If finding the right clients was an easy task, well, Tom would not have chosen it as the topic for his latest Forbes piece, A 4-Step Approach To Cultivating Trust And Values-Based Client Relationships. But luckily, he’s here to help!
Are you still asking yourself what your “why” is? Do you have a hard time defining your company’s values? Are you looking for new ways to connect with clients and keep them for the long-haul? Do you like prescriptive advice that comes in a neatly organized list? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading. If you answered yes to all of them, strap in.
Trust is the biggest piece of this puzzle, according to Tom. Trust is the linchpin that simplifies what can otherwise be complex interpersonal dynamics. It requires an environment of authentic communication, transparency, and a commitment to honest dialogue. Confidence, built on expertise, reliability, and integrity, also stems from trust. Trust can be what reduces stress in tough situations or times of conflict, it can also be what anchors commitment to shared goals. Business relationships built on trust make for easier collaboration and can be what makes a client stick with you for the long haul. If you only take one piece or lesson from Tom’s latest Forbes piece, let it be this. Trust is the most important ingredient.
The other ingredients: find your true north, align your values with the values of your clients both current and prospective, build on trust, and nurture, nurture, nurture. If you want to read Tom’s full advice, head to A 4-Step Approach To Cultivating Trust And Values-Based Client Relationships.
Here’s a handy four-step checklist to get you started.
Think about your company’s core values and define them as meticulously and as clearly as you can. But don’t do this alone. Brainstorm with your team and make sure that what you end up with reflects the company as a whole. Think about what matters most to you as people and what you want to contribute to your society, industry, or world at large.
Bonus tip: Post your values or keywords in a shared space like the entryway or kitchen so there’s a daily reminder.
Have a plan for how you assess potential clients to see if their values are conducive with yours. This can be done with a checklist that you use before the first meeting or a series of questions that you run through either with the client or with your team internally. Consider things like what are their principles and ideologies, who is their target demographic, what other partnerships do they have, etc.
Circle back to step one here. Once you have your values seared into your mind, it should be easy to not only communicate them with clients and in client interactions, but they can also become ingrained in your daily business practices and guide your decision making.
On second thought, to see the final step, you’ll have to read Tom’s full article over on Forbes. Who doesn’t love a good cliffhanger?
Greetings on top, Zoo Kid On The Blog