building trust online caringResearchers have found that what we do with our faces affects how we feel. When we smile, we feel lighter and happier. A person undergoing an uncomfortable procedure with a frown has a greater chance of experiencing more pain than a person who doesn’t frown.

Try this on for size… Psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales conducted a study where half the participants received frown-inhibiting Botox injections. These recipients claimed feeling happier and less anxious.

Think client first

So what does smiling and frowning have to do with building trust online? The first principle of building trust is to put your customer’s needs first. Once you do that, you can’t help but care about clients.

“Trust-Based Selling is a paradox, but not an oxymoron. People demonstrably prefer to buy what they must buy anyway from those they trust. And they trust sellers who put the buyer’s interests first,” writes Charles H. Green, author of Trust-Based Selling. “You can’t fake trust. The trick is — you actually have to care. The solution is simple to state, hard to live.”

Taking a “think client first” approach becomes routine as you interact and learn more about them. Not just about their business and projects, but also their favorite teams, their kids and vacations they’ve taken.

How to put “think client first” to work

How do you manage all this stuff? Keep it simple by making it a habit to take notes when you learn something new. Enter these notes in your CRM, or if you don’t have one, try using LinkedIn Contacts as your CRM or Contactually.

You can set it up to alert you to follow up. For example, I heard about a client’s daughter’s upcoming religious ceremony on a specific date. So I created a follow-up alert to occur at least a week after the event (to give him time to catch up and recover) and checked in with him to see how it went.

If someone mentions plans to go to Florida or takes an interest in a new hobby, note it and create an alert to follow up. When the time comes, do an Internet search on the topic to find something useful. This can be news, tips, articles and what have you. Now you have a genuine reason to touch base.

You do what you can to help the client — not only in business, but also in their personal lives. Of course, companies want to improve the bottom line. Taking a client-first approach builds trust, which leads to growing revenue. This lets you do it meaningfully without the uncomfortable feeling that comes with trying to make a sale.

Building Trust Online Series

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