Category: Loyalty · 4 min read
9 Ways to Build Credibility with Prospects and Clients
on December 11, 2018
on December 11, 2018
When you first meet someone, are you instantly loyal to them? Do you think they’re credible right away and believe everything they say? Most likely, your answer is no.
The same is true when your clients first meet you. They are feeling you out and seeing how you can help them. They are probably a little skeptical, and don’t immediately view you as knowledgeable or credible. To help them get there and view you as an honest and believable resource, make these techniques part of your everyday practice:
1. Do What you Say
We’ve all been let down by someone that didn’t do what they said they would. Don’t be that person. Instead, when it comes to your clients, stick to your word and be consistent. Mean what you say and do what you say. For example, when you promise to follow up with them, follow up with them (put a reminder in your phone or block off time on your calendar, if you have to). This shows that you’re on top of things, you don’t forget about them, and you are reliable.
2. Be Honest
Don’t withhold bad news, and don’t misrepresent any hidden features or benefits. Be the person that will tell them what they need to hear, even if they don’t want to hear it. Misleading clients or not telling them about some of the risks or downsides can make you seem disingenuous and dishonest. Honesty builds credibility and lasting client relationships.
3. Actively Market
One of the most important things you can do is be active with your programs and marketing. This means blogging regularly, hosting webinars or seminars, or posting on social media. This gets your business and brand quality face-time with prospects and clients, and can reinforce you as a credible source for all financial matters.
4. Use Testimonials
We base a lot of our decisions off other people’s input. In fact, we can be pretty easily persuaded by someone else’s opinion or recommendation. That’s why testimonials and personal reviews are key to building your credibility. They allow new and prospective clients to see that you’re well-liked, dependable, and reliable. Put these testimonials front-and-center on your website or marketing materials, to help build that credibility from the start and show that you are dedicated to helping your clients succeed.
If you don’t have any testimonials, then it’s time to ask. Send an email or call your top clients and straight-up ask for their honest opinion on you and how you’ve helped them. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to repay the favor and help you out.
5. Get to Know Your Clients
Your clients initially come to you because they need help, but they’ll stay (or leave) based on how you treat them. So, treat them well. This means you get to know them, be invested in their lives, and develop a personal relationship that extends beyond their retirement planning. Know their birthdays and anniversaries, and communicate with them on a regular basis, without a hidden agenda. Be genuinely interested in their lives, and they will be genuinely appreciative of your kindness and thoughtfulness.
Your clients initially come to you because they need help, but they’ll stay (or leave) based on how you treat them.
6. Follow Up Right Away
In our age of instant communication, people expect you to follow-up instantly, too. If a client emails you with a question or concern, respond as quickly as possible. If it’s going to take some research to answer their question, email them back and let them know you are working on it. Either way, follow up with your clients right away, so they don’t think you’re ignoring them or forgetting about them. This makes you look like you’re on top of things (which you probably are), and shows that you are a good communicator and a reliable resource.
7. Watch Your Grammar
When you make spelling or grammar errors, people notice. One tiny mistake can instantly discredit what you say and can ruin your credibility. To avoid errors, proofread everything before you send it. Use Microsoft Word’s spell check, copy/paste your text into Grammarly.com to verify that it’s correct, or send it to a friend or freelancer that is a grammar expert. Your reputation and brand are at stake, so you can’t be too careful.
8. Act in the Client’s Best Interest
Even though the fiduciary rule is gone, its premise is still good to follow. Treat your clients right and act in their best interest. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. How would you want to be treated? Doing what’s right for them can lead to increased credibility and client loyalty.
9. Be Informed
Know and memorize the details of what you’re selling. That way, you can answer complex questions on the spot, and have in-depth product knowledge ready to share with your clients. Impress them with what you know, and have the tools ready to help them visualize or understand complex topics. Giving them the knowledge they need sets you up for success.
Impress them with what you know, and have the tools ready to help them visualize or understand complex topics.
Fostering credibility isn’t as hard as you may think, and with these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming the reliable and dependent resource that you want to be. But credibility doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time and a lot of effort to gain a strong level of loyalty. Don’t give up. Keep working hard to grow your credibility with your clients, and it can pay off.
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