Even When You Trust, Verifying is an Important Business Regime
What are your customers looking for?
Trust, but verify…
You may have heard this before, but how is this applied in customer interactions?
Many times we think we are delivering what our customers may want and sometimes we get confirmation and sometimes not.
But, how do you know?
There are many ways to determine how verification happens and we will cover a few today.
Taking notice can help you apply actions that will support you moving forward.
So, when a customer and a service professional have an interaction, there are several things occurring at once.
Each party is gaging knowledge level, likeability and professionalism.
Now, in each of these characteristics, there are many applications to when or how these are verified.
Let’s cover them one at a time.
However before we move forward into them specifically, let’s talk about initiating the relationship.
Within any relationship, common ground is established. Meaning, you and the other party have something in common to offer each other. In this respect, your client believes you could be capable of helping them and you believe you can support the client meet their goal.
That common ground is enough to initiate an introduction where you both begin gaging each other’s capability to support each other. This is the introductory stage.
In most scenarios, somehow the customer has gotten feedback related to your service and want to move forward in at least connecting.
When initiated, a meeting is usually set whether its an in-person meeting or the next phone call.
Congratulations! You’ve meet the initial criteria which has allowed you to set up the second meeting arrangement.
What happens next is the higher level verification that begins. Expect your knowledge level, likeability and professionalism to be verified.
Let the rapport building begin…
In the first interaction, both the client and service professional are gaging whether they are a good fit for each other. Through conversation, you are both already establishing a little bit of each; knowledge, likeability and professionalism.
Your dialog, tone, professionalism and your knowledge that shows within your dialog, begins to set the stage for what you are capable of and if you meet the customers expectations.
Setting up the next meeting is a good sign, but it doesn’t mean the customer will show up either. What’s important to remember, is that what ever happens, you’ll remain courteous and professional.
For some customers, the test of your true ability is better observed by having an in-person meeting. This is where many people can establish true perception of what you can offer to them.
- Because body language is 70% (or more) of verbal communication, many will prefer in-person engagement sooner versus later.
- However for some people, their tests are more aligned with proof of professionalism.
For them, they may consider your initial contact just the beginning and a long “at a distance” relationship until your true colors are established.
- For this type of customer, they may want to see your ability to keep your word through showing good follow through.
Staying in contact, remaining kind, showing good intentions and proving professionalism is being established. Many customers may fall in this category just simply due to being planners and not being spontaneous. Especially, with business decisions.
Perhaps this relationship will be several months or over a year before the in-person meeting actually happens.
Expect trust to be verified through your actions over a longer term. If you cant stand the test of time, you will fail the test. Gaging your ability to show professionalism and not that you are some “fly by night” company is important to many.
Whether the customer is a fast mover or not, rapport is built by displaying consistency in your knowledge and skillset.
Take notice that many of these tests may not happen in a particular order. However they will be established throughout your interactions.
Any stage can begin to at any point in your interactions. It all depends on if the customer prefers verification to happen organically or if they are prepared and will give you a “rapid fire” test interview.
Your ability to show good people skills will be expected. Some people are direct and straight to the point and and more about business first, while others may like to move slow, possibly gaining a more emotional connection first.
Always remember, whether a person is a fast mover, being all about business or if a person leads with emotional connections first, both care about doing business with good people.
Likeability often relies heavily on trust.
- Will you keep your word?
- Do you appear to be genuine?
- Can you truly help the person and deliver what you claim?
- Can you show and prove through your results?
- Are you easy to talk to and a good listener and communicator?
The likeability test, could be more on a professional level for some customers and could be more on a personal level for others.
Similar to the customer that prefers a long relationship prior to meeting with you versus the customer who wants all answers up front quickly.
Gaging likeability will rely on your engagement skills. People skills is a huge factor in this stage.
To most customers, this aligns in your delivery, dialog, follow up, knowledge, people skills and advice. Yes, it covers a full spectrum of skills.
Some establish this quickly in the introductory stage and some establish this in the in-person meeting. People can gage if you are kind and professional over the phone.
Just how you’ve heard, someone can tell a smile over the phone, yes its true and it matters. Kindness goes a long way. Regardless of how you slice it, people are attracted to signs of love.
A balance of genuine skills on all accords, will show much favor to the highest level professionals.
Talking a good game is common amongst people will low self-awareness and low people skills. Yes, developing what to say and when to say it is a learning curve. But in essence, this learning curve is much easier compared to building self-awareness and people skills while also showing genuine care for the customer and their goals.
Its balance that is displayed. Knowing when and what to say to arrive at solutions but also keeping the relationship strong through great communication and action plans.
Having what is called business acumen is important. Business acumen, also known as business savviness, business sense and business understanding, is keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation (risks and opportunities) in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome.
Be sure you are prepared to deliver and know your customer well. Its not a one-size-fits-all game out there. The best professionals tailor their relationships based upon the customer and the best solution for each.
In business it is important to prepare.
Preparation includes self-development and awareness of customer’s needs through business acumen.
Put your best foot forward in establishing your preparedness by acknowledging both.
We hope this article has been helpful for you today.
Thanks for joining us faithful readers – future leaders.
Love ya and keep striving for growth.
Please comment your experience within these stages or stages you’d add to this list.
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