person hat street

To be honest…

Has to be one of my least favourite expressions ever. Have you ever felt like you are being lied? How did it make you feel?

Because that’s the last thing you want your clients to experience.

There’s a lot to be said about putting on a show for a client; it’s a lot like dating. You have a mental picture of the kind of person you think your date would like to meet and naturally you want to put the best version of yourself forward. Only to find out later that your date didn’t actually like the person you were pretending to be.

What about ironing your otherwise normally unironed shirt? If you go out of your way, in any way to impress a client, over and above how you would normally behave, does that count as faking it? I’d argue not. There’s a difference between making an effort and outright bullshit. A lot of things have changed since the phrase ‘first impressions matter’ was coined, but the reality is that these three words ring as true today as they ever did. However now, that first impression is more likely than not to be a profile photo or instagram account. This brings me nicely onto how you present yourself and your company digitally.

If your schedule dictates that you physically don’t have time to answer your incoming calls then absolutely go ahead and hire someone to handle them for you. Yes it's a cliché  but don’t fall into the trap of pretending to be your own secretary, it just comes across as desperate. Like any relationship, one built on honesty and mutual trust will be far more enjoyable and last a lot longer than one initiated through false truths.

This may not solve all of your problems but you will find that you have much fewer things to worry about if you are loyal and honest to your clients. It won’t be easy, there are always hard truths that will need to be aired on both sides, but you can do so in a way that is respectful and mutually beneficial. In the end the client will respect you for being upfront and honest, and ultimately it will save both of you time and probably money as well. Be the person who you would call for advice, and they will keep coming back to you.

Clients can smell bullshit, between social media and companies house checks there is nowhere to hide now. If you present yourself honestly, chances are you will get further than you think.

Relationships are two way streets and if you come across as honest, chances are they will respond in kind. But don’t ever let yourself be taken for a ride. If the worst happens and you find yourself in a toxic relationship, get out as quickly as you can and above all, learn from it.

Written by :
Dominic Waring
Dominic Waring
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