Recently my wife and I met with a financial planner. It was a casual environment in someone’s home yet the financial planner was dressed a little “too casual.” Now, because they were a friend I gave them the benefit of the doubt. But needless to say, I think by wearing cargo pants, no belt and no socks he gained little professional trust with me. Here are some ideas to build professional trust with clients.
- Be honest. Always. Everyone can tell when someone is not being totally honest with them. Honesty is always the best policy, especially if you are trying to build professional trust.
- Be relational. Take a genuine interest in your clients personal well being, their family, their hobbies. And when you get back together with them, make sure you ask about these things. You can really impress a client by remembering how old their kids are and what they are interested in.
- Dress for success. No, you don’t have to be decked out in expensive clothes. However, you certainly need to look put together. Men, always wear a belt and never wear a short sleeved button down collar dress shirt (unless you are a nerdy accountant). We live in a culture where ties are not very necessary anymore, but if the occasion fits then make sure your tie is not outdated. Women, dress modestly. Clients may be offended if you don’t but they won’t be offended if you do.
- Follow up immediately. If you want to gain you client’s trust then follow up with them immediately, at least within 24 hours. A follow up thank you note or email goes a long way in letting your client know you appreciated the time they spent with you. If your client is expecting something from you then do it as quickly as possible. If you can’t get it done quickly then send them a note to let them know you are working on it and give them a date they can expect it.
Hope this helps!