We’ve been exploring the results of our recent survey on why customers chose Virtual Sales Team (VST) as ‘the trusted extension to their sales and marketing team’. This week we’re bringing you number three in the series. Our survey findings revealed that four words were consistently mentioned, these were – certainty, momentum, trust and flexibility. Today we’ll be looking at trust and some of the ways it can be built in business relationships.
Successful businesses are dependent upon a network of positive relationships. Working relationships that have been built on trust have an important sustainable competitive advantage because trust is so valuable and it takes time to build.
Additionally, in an ever-changing and challenging business environment buyers are looking to minimise risk by staying with one trusted provider. Working with trusted and known suppliers makes transactions smoother, more efficient and less risky.
The foundations of Virtual Sales Team is built upon partnerships and trust.
From our beginning, in 200,7 our belief has been that the best way to deliver maximum ROI to our clients is by working with them as a part of their team. If you’re looking for ways to instil more trust in your business relationships, try these useful tips.
4 ways you can build trust in business relationships
1. Know your stuff, be an industry expert
Having strong knowledge of your industry and a good understanding of its challenges, along with the sectors and businesses you want to work with is invaluable when building trusted business relationships. A strong understanding will make you better equipped to relieve the pressure points in your clients’ business and also to create bespoke solutions.
2. Be very honest
We’re not suggesting that you start being rude to your valued customers and clients. That would be terrible advice! Strong account management techniques along with excellent interpersonal skills are essential elements in building strong business relationships but honesty is too. It can be easy to fall into the trap of telling the client what they what to hear or agreeing to actions that wouldn’t be beneficial to the project.
If your client can see that you’re being honest, even if it isn’t always the best news or exactly what they want to hear they will respect you. What goes hand in hand with respect? You’ve guessed it – trust.
3. Don’t be afraid to push to get the best results
As a business, we have always been keen to break away from the traditional client/supplier relationship model. As mentioned earlier in the blog, we prefer to work in a partnership with our clients, one which is mutually beneficial for all parties.
In a few instances, we haven’t had enough information needed from the client to begin a campaign. When we bring a new client on board the process is in-depth. We like to find out as much information as possible. It’s difficult to represent them without comprehensive knowledge of their business and products.
If you ever feel like you don’t possess the tools or the information you need to get the absolute best results, then it’s time to talk with your client. Don’t muddle through and hope for the best. Like you, they will want to achieve the best possible outcome and will be most likely unaware that more information is needed. It’s on a similar thread to honesty but if the situation calls for it, don’t be afraid to be assertive to ensure that your campaign is a success. Your customer will thank you for it and that builds trust.
4. Spent time with your clients, IRL (In Real Life)
Innovation and developments in digital technology have given us tonnes of options for staying in touch with our business contacts. A quick email sent from your phone or a Skype meeting can save valuable minutes in a time poor society. These are all great ways of staying in contact but nothing replaces seeing your clients face-to-face. Taking the time to visit clients in real life is the absolute best way to build rapport and instil trust. It’s worth the investment of the time and effort and you can be sure they’ll appreciate it too. If travelling long distances is an issue we’d highly recommend agreeing to meet halfway.
5. Ask your existing customers to be references
Above we’ve explained ways to create trust with prospects. Have you considered asking your customers for their help? What better way to sell your business? The best people to sell your product or service are the people using it. Try asking your customers to be referenced. Your customers may surprise you with how willing they are in offering a video, telephone or written testimonial. Just ask nicely and follow up with a thank you card a bottle of wine.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. We’d love to hear your ideas for building trust with clients. Email us or drop us a line on social media. To read the rest of this blog series visit our News Room.