Sine qua non.
Whoa. Exactly when did we start speaking Latin?
Actually, other than phrases like status quo and Pizza Pizza, we really don’t know much Latin, so we’ll continue in English if that’s okay.
Without which … not. That’s what the phrase means. If you ain’t got ______, you’re going nowhere.
Let’s look at a couple of examples. If you don’t have great computer skills, you aren’t gonna land a job at Apple. If you can’t hit a curveball, you aren’t gonna bat cleanup for the Yankees.
And if you don’t have the ability to gain the trust and win the confidence of your clients and would-be clients, you’re going nowhere in business.
But wait a minute. That presumes that being great at what you do isn’t important, doesn’t it? No.
Let me ask you a question. Which is more important … having people see you as trustworthy … or competent?
Ha. Trick question. Both are equally important. It’s just that if your client or prospective client is unsure about whether they like or trust you, they’re not likely to hire you in the first place. And if they do, they’re not likely to openly share their problems with you, which hurts your effectiveness. This is true whether you’re a lawyer, financial advisor, coach, or personal trainer. The field doesn’t matter.
Without that trust, how good you are may not matter, because you may not get a chance to demonstrate your expertise.
Why are we talking about this? Because many people mistakenly focus on developing professional competence to the exclusion of thinking about what it takes to earn trust, instill confidence, and build relationships.
Doesn’t doing a good job build trust? Absolutely. But we’re talking largely about first impressions here … and early impressions. If you don’t make a good early impression, you may not get … or keep … the business!
So, how do you build that trust?
It’s developed in the intangible, the intimate. It flows from the way you’re being, as well as the things you do that show you have your client’s best interests at heart. Actions are involved, but much of that feeling of trust is generated nonverbally. It’s more a vibe you put out than some sort of overt display.
You know what it’s like to work with someone who seems approachable and caring and dedicated to serving you … somebody who really listens vs. the professional who’s all business and has no “bedside manner.” I want the warm, caring listener who understands my concerns to be the one taking care of me. Be that person.
Bottom line: Lots of service providers are reliable and highly skilled professionals. What differentiates the successful from those who struggle when it comes to attracting and retaining clients is their ability to connect at this fundamental level of being-ness. They’re the ones who will easily attract clients and build thriving businesses.
Why? Because people tend to “buy” based on feelings and emotions and then justify their decisions with logic. It might make sense to think having the chops to do the work is all that matters, but that assumes all we care about as consumers is the know-how of the provider.
That leaves the heart out of the equation. Never leave heart out of the equation.
Building trust … give it the attention it deserves, because without trust, you have nothing.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.