Building trust is the best way to develop your business. Although many consultants claim to be trustworthy, few of them actually are. We sell products in a way that destroys the trust between the customer and the company, because we do not understand the customer’s decision to buy.

Client’s might say that they only focus on features and price, but that is not always the case. The sales process is not one-dimensional or linear, it is two-step.

The first step in the process is screening, which is done in a rational manner. But the second step, selection, is much more emotional.

Clients are not just rational decision makers who only care about the present moment and minimizing downside risk. While they may be rational when it comes to buying, people are influenced by their emotions.

The Principles Of Trust-Based Selling

To be trusted as a consultant, you must be trustworthy. Intent matters; there are no shortcuts. You can use the business development process to build trust by adopting the following four principles:

1. Client Orientation For The Sake Of The Client, Not The Consultant

The focus should be on the product, not the client. A vulture’s focus is not on the client, but on the product. We always have the client’s best interests at heart, whether we are selling them something or not.

If another company is better for the customer, we tell them that, knowing that it will pay off in the long run when present and future customers see that we always put the customer’s best interests first.

2. A Medium To Long Term Perspective

Focus on the relationship, not the transaction.

It’s not the project or transaction that’s important, it’s the relationship. Acting with a long-term perspective will make sure that everyone is happy with the outcome, not just the person who wins the deal.

A couple who is married will quickly come to an agreement on who takes out the garbage instead of continuing to argue about it in order to get the best deal. There is more to a serious relationship than just making sure you get the best deal in each individual transaction.

3. A Habit Of Collaboration

Business developers demonstrate trustworthiness by constantly involving the client-to-be.

Don’t speculate about what clients are thinking—ask them. Instead of seeing the proposal-writing process as a competition to see who can put the best face forward, view it as something that can be done collaboratively.

It is better to have a meeting than a phone call, and it is better to have a phone call than a letter or email. Make sure to discuss all issues openly rather than trying to compete with each other.

4. Willingness To Be Transparent

If a consultant appears to be holding back information or trying to control the client, it will destroy the client’s trust quickly. When you don’t know something, say so. When you haven’t got the perfect staff, say so.

Be willing to share your pricing policies, leverage structures, and staffing procedures with others. Although you may not have as much control over how people perceive you, the benefit of being transparent outweighs this negative.

Instead of simply trying to make a sale, trust-based selling is all about creating value for the client and the consultant. This type of selling requires a strong relationship between the two parties, as they work together to identify the best solution for the client.

that enable you to achieve business excellence. The four principles can be applied to any process model and key aspects of business development, such as pricing, qualification, branding, staffing, dispute resolution, project management, and cross-selling, to achieve excellence.

5. Write Your Next Proposal Sitting Next To The Client

Submitting your proposal in person rather than through FedEx or pdf files will allow you to have a better connection with the client. Make sure you have everything you need, and ask the person you’re meeting with to do the same.

Only leave the room once a joint proposal that is understood by all parties is finished. This proposal should be the best possible effort by one particular client and consulting firm. After you have done everything you can to help the client, let go of the outcome.

6. Listen By Paying Attention

A lot of the time, consultants seem like they’re just waiting for the client to finish talking so they can start looking smart again. We are thinking about what we are going to say in order to achieve our goal.

We use a variety of behavioral techniques to disguise the fact that our thoughts are elsewhere. These techniques include mirroring, head nods, and other nonverbal actions. The myth of multitasking is just that. Our clients know that we are not really listening to them when we nod knowingly.

If you want to be a powerful listener, you should pay attention and clear your mind of everything else. This does not just mean put the Blackberry away.

This means that you should not think about what you are going to do with the information you are hearing and just be present to hear what your client is saying. Period. Instead of thinking of listening as a skill you use on others, think of it as a gift you give them by giving them your attention.

7. Think Out Loud

The primary reason we don’t listen attentively is because it can be frightening. If we do not think ahead, we might appear foolish, or, worse yet, unintelligent. We may not be able to come up with a good idea if we are pressed for time.

We might blurt out something we’d regret. We need the time to rehearse mentally. We need to come up with a good response that moves the situation forward. Or so we think.

It is indeed risky, and risk taking requires courage, the courage to say, “Well, let me just try and process what you’ve told me here, uh, thinking out loud, now.

Now, if the process time is really linked to the temperature range, like you said, then the temperature range also has a direct impact on customer satisfaction.

I understand what you’re saying, but are you implying that I’m wrong? In other words, how does that affect the rest of the company? I’m not sure if I’ve heard others say that. Is that right?

When you say something out loud, it is easier for others to understand what you are thinking and that you are not trying to trick them. Collaboration is all about working together, and in this case you are asking the client to help you out by sharing their thoughts. And it is truly client focused.

The focus should be on the client, not on the vulture. When you think out loud, it makes you seem more credible and invites the other person to be more intimate with you. Sharing our attention with others is the most caring thing we can do.

