Trust is hard to get and easy to lose.
Do you have kids? I do. And without getting all emotional and teary eyed, I will tell you that if you ask me about my 'why' it will always point back to them. I think most parents can relate to this. You just want to make the world a better place for them. Now think about who you would trust to take care of your child if you had to be away from them. Pretty short list right?
Do you own your own business? Does it help to clothe, shelter, feed and create a future for your family? Mine does and so do most of my clients. When I think about the risks to my family's future and who I trust to help me grow my business is very much like the same trust I would have in someone who I left the care of my kids to.
I realized this recently when my husband and I visited a friend and they asked us if their 16 year old daughter could stay with us. They had to travel for work for the next 6-8 months and didn't have family nearby that she could stay with. She is in her junior year and taking all AP classes including pre-calculus and triganometry and didn't want to change her classes or miss out on her junior year with her friends. I was awestruck and immediately humbled. They were trusting me with their 16 year old daughter? What did I do to deserve such trust? (and I hoped she didn't need a lot of help with her trig homework...)
With clients, the trust they place in me is worth more to me than they could ever pay me in dollars (lucky for them right?). Some have asked me whether or not to hire (or fire) a certain sales or marketing person, or if they should pursue certain partnerships, or as one client said "I trust you with my credit card." Most rely on me to teach them how to grow their business themselves. After all, their business is what is supporting them and their families.
So what you are trusting your inbound consultant with? Is your business like your child? What criteria should you use to find the right inbound consultant for your business?
The Inbound Consultant Trust Test
Is your inbound consultant trust worthy? Here's a short list of what I would look for:
- Do they practice what they preach? How often do they blog? Are they engaging on social media or are they too self-promotional? How robust and updated is their Linkedin profile?
- Do others sing their praises? How many recommendations do they have on Linkedin? What do others say about them on social media?
- Do they believe in continous education? For themselves; How do they keep their skills current? Who were their mentors? For you; are they a teacher and coach, or do they make your rely on them?
- Do they have a process they follow to get results? Or are they winging it as they go? What can you expect from them once you agree to work together? What will they expect of you?
- Are they accountable? To a number? Do they show up on time for calls and appointments? Do they do what they say they would when they said they would do it?
Do you have an inbound consultant who passes this test? Are you an inbound consultant and have a few things to add to the trust test list? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.