Category Archives: Leverage Your Expertise

Trust Earning: Do You Deserve Client Trust?

Risk aversion stops many good things from happening when it is supposed to stop bad things. Trust is the antidote to risk aversion.

Professionals must communicate their trustworthiness to earn trust and build lasting relationships with prospects and clients.

Natural fear of taking action or making a decision is meant to preserve our health, property, way of life, and sanity, but it can do the opposite. As far as prospects and clients are concerned, their trust will be earned by professionals who show consistent, genuine interest in the wellbeing of the prospect or client. Unless this client concern is visible in every facet of the work carried out by the professional for and with clients, trust may not be achieved and the relationship will remain superficial.

Clients’ interests should be transparently and prominently placed above the professionals’ interests. This commitment materializes as services that are relevant to target client needs and as delivery methods that match the professional’s process and organizational support.

For instance, whether a client filters the world through their smartphone or prefers emails interspersed with phone or face-to-face meetings, they’ll be receptive to placing trust in professionals who respect client communication preferences. Professionals who commit to client needs and goals discover many ways to demonstrate their trustworthiness.

Trust is also earned by professionals who deliver on promises and responsibilities without prompting or excuses. If it’s not clear to clients that they are in sync with the professional, has the professional genuinely earned their trust?

Perception is the reality in earning client loyalty. The client’s definition of trust sets the standard for professionals to meet and exceed in everything from communication to service delivery:

  • Should trusting include the client questioning the professional, or is unquestioning acceptance demanded by the professional?
  • Is the professional’s reaction defensive or offensive if their knowledge or skill is challenged?
  • Does the client understand exactly what you, the professional, expect from them and from yourself as the relationship progresses?
  • From the start, clients deserve to understand what “trust” will mean to both of you, and to outcomes. Clients should trust themselves to be sure about this.

Will you share this post with your prospects and clients because you want to open up the lines of communication and earn trust?

© Source: What’s Your Point? PJ Wade The Catalyst

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How Wanting Social Media ‘Likes’ Can Undermine Personal Service

Behaviorists and best-selling authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield of VitalSmarts surveyed 1623 people and discovered that obsession with posting photos and checking phones corresponds with lower enjoyment.

For professionals, “lower enjoyment” extrapolates to lowered personal service. Your clients may be shutting you out or down when they keep an eye on the screen, but are you doing the same thing to them by keeping an eye on your screen for social media updates and texts instead of giving clients your full attention?

The VitalSmarts survey “Society’s New Addiction: Getting a ‘Like’ over Having a Life” confirmed that social media isn’t only distracting, it’s dictating how we interact in person. Mashable.com and Entrepreneur.com featured the survey in articles that reviewed results like the 91% surveyed have seen tourists miss out on an important moment by trying to capture it on social media. (Maxfield’s own social media trophy-hunting behavior at his 60th birthday triggered the study.) You’ve been aware of this distraction trend and the fact it continues on the rise. What are you doing to take advantage of your knowledge and experience for your clients and your business?

My point is that distraction over superficial online responses should not take priority over giving your full, face-to-face attention to the client you’re with. Aren’t you curious why they believed a visit to you, not a text or phone call, was worth their time and effort?

1. If you can’t successfully juggle client relationships and social media, shouldn’t you reevaluate priorities, improve time management strategies, or hire an assistant? What are you intent on achieving with social media and your clients?
2. Curiosity about your clients feeds success with client service and satisfaction. If social media is burning up curiosity that should go to clients, what replacement value is social media contributing to you and your practice?

If you can’t give the client your full attention, why have a face-to-face meeting?

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CUBITAT: Think Around The Box

CUBITAT

CUBITAT: your unique “home in a box.”

CUBITAT, a 10’x10’x10′ (3-meter cube) with “plug and play elements” that seamlessly reveal and hide the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, laundry, entertainment area, and storage.

Exploring CUBITAT revealed the potential for future flexibility and mobility in the way we live, treat our “stuff,” and invest in ownership. The CUBITAT Project examines how our “stuff” and life functions could fit into a self-contained cube.

Take this concept a few steps further and consider that we could move the cube, or have it moved for us, when it was time for a change. This could foster Continue reading

CSI & Fresh Financial Thinking

The line between NON-PROFIT and FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS has blurred. The non-profit sector is primed for positive disruption, just like everything else that’s come under social media’s spell.

Non-profit/for-profit hybrid organizations and arrangements like social enterprises and venture philanthropy are on the rise, but is 20th-Century thinking holding some organizations back from stepping outside tradition and embracing financial resilience? Continue reading

Determined Futurist or Wish-Distracted Fatalist?

Futurist or Fatalist

Is the difference clearly visible to you?

We are often more aware we have a future when a new year begins or we make a fresh start, like going back to school or launching a new venture. The rest of the time, the future is all but ignored. 

Even when we think about the future, “wait and see” is a common response to “How’s this all going to turn out?” However, you aren’t a leaf passively blowing in the wind of change, but a proactive agent for your own future—when you chose to be! “Wait and see” is the passive approach few can afford. It’s already cost too many too much.

Are you a determined futurist (“If it is to be, it’s up to me”), or a wish-distracted fatalist (“I guess it wasn’t meant to be”). I can’t help you achieve the latter, but the shift to determined futurist is right up my alley and a key “What’s Your Point?” themeContinue reading

10 TIPS for Complex Decisions Made Simple

triminii  Professionals, including advisors, executives, and entrepreneurs, are decisive by nature and training, so it’s not surprising that many often think they are great decision-makers.

