5 Steps to Establishing Trust with Business Clients
By Deborah Sweeney on June 19th, 2014
Filed under: Sales and Marketing
Trust is the foundation of any good relationship, especially for a business. After all, every day businesses ask people they’ve never met to trust them to deliver on a product or service. Business owners are aware of the necessity of trust and anyone looking to partner with, or sell to, another business must work diligently to build that trust. That’s always easier said than done, especially if you’re running a new business without a lot of history to back up its promises, but how can a business establish a foundation of trust?
1) Build a solid website with informative content.
78% of Business-to-Business Buyers begin their research online – that means any B2B seller or partner needs a solid, functional, and informative website. A sloppy WordPress template with a bunch of industry buzzwords and talk about synergy won’t cut it. You need a site that details what your business does, and clarifies how your company is different from the competition. You must also have a blog that you regularly update. There is a reason why 9 out of 10 B2B marketers use content marketing – it generates traffic and interest, so don’t let your blog lapse in this regard.
2) Make yourself easy to contact.
A study done by KoMarketing Associates found that the quickest ways to destroy a burgeoning B2B relationship is to hide your company’s contact information – 55% of B2B buyers cite that reason as why they chose to look elsewhere. The motive behind hiding contact information, from the small business owners I’ve spoken to, is typically because they’re afraid of being spammed. They figure that anyone that actually wants to talk to them will be willing to dig through the site to find a phone number. Sorry, but that isn’t how B2B sales works. Make sure to display your phone number and email address prominently on your website. You might have to deal with some spam, but it’s worth the hassle if it means potential partners can seek you out and place their trust in you.
3) Let them choose how to be contacted.
I’m a big fan of email. Email lets me answer questions and solve problems at my leisure, and give me a good idea of the type of person I’m working with before we actually talk. Phone calls, on the other hand, require I commit a chunk of my schedule to talking to someone. But if a potential client or partner prefers phones to email, then you can bet I’ll be talking to them on the phone. The last thing you want is to appear suspect to a potential partner, so don’t try and dodge one method of communication for another. Let them set the terms of contact.
4) Focus on what you offer.
I realize that you want to make sure you’re getting something out of this deal, but you have to put yourself in the position of the buyer too. They’re the ones shopping around and weighing their options. If you start asking too many questions about what you’ll get out of this deal, you’ll seem pushy and unwilling to work with them. Make them feel comfortable, establish that foundation of trust, and then start working to ensure any deals or partnerships are mutually beneficial.
5) Don’t lose what you’ve built.
It is ridiculously easy to shatter burgeoning trust – something as simple as forgetting to call someone back can be enough to make them question working with you. When you’re a new business, you may not know exactly how much leeway you can give, but if you try to change the terms of a deal you will lose that customer. It takes twelve positive experiences to make up for one bad one, so if you want people to trust your company, you need to make it your priority to ensure that any potential clients, customers, or partners are taken care of and happy. Once word gets out that you treat your clients well, that trust you had to work so hard to get at first will be much more forthcoming.
About the Author:
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.