Having been self-employed for only 2 months, I am ready to share the most important lesson I learned so far.
People work with you because they believe in you. They believe that you can get the job done, and that you won’t leave them in the rain when things get tricky. They trust you!
Building up a trusting relationship takes time. However, this time is well invested. As you build up business relationships based on mutual trust and respect, you create recurring income and guaranteed business for the future.
Following a few simple principles helps you greatly here:
- Treat your customers with respect. When you say that you deliver something at a certain time, then do it. Be punctual. Deliver on time.
- Care about your customers. They don’t hire you for fun. Most likely, they have an important project that depends on your work. For some, their very existence depends on your work. Show them that you are aware of that, and let them know that you have their back, no matter what happens.
- Keep the human factor in your business. Don’t depend too much on automation. Your customers realize right away when you start seeing them as a business metric, vs. a person/entity that needs your help and expertise. Ever been on hold for more than 30 minutes, hearing a computerized voice telling you that you are important to them? You don’t buy that, do you?