The relationship between business and consumer follows a series of set rules, but the relationship between business and business follows another set altogether. The way businesses should aim to gain potential new clients differs completely from the strategy they would use to gain new customers. The client’s investment with a business is far greater than the customer’s, so a lot more courting is needed for businesses to gain the trust of a prospective client. But what can businesses do to gain the trust of someone who they want to work with?
The Real Deal
Being perceived as a legitimate business can be difficult, especially when just starting out. However, there are a few things that businesses can do to try to show their credibility and credentials to a prospective client. Ensuring your business is properly registered is the first step as well as sorting out any tax numbers or information that might be needed when quoting prices or swapping financial information.
Even something as simple as being insured could show potential clients that you take business seriously and will thus also take your relationship with them seriously. So it’s not just a matter of finding out how to get business insurance, but of also understanding that it works or you on two levels: The first is protection against anything that could go awry in your business and the second in making you look professional.
Social media is important for businesses. Not having a presence on popular platforms might not be too much of a dealbreaker but it can alert potential clients to your expertise (or perceived lack thereof). Many businesses use social platforms such as LinkedIn to broadcast their expertise in certain fields. This will convince potential clients that you are the right choice as a business partner and will encourage people to trust you to go into business together.
Having a wider social media reach can also give your business more credibility. Gaining a blue checkmark on Twitter, for instance, could be perceived as a trust signal that potential clients look for. Of course, not every business needs to be on social media, but it does help to amplify your voice, especially as a search on social will be likely from your potential clients.
One of the most important trust signals to gain new clients is your existing or past clients. Many websites include logos of previous clients they have had or even happy customer testimonials in order to show that they are trusted by others – individuals and companies who were once in the potential client’s position. Many businesses use evidence of their past work to gain future work. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that, sometimes, previous clients make the difference between who a potential client eventually chooses to do business with.
Gaining the trust of a new client is never straightforward. Some will be wooed in certain ways, while others may take more convincing. Ensuring your business looks legit, maintaining your expertise on social media, and showcasing your previous clients all works in your business’s favor when you’re looking to attract new clients.