are dedicated to learning. They know you’re continuously raising your level of practice or skills in order to help them.
4. Competence – Clients believe you are well qualified to provide your service, specialty, or product. You don’t have to be the most qualified.
5. Solutions – You create and deliver the answers or solutions your clients come to you for.
6. Reliability – They know you deliver what you promise. You consistently do things the way they prefer or are used to.
Are you worthy of your clients’ trust?
Ask your clients. And ask yourself.
Use this Trust Assessment guide to learn how much your clients trust you.
Client Survey Sample – Trust Assessment PDF Download the PDF. Directions are on the Survey.
Based on the responses, you’ll see which qualities your clients need to know about you. Then create messages for your website, Facebook page, or even what to say at networking events – using the Trust Principles.
STEP 1. How do you think your clients see you? Take the Trust Assessment yourself.
It’s helpful to have this as a baseline. Because for a particular principle, if you see a big gap between what you intend and what clients’ experience, start there first.
STEP 2. How do clients see you? Ask several clients to take the Trust Assessment.
STEP 3. Evaluate the answers. Scoring falls into three levels to show you where to begin.
|Needs Work||1-2||Begin with these Principles|
|Doing Okay||3||Next, move to these|
|Success||4-5||Fine tune these later|
- Where are you solid?
- Which Principle do you want to improve first?
- Is there a Principle where your score is far apart from your clients?
- Maybe you don’t talk about a particular Principle.
- Or you talk about it in your communications, but your clients still don’t get it.
STEP 4. Take Action. Begin with a single Principle. To strengthen that quality, first identify your intention and then decide on an action you’ll take.
Example: To show more Empathy
My intention is to be more caring and thoughtful toward my clients.
The action I’ll take is to create a regular system to email my clients birthday wishes the week of their birthdays.
How would you benefit if your clients trusted you more?
Imagine that your customers would:
- Respect you
- Refer you to others
- Pay their bills without question
- Forgive you when you make a mistake
- Trust your judgment and instincts
- Be more likely to follow your advice
- Call you first when they need help.
You’ll be comfortable marketing your business
It’s completely possible for heart-centered business owners to market with care. Make time to deeply listen to clients. Have conversations.
You can get your work out there in a bigger way that’s in sync with your values. Because you’re acting in your client’s’ interests first, you won’t feel pushy or icky.
Keep learning how to market in ways rooted in Trusting Relationships. Sign up below to get my latest articles and advice on marketing.