Trust, Competence, and Care. The TCC approach will result in a positive relationship with your client. In other words: Rapport. This applies to anyone not just clients, but with clients, there is a special reason why this is needed more.
Clients usually judge you faster than you think. First impression plays a big role, but also what you do after the first encounter will either enforce the first impression of make the client reassess their image of you.
TCC approach seems straightforward, but it can be tricky.
For example, you cannot build customer trust in you if you do not have confidence in yourself and your product. This means you have to do your homework.
You have to First: Understand Yourself . This is step one. A slippery difficult step for most people. It is not easy to know oneself. There are two ways to do it: Either build the knowledge over the years. In my opinion this takes 30 years of adult life. The other way is to do an accurate performance style assessment. The most accurate I found are now my partners and I offer this service to organizations and individuals. See my homepage for more info. Understanding yourself will be the first step in giving you client’s Trust.
Then, it is time to Second: Understand Your Product. What are you offering? who needs it? How does it work? What can cause its failure. Many, depending on their performance style, do not do their homework on their product. They just focus on knowing the features, how to setup the system, but do not spend enough time going deeper than that. There are important questions about your product that you must answer for yourself at least: Who uses it? Why they use it? what works and what does not? what are the objections out there? what are the success and failure stories. Some especially technical people assume this is sales responsibility and not theirs. This leads to problems with the client fast enough. Understanding your product is the first step to building Competence.
The Third Step is: Understand Your Client. This also can prove to be hard. Clients do not come with an instructions manual. To the contrary, some clients depending on their performance style will not give you direct hints on how to work with them. The best way to approach client understanding is to observe the client. Everything about the client is relevant: words, tone, posture, attitude, office, background, etc. Here is a secret I do not usually share about how I build rapport with clients: I observe them carefully. This does not mean staring at them. But it means giving them your full attention. Some think they do give client full attention, but they actually do not. Just because you are listening to the client, or looking at the client, or speaking to the client, does not mean you are giving them attention. Attention means observing carefully while being interested in the client. So, if you are self absorbed and worried about your self looking bad in front of client, then you cannot pay attention to client. If you are trying to make an impression, you also might lose attention on the client. Observe, period. Look. Learn. Just by observing you will build some rapport.
Most falter in the first three steps above an never make it here. But if you got through the first three steps, the congratulations! Your Fourth Step is to Work with the Client. This means you have to start from where he or she is at the start of the conversation. If upbeat then you are upbeat. If calm and quiet, maybe you need to be calm and quiet. Wherever he or she is, be there with them. This is called “mirroring”. Even use their words, tone, posture, etc. Be there with them. Clients will like you a lot doing that. They will not know why. But I can tell you why: You showed that you Care.
I cannot guarantee a successful client relationship, but I assure you that your will have more of these auccesses if you follow these simple steps.
I offer workshops and services that help you build rapport with client and others. Please check my homepage www.caseinpointlearning.com for more info.