While we can’t come out and say, “trust me,” we can exhibit behavior that builds trust. Trust comes when, over time, we show up consistently on the big things and the little things. Here are a few behaviors that will help your company garner trust without having to ask for it:
- Do what you say. By simply offering to do something for someone else and actually doing it, we prove we are trustworthy. This can be accomplished by simple acts:
- Confirm meetings – Dropping a note 24 hours prior to an appointment to remind and confirm lets them know you are thinking ahead and putting thought and effort into the forthcoming meeting.
- Show up on time – We go by the adage: Early is on time, on-time is late, late is forgotten.
- Follow-through – Make small commitments and complete them in a timely manner. For example, offer an introduction; send them a useful resource, etc. Let your team know that these are baseline standards of behavior. Start in your office and let it flow out. All meetings are confirmed, they start on time, and action steps and summaries are circulated post-meeting. By creating that foundation internally, it will flow externally.
- Be consistent. By consistently delivering on your brand promise you build trust. Most often we see the following items overlooked:
- Consistent email signatures – Make sure everyone in your company has the same look and feel in their email signatures (both from their desktops and from their phones).
- Align all your materials to have the same look and feel – So often we see various types of document templates. Every time you show up at a client’s office, you show up differently. It sends the message that you are not consistent, and that keeps them guessing.
- Use the same language to describe your business and offerings – Conduct an audit of your website, social media site and marketing materials. Do they all say the same thing and emphasize the same priorities?
- Be thoughtful. It is hard to measure, but take a look at all the touch points your team and brand have with referral sources, prospects and clients. Are you communicating what you want or what they need? Look at the experience someone has with your company. Is it thoughtful to their needs?
- When someone calls your main line, how many buttons do they have to push to get to their contact? How much time does it take?
- Is the buying and billing process easy for your clients?
- Do you thank people for buying your services? Do you show appreciation for them?
- Can they easily find how to contact you? How to get help? How to find a location?
As we said earlier, you can’t just say, “trust me”. Trust is built over time. It comes when someone has multiple experiences with you that compound and build a story that engenders trust.