How To Build Trust With Potential Clients

Trust is the number one influencing factor to the success of any type of relationship. Trust allows for open communication, autonomy, mutual respect and effective collaboration. Most of us assume that a client’s decision to work with a developer is based on price and skill alone. While this rational assessment does play a role during the initial screening process, their final decision to work with you (or not) is influenced by a much more emotional factor; the ability to trust you.

Trust is arguably the most important part of any successful business relationship. When a client hires you to provide them with any service, they assume a certain degree of risk that the work will actually get done to the level of quality that was promised.

By taking the time to foster a sense of trust between you and your client, you’ll bolster their confidence in your abilities and help reduce that initial uneasiness that comes with entering a new business relationship. Knocking down these barriers will not only make your life easier during the project, but it may actually help you win more business in the future as well.

Here are ways on how to build trust with potential clients:

1. Share Real Success Stories

One of the most important ways to build trust with new clients is to use “social proof” by creating case studies and testimonials to show the real stories of real people who have hired you before.

Even if your company is new, if you have a well-established track record of success in your previous career (and in the combined expertise of your leadership team and board), you can build trust by reminding customers of your other experiences.

2. Develop A Client-Oriented Mindset

“Client-oriented” has become a term loosely tossed around by agencies and freelancers as a tactic to woo prospective clients. Despite its rise as an industry buzzword, having a client-oriented mindset is an effective way to show prospects that you are someone they can trust with their business.

But becoming a truly client-oriented developer is much more than just saying you are one. It means actually having your client’s best interests at heart and reflecting that in your actions. You want to be seen as a trusted advisor for your client and not just another freelancer looking to make a quick buck.

3. Email Like A Professional

How you present yourself in your initial communications with new and potential clients is crucial to building trust. That doesn’t mean you need to be extra formal all the time, but rather keeping things professional. An effective email is more about being relevant, brief and to the point while remaining friendly. Speak to your client how you would a colleague. Depending on their style, you can keep it casual but be sure to present yourself as the professional business owner you are.

4. Be A Team Player

In order to thrive in your industry and become a successful salesperson, it is imperative to be more than just a salesman in your prospectors’ eyes. Your potential buyers need to see that your interests include helping them and helping their company. Display interest in your prospect’s needs and discuss important details about the market you’re in. For instance, if you sell car parts, talk to your B2B or B2C prospect about the vehicle industry and come up with real statistics that can help you complete the sale. Being a team player is more about interactions and gaining knowledge than by offering advice, so make sure you listen to your prospects and learn from them.

5. Great Service Matters

When customers trust a brand, 83 percent will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently. While hardly anyone talks about the time you went above and beyond for a customer, you’ll certainly hear from the disgruntled ones if you failed to make a deadline or delivered a product that didn’t do what you promised.

Earning a customer’s trust starts with providing great service. How would you want to be treated if you were a customer? The reality is that service should come naturally, instead of being strategically planned. The more you plan for great service, the less time you’ll spend delivering it.

6. Don’t Make Guarantees You Can’t Deliver On 

If you start making guarantees that you’re unsure of whether you can deliver on, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Most experienced decision makers know that in a service-based industry, like marketing it’s nearly impossible to make any precise guarantees. My motto has always been to under promise and over deliver.

Instead of making guarantees about specific results, be radically transparent about your process. Show your clients how your firm works and how you approach problems for your clients.

7. Build Referrals

Clients who come to you by referral are strongly influenced by the trust the referral source has in you. They often contact you ready to hire you immediately. This can make it worth your while to engage in trust-building activities aimed at people who have regular contact with those likely to need your services.

8. Be Honest

There is no doubt that keeping secrets or hiding certain aspects of your company will undermine your clients trust. Hiding things can only damage your brand’s reputation, especially if some of your prospects are knowledgeable enough. You need to be open with your prospects and present them both the positive aspects and the drawbacks of your company. Of course, you should emphasize the positive aspects. Honesty is the foundation of every strong relationship and the basis of every successful sale.


Sometimes building trust is simply a matter of treating a client how you would want to be treated as a client. Exercise some empathy when working with clients. Understand that you’re one of many pieces of their business, just as they are of yours. Then act as you’d want someone else to treat you. In this post, I shared with you ways on how to build trust with potential clients.

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