To add the most value to a client relationship, it is essential that you build trust.
Building trust can require as much time and effort as it does to complete an assignment and it is all worth it.
I have found these four roots can go a long way in building trust:
- Enterprising solutions – these are solutions that force you and your client outside your comfort zone and stretch your strategy and execution to achieve almost unimaginable success. I like to think of this simply and yet powerfully as “what does great look like?”
- Engaging service – I describe this as wrapping the client and his team in comfort and confidence that I will go to all lengths to make them satisfied and their initiative successful. This started in my caddie days when engaging service earned you trust, advancement and a higher fee. FYI, engaging service isn’t about higher fee, it’s about satisfaction. Although if you keep engaging, satisfaction and trust will grow and more money will inevitably follow. “What else can we do?” is the question that drives engagement.
- Entrepreneurial “can do” spirit – one of my early mentors and PR legend Dave Drobis would say that “no” is just a detour to success. I heard Vince McMahon of WWE say that he is an internal optimist. And this might be gross, but Vince describes himself as someone who sees manure under the Christmas tree and thinks there must be a pony nearby. These mindsets inspire and drive me to work with clients on their greatest challenges and do whatever it takes to succeed. This doesn’t mean cutting corners, but it does mean improvising and progressing rather than being intimidated and thwarted by obstacles.
- Energizing fulfillment — this means enjoying the hustle and bustle, the risks and rewards and the trials and tribulations as you build the energy and muscle that makes us feel rewarded personally and professional, and prepared and eager to attack the next problem. This drives you onward, a favorite expression of my colleague and sports industry leader and former CEO of Wilson Chris Considine. Chris’ firm is named Onward Advising, an appropriate example of this principle.
Those are my four roots (4Es) to build trust, and they have helped me progress and succeed in building trust and success for me and my clients.
How do you build trust in your client relationships?
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