Some professionals even believe that making decisions quickly is a sign of decisiveness, which it isn’t necessarily. Commonly, after a few years on the job, most professionals feel they have learned all there is about the decision-making process. They believe it’s just content in the form of product specifications, office procedures, and client “hot topics” that change, not decision making.

The more you understand about the PROCESS OF DECIDING relative to your target market and business, Continue reading

5 Foresight Strategies for Avoiding Hindsight Remorse

You can be certain in the face of uncertainty.

Beforehand, success is less about knowing you’re right, and more about taking steps to ensure you’re not proven dangerously wrong after you decide.

For instance, pundits and professionals usually can’t agree on the state of the market and where the economy is headed, but if you’re certain you want to become a business owner, or you feel ready to move on from this business and into the next, go for it.

That’s not encouragement to “jump in over your financial head,” or to go against obvious economic or social warning signs in your industry or area. This is encouragement to take a close look at Continue reading

SELF-TEST: What’s a Failed FOLLOW UP Cost You?

There’s no crying in baseball and there’s no “slipped through the cracks” in business follow-up with prospects and clients, external and internal.

Yet, time and again, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals explain the cost of their failure to follow up with a prospect or client by saying, “They just slipped through the cracks.”

As if the prospect or client had caused the problem!

First of all, there’s no “slipped” in effective communication.
When you fail to do what you said you’d do, prospects and clients don’t slip away from you. They run. Today’s smart-phone-savvy consumers want answers now and results even faster. Disgruntled prospects and frustrated clients will quickly turn to receptive professionals who can be trusted to do what they say they’ll do. Wouldn’t you if you were intent on doing business, but an unreliable executive or salesperson got in the way?

And, there are no “cracks” either, just the pockets of more organized, efficient professionals.

The prospects and clients who you let down or ignore don’t abandon their plans, they abandon you, because you abandoned them. Their business transaction will still happen, just without you. The income or commission that could have been yours ends up in the pocket of the professional who followed through, earned trust, and enabled the client to achieve their goals.

Don’t kid yourself. When you say you’ll do something, then in the minds of over-stressed prospects and clients, you just made a promise. When you promise to do more than you deliver on—whether that’s failing to return phone calls, email information, or…you let down those who you need to earn trust from. You also let yourself down—now and in the future.

WYPt SELF-TEST: WHAT IS FAILURE TO FOLLOW UP COSTING ME?

Let one prospect “slip through the cracks” when you don’t follow up on emails, promises to call, or on anything you committed to do, and you’re the loser on many levels. As you read through the following list of repercussions of abandoning a prospect or client, use the average income or commission you earn on your typical preferred transaction to add up how much just one failure to follow up may cost you:
1. Lost commission for that first prospect or client transaction: $ ____________
2. Lost commission from subsequent referrals from that individual if they had been well-served by you (let’s say 2 more deals you won’t get): $ _____________ X 2 = $ ____________
3. Lost commission from that new client’s next transaction: $ ____________
4. Lost commission from future business from that client and future referrals: $ __________
5. Those un-followed-up-on prospects and clients will spread word of your failings to anybody who’ll listen. Every time your name or industry comes up, those disgruntled individuals will chime in with “promises were made.” You may never know how many more clients and referrals you lose. Or, social media may reveal exactly how wide ranging the prospect’s or client’s negative reach is. Be optimistic and only dock yourself two deals here, but add to this amount your advertising budget for counteracting your proven bad service rating:  $ __________ X 2 = $ ___________ + $ _____________ = $ _____________

What’s your TOTAL COST OF A FAILED FOLLOW UP?  $ _____________

Even If your average income or commission per deal were only $3000, this list could represent a loss of $21,000 plus the cost of advertising that is undermined by word of mouth and social media activity. Failure to follow up is expensive!

Since not following up is a bad habit, those who do it once will repeat this self-defeating behavior again and again.

This means your total from one missed deal multiplied by how many times a year you drop the ball with a prospect or client is…. Do yourself a favor and do the “bad habit” math: $ __________ .

Attach a dollar figure to follow through, so you always relate the promises you make—from phone calls, texts, or emails to research or marketing—to your bottom line. This enables you to move from “it’s only a phone call or email” to making business decisions about opportunities to lose or to earn credibility and income.

Back to HOME … The Catalyst.com

CE Course: Big Gains with WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

WHAT’S YOUR POINT?
Avoid 7 Top Communication Mistakes &
Sharpen Your Competitive Advantage

“Making mistakes is not the problem—in fact, it’s essential to progress. Consciously and unconsciously repeating the same mistakes over and over, without learning from these short-comings, is the real mistake.” — PJ Wade

Do you know what “my point” is and how to make it, that is, how to be understood, effectively, confidently, and consistently, in any situation, in any medium? If you don’t understand why a particular point is relevant to a prospect or client, you’ll make mistakes which may appear to the other party as disinterest, incompetence, or self-interest—eroding preciously-accumulated trust.

This dynamic session, based on PJ Wade’s research and her new business book, What’s Your Point?: Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick! demonstrates that business success in the future—next cell call, next post, next conversation, next meeting, next day, next week, next year— Continue reading