Any good relationship needs trust; the referral relationship, however, lives and dies with trust. After all, you would not send your best client to someone you do not trust; so, why would someone send their best client to you if you are not trustworthy?
Developing trust takes time; however, if the development is going in both directions, it is quite worthwhile.
What are good ways to show you are trustworthy? The list is long and the items can range from the obvious to the obscure.
- Do what you say you are going to do. Seems simple enough, but it is amazing how often people fall short on this.
- Be consistent and reliable. Chances are you see groups of your network at group events. When you show up consistently and are a positive participant, you will build trust. Trust is aided by proximity and time.
- Show your expertise and professionalism. If you’re looking for business referrals then you must reflect the business image that attracts the type of business you want.
- Keep confidences confidential.
- Speak well of others. However you speak about others, people will wonder if you speak of them in the same way. How you talk about other people affect how people feel about you.
- Show that you want to trust the other person.
Trust to be Trusted?
This may sound odd, but look at it the other way around. Do you trust people who do not trust you? Or, are you more open to a person who shows you a little vulnerability or makes an investment in you first?
Someone has to break the ice, why not you?
Where Do You Need Trust?
Looking at the people you think you would like to enter a referral relationship with, where is trust missing? Do you need to prove yourself to them, or vice versa? Since this is a person you want to trade referrals with, schedule a one-to-one and learn more about the person. Invest some time, emotion, or money to get things moving in the right direction.
I love to hear trust stories, what do you do that genuinely builds trust between you and your referral sources?