He has defined 13 behaviours that create trust.
This week I experienced myself how strong they can be. More specifically number 12 is “keeping commitments”. And that’s what helped me to gain the trust of one of our customers.
Let me share a few more details with you.
I was asked by a HR Assistant Manager of a worldwide company to do a one day session to facilitate setting up a pan european network for their learning & development managers. In the absence of the HR Manager the two of us worked out the details.
When the HR Manager came back she was not really pleased that the HR Assistant Manager chose someone else than her favorite trainer. In the defence of the HR Assistant Manager: it was not communicated that that specific trainer had to do the job.
So when we explained our plan for the day to the HR Manager we had to start from “below zero”. And it took a few more e-mails, telephone calls and changes to the program, but step by step we got where she wanted to be.
The day itself went super: people were really sharing information, looking for ways to help each other out and got to know each other better. In other words: the foundation for the network was successfully made.
At the end of the day the HR Manager came to me and congratulated me with the job I had done. And she also confessed to me: “I was little bit skeptical that you could the job since I didn’t know you.” When I asked her what made her trust me and not change to someone else, she answered: “You always kept your commitments and got back to us with the right information on the days we agreed upon or before. That reassured me a lot!”
For us this keeping commitments is good business practice. This example shows how important it can be!
Networking and referrals are about building trust. An easy behaviour that anyone can show is keeping commitments.
These are a few of my rules to be able to do that without stressing myself too much or our company:
1) Only make commitments we can keep. If we are not the best to do a job or it doesn’t fit in our schedule we say “no”. You will be surprised how many people will appreciate it!
2) Set realistic timeframes to answer a question, deliver a proposal or to do something else. Even better: add a few extra days.
If you think you need 2 days, tell your customer you will be back in 4 days. In that way you give yourself extra breathing space for when something unexpected shows up. If everything goes as planned and you deliver in 2 or 3 days then you have reacted faster than they expected. This scores bonus points.
On the other hand: if you promise to deliver in 2 days and it becomes 3 or 4 days you take away from your emotional bank account.
How about you? How good are you in making the right commitments and keeping them? Do you have some “rules” for yourself?
Have a great networking day !
Founder of Networking Coach