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7 Ways To Build Customer Confidence and Obtain Referrals

7 Ways To Build Customer Confidence and Obtain Referrals

We all have instincts that make us feel receptive to a product or turn us away from an offer. The question is WHY we feel the way we do. 

Developing healthy relationships is necessary for life, but it is not easy. Diverse backgrounds contribute to the complexity of a situation, but everyone is human. The phrase, “treat people the way you would like to be treated” sounds cliche but transcends cultural boundaries. Think about your last positive and negative interaction with someone. Why did you feel that way? 

After countless meetings as a client and with clients, I have identified seven attributes that have enriched my personal life and have helped me build effective relationships. The common factor among the seven = respecting and valuing TIME, our most precious commodity.

1. Confidence: I always do my homework before speaking with a client by researching pertinent topics and reading articles that relate to the topic of interest. The information from my research is used to ask my client informed follow-up questions. In return, I expect to receive responses that will help me tailor my implementation plan. By asking thoughtful questions, my clients trust that I can get the job done because I have taken time to understand their situation. 

2. Trust: Trust is developed through responsive interaction and intuition. I listen to my clients' needs before providing a response or interjecting my perspective. Honest and constructive feedback is provided as necessary, and I take client confidentiality very seriously. Gossiping about someone or something is bad practice, can damage your reputation, and is a waste of time. 

3. Honesty: I ask for clarification or provide my interpretation of the issue if I do not fully understand the clients' perspective. When I am not familiar with a topic, I admit it. Pretending to sound intelligent about something out of my purview tends to have a negative effect on the quality of my product and with relationships moving forward. 

4. Respect: I typically begin initial email exchanges by writing, " Dear Mr./Ms.," or "Hello Mr./Ms.," if I do not know the person. Similarly, I may call someone Mr. or Ms. depending on the context of the situation. Earning respect takes time, but addressing your client with his/her proper title will only help your situation. 

5. My client is my priority: Regardless of my schedule, I always give 100% of my attention to a client meeting whether it is in person or over the phone. They need to feel like they are #1, because they are.  

Tip: Never tell your client, “It’s been so long since we talked, and I haven’t looked at your file in a while.” I have had some people say that to me in the past, and they are automatically red flagged on my list of referrals. 

6. Punctuality: Time is valuable commodity. I cannot stress this enough. If I attend a meeting in person, I estimate the amount of time it will take to arrive, and I take unforeseen traffic delays into account. If I am late, I notify my client as soon as possible. Generally speaking, I try not to postpone meetings more than two times.   

7. Mind My Manners: I put myself on mute when I am on a call so the sound of keyboard strokes do not interrupt the flow of conversation. When I meet with people in person, my phone is placed on silent in my bag, I have a notebook out, and I make appropriate eye contact with the person who is speaking. Each situation varies, and observing social cues are critical to building client confidence and trust. 

Take these seven attributes into account the next time you are receiving services, or you are scheduling a meeting with a client regardless cultural background. Paying attention to these mannerisms have saved me a substantial amount of time and I have gained a reputation that reflects my persona.

When in doubt, ask yourself how you would like to be treated, and treat your client with equal respect. 


How Do I Know Who To Trust?

How Do I Know Who To Trust?

Ticket One Denied. Ticket Two denied. This has to be a mistake, we thought as we entered the Capital One stadium SUPER excited to attend a concert in Washington, DC. We were in utter disbelief as the ticket agent told us our tickets were counterfeit and wrote VOID in big black bold letters across the QR code. 

We bought those tickets from what seemed to be a legitimate seller. We talked to him, negotiated a fair plan for a transaction, and waited to receive an email from Ticketmaster Support before transferring funds. What seemed to be an honest transaction was nothing but a huge scam.

Here’s a snippet of our emotional roller coaster: immediate anger, followed by feeling pretty duped, onward to thinking this person was a highly sophisticated Craigslist scammer by avoiding any moves that would raise red flags. 



Given all of the above, I think the final two parts of this emotional roller coaster are worth delving into as lessons learned for future life experiences.

1. How we can trust people again?

This question rings true as we travel abroad and within our own neighborhoods. We live in a time where we are bombarded with terror threats, social media outlets, talking heads, and other questionable voices that our first instinct is to question a person’s motive before trusting. I understand this part of  human nature, but I do not accept. I try my best to flip the thought coin; to listen to perspective, have an open mind, and make decisions on how I feel about a person’s energy and how they resonate with me AFTER an interaction. I try, but as we know, each situation is unique. However, this does lead me to the second question we asked ourselves.

2. Did we have an instinct that we didn’t pay attention to?

Looking back on our experience, there was an inkling of doubt in our minds when the Ticketmaster app didn’t instantly upload our tickets to our account. We thought it was strange, but the email from Ticketmaster Support said it could take a few hours, and we had the ability to print the tickets out. The seller also was texting us asking why it was taking us so long to transfer funds upon receipt of these tickets, and that HE was going to report us to the police. The sense of urgency seemed strange, oddly making us feel like criminals.

Our Lessons Learned:

1. Don’t buy tickets on Craigslist.

2. One occurrence will not ruin my life forever.

3. I will continue to TRUST that little voice called my intuition. Once I learn how to trust myself, placing trust in people and situations will be a little easier.

These lessons are a part of life. The real trick is how we apply what we have learned at work, at home, when we are on vacation; and with essentially everything we do in our daily lives.