Google Best Practices Guide
4 Ways to Show Customers They Can Trust You With Their Business
By Jerry West
Updated: July 15, 2010
Professionalism can be defined as conducting your business with complete respect for the feelings of your prospect or customer. It is vital for you to convey professionalism to every prospect and client, as they will not trust their business to a person or company that does not respect them.
Here are four tips to keep you on track:
- As much as possible, behave the same as your prospect or customer. People look for a company and business with a similar style and personality. If your prospect wears a suit, you should wear a suit. If your customer addresses you as "Mr. West," you, in turn, address her as "Ms. Staker."It is even better to stay one step ahead. If your prospect wears khakis and a button-down, you should wear a light suit. If your customer calls you by your first name, continue to address them as Mr. or Ms. until they ask you to use their first name.Keeping up your professional appearance and manners is vital to gaining customers and keeping them
- Avoid adressing personal matters in a new business relationship. This goes along with the first point. Your prospect is looking for a particular level of professionalism. Let them introduce personal information before volunteering your own.Many businessmen and businesswomen believe you must get friendly with a prospect or customer to have a good relationship with them. In reality, prospects and customers are not always looking for friendship - sometimes it is just business.Wait for personal cues from your client. If you become too informal too fast, they may view you as unprofessional, unrespectful or even untrustworthy.
- Bashing competitors is taboo. When competitors are brought up in conversation, the natural reaction is to go on the offense and begin bashing them. Never, ever do this. As far as you know, your prospect is currently working with that competitor and actually hired them personally.You should have enough confidence in your product that you don't even view yourself as having competitors. If your competitor is brought up in a sales meeting or other similar situation, simply list several ways your product is different from the other company and therefore, better.Bashing your competitor may convey your point, but it will ultimately wreck your image and diminish your business. Blasting rivals is highly unprofessional.
- Be punctual for all appointments. Never keep your client waiting. Not only is lateness unprofessional, it is insulting. Your prospect's or customer's time is no less important than your own. They have meetings to attend, calls to make and letters to write just as you do. To be late for an appointment is to tell a prospect or customer you do not value their time.Make sure you are on time to every appointment. If the appointment is not at your place of business, it is best to be several minutes early.Punctuality is an absolute must for every professional. Show your respect by appearing on time.
As business places become more relaxed, professional behavior is deteriorating. Never fall into the trap of informality. Prospects and customers want to work with people and companies that are professional and respectful.
Follow your customer's lead to detemine when to relax, avoid personal matters, don't bash your competitors and be on time for all appointments. If you obey these four rules, your prospects and customers will see you as a professional and will trust you with their business.
Professionalism tips for business owners and career professionals & more.
Jerry West is the Director of Internet Marketing for Web Marketing Now. He has been consulting on the web since 1996 and has assisted hundreds of companies in gaining an upper-hand over their competition. Visit Web Marketing Now for the latest in tested and proven marketing tips.
The above article can be reproduced on your site or e-zine as long as the signature file remains.
Search Terms: professionalism tips, online business success, professionalism at work