Trust is defined as a "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." Sounds pretty serious, right!? Well, it is serious and very important, especially in business!
As a business owner, I must immediately build trust with clients and maintain it throughout the planning process. I struggled with this initially. Despite all my past experience, I managed to forget that people have to trust you to hire you!
You may be asking, "How did you forget? You've been planning events for years."
Although I've been planning weddings and events for a while, I never had to worry about my clients trusting me. Before I officially started my business, all of my clients were close friends or family!
They knew me.
I knew them.
It was easy.
I would say “Hey (insert name of family member/ friend here), I’m going to plan your (insert event type here).” It worked every time.
The planning process was simple too. If I wanted to change any of the plans, I just did it. And on the rare occasion when I would ask the friend or family member to make a decision, we always went with my suggestion!
Those were the days!
Now that I'm in business, my process has changed quite a bit. Building trust comes first! Whether a client comes to me through a referral or by attending an event that I've planned, I have to remember, they still don't know me! I have to prove to them that I'm reliable, truthful, and able to take care of all of their needs.
Below I've shared my Top 4 Ways to Gain and Maintain Trust with Clients. There are a lot more items that can be added to this list, but these were the most important to me!
- Listen - Clients know when you're listening and when you're not. It's important that I use all my listening skills during meetings and calls. That includes repeating things to ensure I understand their thoughts and taking copious notes.
- Communicate - There's a lot to talk about while planning an event! My communication with clients is clear, truthful, and respectful at all times.
- Keep Promises - If I say I'm going to do something, I do it. If I say I'm going to be somewhere at a specific time, I'm there.
- Be Flexible - I like to be as flexible as possible with my time and my work style. If a client wants to schedule a weekly call for updates, I will make it happen! If a client wants to use a specific project management application I'm not familiar with, I'll learn it.
By listening, communicating, keeping promises, and being flexible, my clients know I have their best interests at heart! They can fully trust they are receiving the best wedding and event planning services in the world!