Intentional Trust-Building in Business – Part 3 AFTER

by | Sep 23, 2022 | Business conversations, Business Development for Advisories, Selling

You’ve hit it off with the potential client, you’ve had the discovery chat, you’ve proposed next steps… and now you’re waiting. What can you do to build more trust after the initial conversation?

In this series of 3 articles, I am exploring the question: How can we be intentional about building trust in business?

In Part 1, I introduced concepts from some top ‘trust thinkers’ and described what I have found to work before the business conversation with a potential new client. In Part 2, we looked at what works in building trust during the conversation.

We can’t overlook what needs to be done to maintain and build on that trust following the exploratory conversation… so in the final article of the series, I highlight what my favourite consulting experts have taught me about what to do afterwards.

Intentional Trust-Building in Business Part 3: AFTER the conversation

The ‘waiting time’ after your initial discussion and before the final sign-off from the client is often when we feel least in control of the outcome, but the way you approach this time can set you up for a trust-built, long-term relationship.

1. Immediate Follow-up: Hopefully you and your prospective client committed to some follow-up steps before you left the discovery meeting… but if not, this should be done right away. By guiding your prospect step-by-step (send the overview document of what you talked about, clearly explain the next step and when you’d like to see that happen), you are building trust as the expert who can advise the best path forward.

2. Move from ‘nurture’ to ‘lead’: One of the corporate experts I rate the most highly is U.S.-based Angelique Rewers, who keeps the focus on the consultant or professional service provider’s ability to guide outcomes for clients. She says that the follow-up period is not the time to ‘nurture’ the relationship through continuing to send free content and helpful hints! At this stage – and particularly with busy corporate and SME clients – your aim should be to move them forward making decisions on the solutions you’ve proposed, having already demonstrated the value in doing so.

3. Stay in your power: Another wonderful U.S. coach to consultants and service providers, Leah Neaderthal, also warns against continuing to give away free stuff while you wait for a response, and suggests you use the time more wisely by ‘filling your pipeline’ with other potential clients through your business development plan. She also gives a great tip: re-use proposal content for others you are in discussion with where you need to re-energise or re-inspire the conversation – e.g. ‘I’ve recently put together this plan for a different client and I think it would be a great fit for what we talked about. Shall we make a time to discuss?’

For me, the greatest lessons have been in how to direct my time, energy and communication after the discovery chat, because this is often the difference between a new client and never hearing from that person again – no matter how great the initial conversation! Furthermore, the feeling of personal empowerment you can generate by focusing on what you can and should do at this stage helps create confident and positive vibes that really do keep the ball rolling attracting new business!

Brand Culture by NWC slide deck image