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Client Meetings: Make Them Trust You

Apr 17, 2019 | 8m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Build trust with new clients right from the first “hello” of the conversation all the way through to the last follow-up
  • Make clients excited about hearing from you
  • Create effective meeting experiences that make the client walk out thinking “what a fantastic meeting”


Positioned to Build Trust

It is very difficult to overstate the importance of reputation. In a corporate context, this is why a brand can acquire such a high value and why a good brand will attract a large premium in corporate valuation. As an individual, and particularly if you are an adviser in any field, your reputation is almost everything. It is why people would go to you, or perhaps avoid you, and why companies would employ you. You need to have a reputation of being trusted and having something of value to share. Once a reputation is damaged, it is hard to restore.

When you look at building client relationships, the key touch-points that you have with clients have evolved over time. In the past, you had client meetings, telephone conversations, mails and faxes. Today you have client meetings, less telephone conversations, and more emails which have to some extent replaced telephone calls. In building and maintaining client relationships you need to consider all of these, but in this book, I will focus on face to face meetings, as some of the principles can be extended to the other areas.

People are often failing in building good relationships because they are reading too little, planning too little, listening too little, and talking too much. You need to let go of short term self-interested agendas, or you risk destroying your client's trust.

Before you go into a client meeting, it is useful to consider what is the agenda for the meeting. If the agenda is suggested by the client or agreed in advance with the aim of giving information, expressing opinion, exploring the client’s needs, then you may well be building trust in your meeting. If, on the other hand, your plan is just to try and pitch a particular product, then take care. You may be positioning yourself as a product salesperson rather than a trusted adviser, and you may be destroying trust rather than building it.

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