Anyone who's ever stayed up watching TV past bedtime is familiar with Dr Ruth Westheimer. As a famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth has been able able to answer tough, uncomfortable questions for over 30 years.
I recently watched the Hulu documentary about Westheimer, “Ask Dr. Ruth”, and was awestruck at how her disarming personality and her maternal nature instantly put her listeners at ease.
So what's the secret to Dr. Ruth's success?
She makes people feel comfortable with humor. Dr. Ruth is the expert at establishing an immediate sense of trust.
As business owners, we know we need to establish trust with our potential clients. It keeps you up in their minds and sets you apart come the time they need your business. Remember: a lesson taught in humor is a lesson retained. Find ways to incorporate humor into your content, your teaching, and your business, because it makes people feel comfortable, entertained, and more likely to buy.
1.) Establish your expertise. Show what you know! One of the fastest ways to establish trust is to prove that you're exactly the one they should be working with. Have a set of questions ready that you ask every onboarding client during an initial sales call. You can ask these during an initial meeting and really impress! Remember to listen more than you talk. Once you're at a natural point in the conversation, briefly share your plan or ideas on how you and your business could help.
2.) Be empathetic. When you're meeting prospective clients for your business, you want to establish your commonalities with the client. You don't need to talk about business the entire time, but make sure you always circle back to it. Have a real conversation with them and focus on listening to their needs- even if you're not discussing business, you can still get a feel for how this client needs to be served! In the end, a stronger connection will always get you more sales.
3.) Stay professional. Even though the intention is to connect, remember to stay professional! Your customers will appreciate that you're serious about what you do. Make sure you're showing real integrity by using each interaction as a learning opportunity. About the potential client, their industry, and their challenges.
Once you've established a relationship, the rest is smooth sailing. Customers don't buy from people they don't trust, so make sure you're selling yourself as an intelligent, curious, valuable commodity. And don't be afraid to make them laugh!