The single greatest “people skill” is a highly developed & authentic interest in the other person which then converts into your network. After giving you a brief about networking in my previous article in this series and having said that “people do business with people they know, like and trust”. In this article, I will help you to develop the most important aspect of networking viz. Trust.
Which, if developed has the potential for huge success, prosperity, and growth. This internally strengthens your network with others and should be the foundation of your network. And if unemployed, can destroy relationships, growth, and businesses. Though of high affinity, this key point is least understood or more often misunderstood. Not just relationships but businesses are flourished based on the trust you develop with your customers, employees, co-founders.
If people like you, they will listen to you but if people trust you they will do business with you- Zig Ziglar
As I explained In my Leadership In Actions article series that leaders are visionary, they think about long-term benefits and associations unlike most business these days who think short term and tend to compromise on quality to maximize the profit. They compromise the long-term success and growth for short-term profits. People who trust you as a coach, consultant, service provider and supplier cannot be taken for granted. If you have established trust with your clients and customers they will treat you as a friend and more likely to buy more from you. It may result in bigger and better contracts. It will also help you get paid faster. Your clients will also give you honest feedback for your products and services so that you can improvise. Your clients will refer you to their network.
Now you must be having questions like- How can I be trusted? How can I earn trust? Well like most of the skills this can also be learned but requires consistent perseverance and efforts. There are many ways to become trustworthy and there are enormous benefits to building trust. Stephen Covey calls it ‘ trust dividend’ and it affects the way we conduct our day to day life. It starts with you. You can’t trust others if you don’t trust yourself. Are you someone others can trust?
Most people can be trusted. You have to be a little brave to make the first move. A few years back my son started selling branded perfumes online. There was a very little trust in the customers to buy perfumes online. Every day we used to get many emails whether our perfumes were original or not? I advised my son to give no questions asked money back guarantee even if the perfume was opened. A deal no one has ever offered. It was a huge risk. What if customers use the perfume and return it after a few days but our sales skyrocketed. We started selling 10 times more. The returns were like once a month or so. Satisfied customers gave us the huge word of mouth publicity which was priceless. We couldn’t have got that publicity by spending any amount of money on marketing.
Trusting someone is never a onetime phenomenon but it’s a long-term process which should last ages. Following are the ways I believe that you can become trustworthy and completely change your network on a long run-
1. Keep your promises-
Do you follow your New Year resolutions? How often do you make diet plans and break them? How true and committed you are to yourself? If you plan to do something, achieve it otherwise you lose credibility in your own eyes. Better to have small wins initially so that you can win big later. If you are not building your own credibility, how are you going to inspire others? Trust is earned when action meets words.
2. Show Loyalty-
There is no fixed way to reflect loyalty as there are many aspects of it. Acknowledging people for their contribution to bring results can be one. Giving credit develops a healthy environment where people willingly work and grow together. Celebrations, pay raise or bonus can be a way to offer credits. The whole idea is to make a person feel special on behalf of hard-work they have done for your company or for the relationship you share.
3. Correct Mistakes-
We all goof up sometimes… Though many mistakes are minor and don’t cause much of a ripple in the world, some mistakes hurt other people and have to be dealt with quickly and completely. A man, who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake. A way you can do it is-
• Acknowledge the Mistake Directly
• Take Responsibility
• Give the Other Person Time to Think and Respond
4. Show Respect-
You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. These ideas will help you avoid needless, insensitive, unmeant disrespect, too.
• Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
• Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
• Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over, or cut off another person.
• Use people’s ideas to change or improve work.
• Never insult people, use name calling, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
• Be aware of your body language,
• Treat people the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, age, or country of origin.
5. Be honest-
The most effective way to build up trust is to avoid any kind of corruption, dishonesty, and deception. Those who are polite and straightforward are always appreciated. Developing and maintaining your legacy is never an old age thing. In a business try to be transparent, honest and real. This creates respect and trust. It makes you free from odds and fakes.
6. Manage Expectations-
The misunderstanding may lead to a breakdown in trust. You must make sure clear conversation between your relations and ensure that they understand what you want to deliver. You must be clear about their promises and yours to avoid any misunderstanding. You must determine the measures of success and what will be seen as a disappointment to avoid future disputes.
7. Have A Client/Customer Focus
Unmatchable client/customer focus is needed to show that you are just not concerned about your desire to make a sale or sign a contract, but that you want to be helpful. Be a good listener and know your customer’s needs. Allow them to talk about themselves but don’t force them to hear about your personal lives. Don’t force an answer when they don’t want to answer. Show eagerness to find ways to improve your service.
8. Be Accountable-
Life never warns you before it knocks you down. People always appreciate those who take up the responsibility. People around you get inspired and tend to do the same and this is how to create more leaders around yourself. People trust those who practice what they preach. Keep yourself accountable.
9. Improve Performance-
Actions speak louder than words. If you are able to make results, you silence your critics, grow credibility and earn trust. Setting examples of achievements makes you more confident and inspires others to make a bond with you. If you don’t grow through, you have to go through.
10. Be Responsive-
For accounting yourself as trustworthy you have to identify the need and concern of your client and customer and respond accordingly. Trustworthy response obeys four rules-
• Timely- A quick response timed when wanted or needed is always appreciated. Don’t be quick on complex concerns; it may reflect that you are least bothered and putting least efforts into it.
• Perceived well- It must be thought of a noble cause, with least self-benefit.
• Helpful- Your response should be helpful in concern of the real issue.
• Appreciated- Listen well to respond appropriately to their needs and concern.
Edited by- Rajat Babbar Connect