Trust is an essential thing in business. It makes negotiations about new projects easier and focuses on rational solutions for your client instead of emotional reasons for or against a business relationship.
At my company Beyond Code, we decided to sell our work at a premium rate. This means that we have to build trust during negotiations and before new clients agree to work with us. We must convince them that we are worth the money. If we don't do that, they contract someone who seems to be cheaper and where they can afford to lose the money.
Of course, we have many things to mention here — yes we also have the same arguments that everybody has — quality, speed, experience and so on. However, as everyone has the same arguments, clients, especially the ones without a deep technical understanding, don't know who is the best supplier for them.
Our first offer is to start with the smallest project possible, even if the real negotiation is about a bigger one (big means 50 to 100 days of initial work). We try to start with a small step for max 10 days and which delivers something of value for this client. Ideally, we can find the first deliverable and extend it to the final product with them.
With this much smaller project, our client doesn't need to commit to a huge amount of money before they know how we are working and what they can expect if they work with us.
If they agree on the small project, the next steps are in our hands. We mostly plan for something that we can deliver in a shorter time frame than promised and also exceed their expectations. We might add an additional feature that we find useful or make it look better than they expect.
This first deliverable is our chance to build trust - and that is exactly what we want to do. If we can build trust and be helpful, there is no reason why they shouldn't build bigger projects with us.
That said, we rarely take new clients and stick with the ones we already have. Since we decided not to grow and stay a small company, we have built strong relationships and keep our clients happy. This brings in a steady stream of revenue and creates a high trust and low-pressure environment where everyone has the same goals. It leads to continuously extended contracts where our revenue is simply enough.
So, build trust and keep your clients happy.
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