I've had the privilege of developing many amazing client relationships throughout my career. Often, the success of our business relationships stems from one key thing: trust. It seems like common sense since trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, but I've found that it's one that's often neglected in the business world. 

When you're pitching to a client, you're asking them to trust you before you've truly proven to them that you can do what you say you're capable of. This is the reason my company adheres so strictly to monthly dashboards and reporting. We want to show our clients that we're making progress, adhering to the process, and giving them results.

Just as trust is built between companies and marketing agencies, it's also built between you and your customers. Customer loyalty is the key to longevity and is critical to success. If you can't retain customers, you exhaust your resources by always trying to reach new ones. And oftentimes, if it's too complicated to engage with or understand your business or product, these new customers will drop out of the funnel.

Here are a few key ways that you can keep communication simple and build trust with your customers. 

Join the team.

It's one thing to approach the table as an expert--it's another thing to position yourself as a teammate. This is done to great effect through active listening and collaboration. No matter your industry, building a partnership with your client deepens your trust in one another and makes them more likely to want to work with you again. For example, the consultant company Success Financial Team does just that. While providing consultation services for other businesses, they aim to approach each project like they're a part of the team and constantly assess the impact of their solutions on their client's business. In theory, this enables them to determine what's working and what isn't so they can pivot as needed. They work this flexible mindset into their strategy and are open about it with their clients so that when pivots are needed, they can speak transparently as dedicated teammates.

Expressing that you are "on their team" in your language and your passion sets the stage for clearer communication and comradery. Plus, setting accurate expectations from the start will help your teammates know that they can trust you.  

Make complex topics simple.

They say a true sign of intelligence is being able to explain complex concepts in a simple way. The same applies to running a business. Consider Ceratizit, a technology engineering company specializing in cutting tools and hard material solutions. Ceratizit focused its marketing efforts to keep things as simple as possible since the best way to communicate with their audience is by meeting them at their level--explaining the high-tech concepts in simple terms and only diving into the nuts and bolts if the customer asks them to.

If you're overcomplicating things, you're likely overwhelming your customers. People are too busy these days to try to figure out confusing or complex information when making an important purchasing decision. It's better to dive into the nuts and bolts when a customer is further along in the buying cycle and is ready to see how your application is an ideal fit for their specific needs.

What's most important is that customers find a new solution that helps them be efficient and productive. Take the time to help your customers easily understand your business and what you're offering. This builds relational equity and I've found it pays significant dividends in the long run.

Stay sensitive to your subject matter.

If your company deals with sensitive subject matter, take this into consideration when you're drafting materials for customer outreach and marketing. 

One company that I think does an excellent job of cultivating trust through their communication is  AEC Alarms, a security system solutions company in Silicon Valley. When you're dealing with something like home security, the way you speak to your clients is essential. AEC Alarms' clients are quite literally trusting them with their home and personal safety--and the company develops all of their marketing materials with this in mind. Instead of turning to fear-mongering tactics, AEC builds trust by helping its clients understand how security systems work and providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision. Customers want to feel empowered to make choices about their safety and security--AEC Alarms understands this and acts as the trustworthy partner to support that empowerment. 

When clients trust you, they are more likely to do business with you. It's as simple as that. The best way to cultivate that trust is through your communication. Set accurate expectations, join the team, make the complexities of your business simple and understandable, and make sure you are sensitive and tactful. Communicating in a way that fosters trust leads to greater engagement rates and increased sales--a must for any business looking to compete as we move into 2022.