Have you asked yourself ‘How do I get my clients to trust me better?’ For a successful consulting experience, you’ll need two pre-requisite traits:
- A healthy pursuit of a ‘better way’ to do things
- And a receptivity to learning and unlearning
There are several reasons why clients don’t trust marketing consultants. As an outsider, it might be challenging to win them over as soon as you’ve signed a deal. It’s going to take time, effort, results, and consistent work. Thanks to the pandemic, there’s been a shift to remote and hybrid work, downsizing, and outsourcing. If they’ve hired you, that’s already half the job done. As a marketing consultant, you’ll need more than data, technology, budgets, goals, and spreadsheets. You’ll need people to trust you, be adaptive, flexible, and upskill. Here’s how to do it.
5 Ways to build trust as a marketing consultant
1.Remember you’re an outsider.
Leading from bottom to top is a romantic and intuitive idea. But it’s nearly impossible as an outsider. Besides, the top-bottom approach can help you earn trust faster. You establish a common purpose, show knowledge and competence, and the rest is EQ. That way, the relational dynamics are simple, direct, and clear.
One question to ask yourself: Who are they and what do they want from me.
2.Get on the same page.
Be open to questions, allow them access to your unique experience and know-how, build relationships through communication. Getting on the same page will need the knowledge and processes to become democratized and showing them your commitment. There would be fewer assumptions or excuses made, work gets done, and you can wrap up projects in good time.
One question to ask yourself: How can I approach this with connectedness?
It’s easy to get carried away with every wind of a trend when you’re in a pandemic. Besides, the boundaries between life and work, the personal and the professional are blurry today. And firefighting is not uncommon. If you need a team to work with you, you’ll need to iron out some of these distractions.
One question to ask yourself: What is the one thing the team can focus on today and what can wait?
4.Double down on value.
Doubling down on value may include items off the agenda. Mentor them through a problem and show them how to solve other similar problems. You may also offer a free training program for junior or mid-management in their company so they may rise to the occasion next time around. While this may not be part of your job, it would certainly earn loyalty and make them come back to you.
One question to ask yourself: What is some complementary knowledge that I can teach the team?
5.Control what you can.
The organization has likely had previous experience with other consulting marketers in the past. People with more experience, talent, or networks. In this case, your social media presence, personal brand voice, and successful projects speak for you. They are crucial channels to articulate your capabilities and stay on top of their minds.
One question to ask yourself: What is one thing in my control that I can change for the better?
6.Facilitate mutual mentorship
Mutual mentorship programs can do wonders for your brand. Research shows that it is crucial for innovation and the values for inclusion and diversity. A lot has changed with the onset of the post-pandemic gig economy culture. It allows for the freshness of skills, team culture, trust, and competitive edge.
One question to ask yourself: How can I be mentored today?
Research on what makes an effective team attributes success to hard success metrics and more nuanced qualitative values. They are psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.
The road to leadership trust when your consulting is best done with clarity of purpose, communication, skill, and connection. The best problems you solve may not be the project itself. It might be facilitating client learning and permanently improving the effectiveness of their marketing team.