No business will be successful for more than a heartbeat, unless they are capable of obtaining and maintaining client trust.
You could be the most savvy businessmen in the world, you could have the most impressive product, and could have marketing graphics and videos that would make the finest artists of your day and age weep tears of joy. But if your customers or clients think that you are manipulative, untrustworthy, or otherwise exploitative, it is only a matter of time before your entire business venture sinks.
On the other hand, even if your product or service isn’t the most advanced, streamlined, or pioneering in your field, customers and clients will give you a lot of slack if you are known to be trustworthy, supportive, and to have a high degree of professional integrity.
So, since gaining customer trust is a fundamental part of your job as an entrepreneur, here are some effective but basic tips for gaining that trust.
Be mindful of “qualifiers of professionalism”
“Qualifiers of professionalism,” are those things that let your prospective clients or customers know, or at least cause them to believe, that you are highly professional, sophisticated, and know what you are doing.
It certainly doesn’t hurt if they also think that you are well established in your particular niche, even if you aren’t yet.
Of course, it should go without saying that you should never deceive your customers, or claim to have certain accolades which you do not.
Nonetheless, you should be extremely mindful of the fact that your presentation matters, and that the more “professional” you seem to be, the more clients will trust you.
There are many ways to establish these “qualifiers of professionalism” as an entrepreneur and new business owner. Primarily, you will want to ensure that your website is well crafted, features professional images and writing, and ideally – that you have a “physical address” to share with your clients. A massive challenge I’ve had in starting businesses is that we don’t always have a physical address that we want to advertise online. In this case you could look into a service such as https://physicaladdress.com to obtain a virtual mailing address.
Include well-structured testimonials and work samples wherever possible
If you are a “solopreneur”, testimonials are more or less going to be your lifeblood, when it comes to developing trust with prospective clients and customers.
When your website includes testimonials from past, happy, clients, any visitor can see that other people have “tested” your service, and found it to be of benefit.
I have used testimonials in building both my personal brand and my business. I have become pedantic about requesting testimonials on LinkedIn and building digital case study content.
Always under-promise and over-deliver, never do the opposite
Many new entrepreneurs are so eager to make a good impression, that they will routinely “over promise and under deliver”.
This is death to client trust.
If you want your clients to think well of you, and ideally to spread the good word about your services, you need to do the exact opposite.
When it comes time to propose a submission date for a particular project for a client, always give yourself extra time. Then, do what you can to turn in the project before the deadline.