8. Sell By Doing, Not By Telling

Practice sample selling. Instead of saying how great you are, let your clients’ issues speak for themselves. Do not overwhelm them with your qualifications; show them how your qualifications can benefit them.

so instead of being all talk, try to be all action Instead of just talking about what you’re going to do, try to actually do it. People are much more impressed by actions, especially actions that benefit them.

9. Say What You Don’t Know, As Well As What You Do Know

Many consultants attempt to sell themselves by touting their own skills and abilities. But most clients want to know about limits. They are aware that you are not perfect and that nobody is, but they want to know what kind of person they are dealing with. Help them out, be straight with them. They will appreciate it.

10. Get In The Habit Of Talking About Yourself For Only 90–120 Seconds

When your time is up, say, “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. Let’s talk about you.” If the client wants more, give them more—another 90–120 seconds, then say, “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot.”

11. Be Insatiably Curious

If you’re constantly curious, you’ll ask questions. You’ll learn. You’ll come up with great ideas. You’ll notice things.

The most important thing will be to focus on the client, not on yourself. If you want to create trust, focus on the client, not as a means to your own ends, but as an end in itself.

12. Know Your Target Audience

Not long ago, people saw market research as a gimmick. Although it may be difficult, it is important to give consumers what they want in terms of a personalized experience, rather than a generic, one-size-fits-all approach.

It is important to research your customers’ needs, common issues, and pain points so you can develop solutions and messages that they will respond to.

If you show your customers that you understand their needs and can provide a service that not only solves their problems but also gives them extra benefits, they will be much more likely to trust you.

13. Share Positive Reviews

What is the one thing that employers, landlords, and consumers all have in common? Everyone wants to know if the people they are talking to can be trusted and relied upon, so they ask for references.

Have you ever made a restaurant reservation without first checking online reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp? Word of mouth recommendations are important.

We tend to trust the experiences of others over the claims of a company. Online reviews are a great way to get an immediate impression of a brand’s products and customer service.

Most people trust what other customers say about a business more than what the business says about itself. Also, reviews (both positive and negative) have a big influence on people’s purchasing decisions. It is clear that reviews are now a very important part of our decision-making processes.

Google My Business is a rapidly growing reviews site that also provides the added benefit of improved local rankings for businesses with high scores. There are many other channels you can use, including Facebook, Feefo, and Trustpilot.

Do not be embarrassed to ask your satisfied customers to leave a review. In fact, encourage them to do so! They are too involved in the decision-making process to be shy about it.

14. Create And Share Video Testimonials

In addition to the word-of-mouth method, video testimonials can be effective in showing the value of your products and services.

The most engaging way to promote your company is to have brand ambassadors who are willing to talk positively about their experiences with your company. Having the company speak for itself is not as effective.

A testimonial video from an unbiased source can be a great way to convince customers to buy into your business.

A brand’s success depends on customers’ trust. Therefore, it is important to have honest and organic brand advocacy, like Randy’s, to build trust with new customers.

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a testimonial. If they were happy with your service, they would probably tell other people.

We are able to help you get video testimonials from your customers if you are interested in doing so! We provide a video testimonial service that takes care of everything from the initial planning to the recording and production process. Check out our video testimonials page for more information.

15. Put A Face To The Name

You’ll need other people to help you. If you’re unable to meet with all your customers by yourself, which is understandable because there are only a limited amount of hours in a day, you’re going to need assistance from other people. Your website should, at the very least, include a “meet the team” page.

One way to do this is to show the people who make your products. Building empathy and rapport can help you connect with people on a more personal level.

Etsy is an online seller that is made up of independent creators. Although the organization is large and diverse, they have made an effort to highlight the many people who make their site possible on their Team page.

It’s a lovely touch. A reinforcing factor that customers are dealing with actual people who are enthusiastic about their work(s).

Wherever possible, give your customers interactions with real people to strengthen the relationship.

16. Offer Exceptional Customer Service

Did you know that every single customer contact is an opportunity to make a good impression?

How your company treats its customers can have a big impact on how much they trust and appreciate your company. It is very important to have support staff who are dedicated and have received high-level training.

They need a consistent framework to solve common customer bugbears as well as the freedom to treat every customer issue individually.

The goal is to create an efficient, professional, and personal experience for your customers. If your team surpasses their expectations, they are much more likely to come back and recommend you to their friends and family.

If you’re having trouble managing feedback and the resulting action items on your own, there are a few ways to continue: why not create a self-service option where customers can use videos and content to resolve the issues you’re hearing about frequently?

An alternative to this would be to hire customer service agents or bring on a whole support team, although this would be another overhead.

17. Build A Reputation

Warren Buffett, a business magnate, said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” This is wise advice to keep in mind.

After reports came out that Facebook was associated with the British political consultants, Cambridge Analytica, people began to see the company in a negative light and it lost its untouchable aura.

Nike has been inextricably linked to banned athletics coach Alberto Salazar for many years. Salazar was the head coach of Nike’s Oregon Project.

The fates of these two huge corporations show that no organization, no matter how big or well-established, can be immune to scandal and the resulting impact that it has on customer trust.

About the Author Brian Richards

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