4 Trust Building Habits
Last week, I was pondering the importance of trust and relationships. My company, Peak Business Valuation, began operations in August of 2018. All the relationships that were previously established underneath my prior company’s brand vanished overnight. Relationships moving forward would have to be created from an initial cold call or LinkedIn message. With this daunting task in mind, I sought out a framework that I would abide by to build trust and firm relationships with my target market.
To better understand these principles, I should prefix that my target market is SBA Lenders at banks. The reason being, is Peak Business Valuation, works with Banks to provide a third-party opinion on the value of a business for purpose of issuing an SBA 7(a) Loan. According to SBA SOP 50-10 5(J).IV(E), “an accurate business valuation is required because the change in ownership will result in new debt unrelated to business operations and potentially the creation of intangible assets”. Currently, these SBA bank lenders work with vendors, whom they trust and have an established on-going business relationship.
My four principles for building trust and strengthening business relationships:
- Be Open About Your Motives and Goals
During the past two months, I have spoken with dozens of SBA bank lenders about their roles and how Peak Business Valuation could better serve them. Through these conversations, I have learned the important of silence and listening. Not only is it important to discuss my motive, but the ultimate goal of the phone call is initiating a relationship. As such, listening is key.
By understanding a little bit more about their role at the bank, I am better able to ask questions. However, I have noticed that each SBA bank lender is human, so I ask personal questions that fall outside their line of work. These questions, more likely than not, solidify the connection and have a better conversion rate than calls that do stick strictly to business.
Being clear upfront about your motives and goals after some casual conversation has proved to be worthwhile. Reason being, at the end of the day each person realizes that we are working to make a living. In each of these conversations, I have made it a goal to seek out their goals prior to jumping into my goals and motivation. If I can help in any way to make that individual succeed, I will do it because ultimately, it will lead to a stronger and more trustworthy relationships that eventually will lead to work-related engagements.
How can you change the way you interact with those around you?
- Be an Expert
Yet again, I have learned in the past two months that being viewed as an expert takes time and patience. One is viewed as an expert through work product and client testimonials. As a young company, Peak Business Valuation is working on building trust first and being considered an expert second. If a particular SBA bank lender places trust in someone like me, an opportunity may arise that enables me to show that Peak Business Valuation is indeed an expert.
You may be asking how does being an expert build trust.
It is not enough to have 5+ years of experience within finance and accounting or the following the credentials Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Accredited Business Valuation (ABV) to be considered an expert. The individuals in my life that I view as experts have a lot in common, but one attribute sets them apart. They serve first! Whether their service is expressed through free content, a phone call or product, they are all looking for a way to give back to those around them. Gary Vaynerchuk identified three characteristics: “commitment to service, a desire to provide value and a love for teaching”. It is through these characteristics I will judge myself by before I claim the title “expert”.
- Sincerely Interact with People
If you did not read, bullet point number 1, go back and read because the points stated correspond with being sincere in one’s interaction with people. Rather than repeating, I want to focus on an area of sincere interaction that is sometimes overlooked. Being responsive. Responsiveness has always been a strength of mine.
Being responsive is a key quality that I make each SBA bank lender aware of. I have noticed over the course of my career that it is easy to accidentally neglect responding to an email or a phone call. As such, our promise is to respond within 24 hours of initial contact.
What can you do to become more responsive?
- Think in Terms of Win-Win
From the initial contact to the end of an engagement, recognize that trust is beneficial for both parties involved in the relationship.
Business relationships are not a zero-sum game. For instance, within my line of work, I have identified ways to create a more advantageous win-win for the SBA bank lender. Ultimately, the SBA bank lender has a desire to close loans. The only way to make the loan process much quicker, is to delivery our engaged work product faster. The average turnaround time in my industry is around 10 business days. My company, Peak Business Valuation, guarantees a 4-5 business day turnaround. Shortening the delivery cycle will result in banks being able to close on a loan in some cases, a week early, which results in both the lender and borrower being pleased with the service. That is a win-win-win scenario.
The other elastic part of my business model is pricing. Designing a win-win scenario for pricing can be difficult, but I have taken the lessons learned over the years to develop tiered pricing that is beneficial to everyone. By understanding your target market, you are more qualified to explore price sensitivity. For more information, refer to https://peakbusinessvaluation.com/services/.
Describe your ideal Win-Win scenario?
My goal with this article is to document lessons learned on my journey. I hope that you can adopt and implement some of these principles. Lastly, I want to build firm relationships with SBA bank lenders and show that quality service is my company’s policy.
Contact us for more information:
Ryan Hutchins, CPA/ABVSchedule Your Free Consultation Today!