As a project manager, it is essential to gain the trust of clients, which can be a challenge given you likely have never met them prior to working together and building trust takes time. Here are the nine practices I’ve developed over the years to make my clients feel secure in my ability to manage projects on their behalf.
1. Become a coach: Involve clients in the process and educate them. If you help others be better you will earn their trust.
2. Communicate often and honestly: Frequent updates will put a client at ease and show them that you are on top of the project; update them before they have to ask.
3. Value long-term relationships with clients over short-term success: Quick fixes and a narrow focus will not generate loyal customers. In other words, don’t sell by selling.
4. Seek the truth: Try to get to the root of your client’s needs – why are they asking a question? What is it they really need? Discover the real areas where you can help and don’t be afraid to tell them if you can’t.
5. Show real integrity: Be willing to take a stand, even if it’s unpopular with your client or your company. Make decisions based on what you know to be right.
6. Transparency: If you make a mistake, own it. Be authentic and willing to share.
7. Value your clients: If you do not truly value the relationship neither will they. And believe you bring something of value to the relationship.
8. Be consistent: If a customer is to trust you, you need to be consistent and predictable.
9. Be Yourself: Keep it professional of course, but always be yourself! Eventually the real you will come out if you try to hide it so be you from the start.