In the PR field, trust is the coin of the realm. If agencies don’t garner trust from the very start of the relationship with a prospect, well, there may be no relationship altogether.
Trust must be a given from both sides of the table. However, agency owners and senior PR managers also have to cultivate and build trust. Even a little slacking off can cost your dearly in terms of losing clients and credibility.
When the client is convinced that trust is the foundation of the relationships with their PR firm, that monthly retainer may turn into an annual contract.
Trust also can open up other avenues as well, as the client tells his or her partners that they should seriously look into doing business with your firm.
But trust isn’t something you pull from a lever like a Snickers bar. Here are a few key tips on the best ways to build trust with clients and prospective clients:
- Working with the top firms in the industry. Being privy to their confidential proprietary financial stats and having them come back year after year builds trust.
- Listening more than talking. Giving clients and colleagues the opportunity to share their views, thoughts and what keeps them up at night helps to establish connectivity and trust. It is critically important that the person you are connecting with feel that you care as much about them as you do about the business challenge(s) they face.
- Providing reliable service. Keeping your promises and following through on everything you promise to clients is imperative to building trust and credibility.
- Sharing information transparently. Being honest and open with your clients and prospective clients and speaking from the heart will help you to prove you are trustworthy and have no hidden agenda.
What would you add to the list? We’d love to hear from you.