It is essential for the professional service provider to build relationships based on trust.

How good you are at what you do is of no consequence if a potential client doesn’t trust you.

All sales start with a simple conversation.

From the outset you need to show genuine interest in your prospective customers.

You need to be natural and authentic in your dealings with them.

Don’t pretend to be anything other than the real you.

You want them to like you for who you really are.

Make sure you maintain good eye contact and, above all else, remember it’s all about them.

It’s always all about them.

It’s not about you.

Undoubtedly your potential clients want to know you are skillful and experienced in what you do and that you are suitably qualified to help them.

But more than that they want to know you truly care, that they are important to you and you have their best interests at heart.


Make strong emotional connections


Making a strong emotional connection with people is the first step in developing a relationship with your potential client.

Step back and take a different perspective.

Don’t look at turning prospects into customers.

Look at turning strangers into friends.

Then turning friends into customers.

Get to understand what it is they are looking for.

You want to be clear on what they think they need to solve their problems or help them reach their goals.

You must appreciate and acknowledge what’s relevant to your customer, not what you think is relevant to them.

Being in possession of these facts will help you to establish whether what you have to offer will be of any real benefit to them.

It will give you the opportunity to present your offering in a way that is most attractive to them and best fulfils their needs and wants.


Why should they choose you?


Work on presenting to your potential customers what it is that’s unique about you.

Why they should regard you as a credible authority in your field.

You must be comfortable with self-promotion.

If you are hesitant or awkward in your delivery your customers will interpret your discomfort as deceit.


It’s time to blow your own trumpet!


Keep in mind that no-one will ever believe more in you or what you have to offer than yourself!

It’s up to you convince and to reassure people that they have made the right choice, that you are the right person to help them.

They expect, want, and need to hear this from you.

This is not bragging.

Bragging is when you compare yourself to others and assert your superiority.

What you are doing is declaring your strengths, your skills and your expertise in a sincere and professional manner.


Engaging with your clients


Most potential clients need to get to know you and trust you over time.

Aggressive one-step selling antagonizes customers.

No-one likes to be sold to.

You need to work out the way in which you prefer to interact and engage with your customers so you win their friendship and their respect.


The sales cycle


There’s a series of stages a client moves through when deciding whether to purchase your products or services.

The number of stages depends very much on the type of business you have and how you’ve set up your sales and marketing funnel.

At each stage of the process your goal is to prove that your solutions work and to deliver on the promises you make.

In the process you want to increase your client’s trust factor and move ever closer to establishing a solid working relationship.

To run a successful business you need to generate continuous sales leads and have lots of people filtering through your funnel at different stages.

What works for many service providers is to make a compelling offer.

An offer that has no barrier to entry.

An offer that carries no risk.

This gives your prospects the opportunity to sample your services and decide for themselves whether or not they want to continue to do business with you.

Whether they become your client may well depend on where they are in the buying cycle and whether working with you was a pleasant experience.

If their experience was productive and enjoyable but they were not yet ready to purchase, you may very likely see them in the future when the timing is right.