Building trust with customers

A former co-worker of mine at Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a great way of thinking about the process of building trust with customers.  Progressing from a first meeting to a customer buying from you usually requires time, patience, persistence and planning. Read below!

Meet Me

Hopefully the first time you meet a prospective customer it is thru a connection you have in common.  You get the benefit of some inherent trust, maybe not enough to buy from you asap, but a start.  If you have not been too “salesy” at this stage and you both enjoyed the conversation…good first step.

Know Me

You have likely now met this person multiple times.  Sharing personal interests and learning about their business goals/challenges is key to this stage.

Trust Me

If this contact works for a large organization, for example, they are likely to “test” you by waiting to see how consistently you are in contact with their company.  How regularly are you providing valuable information without looking for something in return…yet?

Buy from Me

Your current and prospective clients have many choices, usually, on who they partner with.  Every time a customer spends money, somewhere in their minds, they are gauging risk/reward.  If you are trying to knock a competitor out, perceived risk will be a greater concern early on.

How to make progress more rapidly

Do not fly blind!  Actively ask questions of co-workers/partners that have called on this customer.  Seek guidance from those that have some history with the company and the contact(s).  For example:

  • How long did it take before X completed your first deal?
  • What was key to building trust with X?
  • Who does X have to get approval from in order to move some business to my company?

Challenges in building trust are inevitable.  Doing some homework and planning will help you shorten the process!

Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!

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