You might not be aware of it, but it’s the simple things that you do that signal credibility, reliability, and trust.
All of the things that somebody servicing me, supposed to be helping me out, and making sure that I had a great experience, so that I would continue to avail of their service. I won’t be shy to tell that person that it was largely their fault why we are not continuing with the service.
I would love to deliver these points to you, as feedback, but in the meantime, I am sharing it here, as a reminder for myself, and for those reading my blog.
What are some simple tips to be professional, and to exude credibility and trust?
AKA, how to make your clients love you.
Setting clear expectations
We are all in customer service, and part of being in customer service means knowing what it is that the clients needs, wants, and expects from you.
But more often, we don’t have a clear picture of their expectations, much less communicate ours.
Some simple facts that go a long way:
People don’t think the same way that you do.
People don’t know the same things you know.
And as the person serving the client, it is your responsibility to lead this conversation in uncovering and setting expectations.
Which, includes what you can, and can’t do.
And what you’re willing to go the extra mile for.
It’s a lot of these little expectations that we have of each other, that are not communicated, which increases the chances of them not being fulfilled.
Just tell me what you can, and can’t do, and what you’ll find a way to do.
Communicate so your clients are not only in the loop and updated with what’s important, but also so they feel that you are with them, and that you genuinely care.
And for that to happen, you’ve got to genuinely care about them. Because being professional is you providing the service for them, no matter what’s on your plate.
And part of that is checking in with your clients, listening to them, and telling them what they need to know.
They’ll love you for it if you’re able to do that.
Even in text and email, people can feel an emotional experience. Whether that’s positive or negative is up to you.
I’ve really had a bad experience lately where it was already the time of our meeting, and the person who I was supposed to meet (who was trying to sell me something, by the way), only then told me that he wouldn’t be able to make the meeting.
Well, how would that made you feel?
Be aware of what needs to be communicated, and when. Tell me in advance so we’re not wasting each other’s time.
And tell the truth. Always tell the truth in the best way possible. Nothing as awkward as going down the elevator, walking through the lobby, and seeing the girl you’re supposed to meet, who had just stood you up and cancelled on you.
Don’t be that person.
Professionalism is seen and felt in the little things that you do, not only the big things.
It’s not only about looking the part, but being credible.
And first step you can take to building the credibility? Honor your commitments.
Not just the big ones, but more so the little ones.
Arrive on time. On what time you said you’d arrive.
Do what you said you would do, and communicate if there will be a change, delay, or if it will no longer be possible.
Call it out if it’s something that you’d be unable to do, and don’t set commitments that you already know you won’t be able to do.
Nothing breaks credibility, trust, and erases the client’s view of you as professional, like not honoring commitments.
Do your homework
I had a meeting with the broker of where I’m staying, and in setting up the meeting, I specifically requested that she print a copy of the agreement, because I don’t have a printer.
“Would you be able to do it?” I asked. She answered with a very definite “Yes.”
Well, you know where this is going.
An hour before the meeting, she then messages me, and is asking me to be the one to print the document since she had already left her office, and she said her printer had run out of ink.
“Sorry, I had specifically asked you to print the document.” I messaged back. “I don’t have a printer, as I had already informed you along with my request.” And mind you, I was in the middle of some creative work which had already been scheduled ahead.
It’s not as if your clients have all the time in the world to save the failings of your sorry ass.
Her reply: “Oh, I thought you had a printer. If I had known that you didn’t have one, I would have printed it already.”
So apart from not doing her homework, she lied to me. Bad, bad girl.
Do your homework. Do the little things you agree to do, and prepare. Prepare the documents, collaterals before the meeting. Review the points you need to review.
And for everyone out there, do research, and better yet, remember, how to spell your client’s name.
Otherwise, your clients will feel like me – I can’t wait to get her out of my life.
Prepare, and do it well. The little details count.
Being professional is less about the looks, and more about what you say and do, and how you say and do it.
Now, of course you have to look the part. Dress up cleanly, groom well, for it communicates respect to the client.
But mind you, it doesn’t end there.
I’ve met a lot of agents who dress well, look the part, but the minute they open their mouths, or after a week of deliverables and commitments, I realize that looks were all they had.
Don’t be like that, please?
Care about the people that you serve. If you don’t want to care, then don’t accept them as your clients.
Care about them, care about the work that you do, if you care about yourself.
Because shoddy work, unpreparedness, pretentiousness, and just plain not taking care of the details, signals to me, and your clients, that all you care about is yourself.
And I don’t want that. I’m the client in this relationship, not you.
Be honest to yourself, and to the people you serve.
What are your tips on how to be professional? Let me know in the comments below!