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How to Recover Professionally When the Client Just Didn't Trust You Losing a deal because the prospect got a better deal elsewhere is a small problem compared with losing the deal because they didn't want to do business with you.

By Eddy Ricci

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You will never hear a professional admit, "I am not trustworthy" but not every young professional succeeds in projecting trustworthiness to potential clients. When a young professional hears "no'' from a prospective, and can't determine why, it is necessary to determine if the client refused the deal because they didn't trust you.

There are four main reasons why people don't buy or want your help: no need, no money, no time or urgency and last but most perilously, no trust. Let's explore the "no" that is must hurtful to young professionals.

When someone doesn't buy because they have no trust in you as a professional, it risks long-term damage to your business. This damage is hard to undo because rarely will someone come out and say that the reason they aren't acting on a product or service is because of you.

Related: Seven Rules for Coping with Sales Rejection

A clear sign that you lost the deal to "no trust" is if the prospect later purchases the same product or service, for around the same price, from someone else. They obviously saw the need, had the money and made it a priority to act. There is no better opportunity to chow down on some humble pie than to ask the prospect why they chose not to do business with you. It will take some courage but it can provide the best feedback possible for your business. That feedback will allow you to get the proper coaching, mindset or attitude to capture future business. By doing this, it could revive a possible future interaction as well.

You need to investigate a bit further to determine if the "no trust'' is about not trusting your company or you personally. What are third party reviewers saying about your brand? You may be trustworthy but the company that is on your business card may not be in favor.

Trust in doing business really comes down to the prospect feeling you are competent, dependable and operate with a high level of integrity. If only two of these three characteristics show in your interactions, you are probably going to lose the business because of a "no trust" issue.

Related: Dealing With Rejection: 5 Ways to Turn a No Into a Yes

People can feel you are operating with integrity and are highly competent on your subject matter, but they aren't going to trust you if you lack dependability. If you have high integrity and are dependable, but don't know what you are talking about, that will negate trust.

The last one goes without saying. If you know your stuff and are dependable, but people feel you don't operate with integrity, then forget it. You'll never do business with them in the future. At least the other combinations won't completely tarnish you.

Young professionals should adopt a check list of trust-building questions to ask themselves if you hear "no" and you suspect it was due to a lack of trust.

  • Competency: Did I know what I was talking about? Did I make any informational or educational errors when explaining my company or service to the prospective client?
  • Dependability: Did I arrive on time? Did I promptly return phone calls and emails? Was my staff pleasant and prompt?
  • Integrity: Did I always act in the prospect's best interest? Is there anything I said or did that may have caused the prospect to doubt my integrity?

Personal development for young professionals is an ongoing process of self examination. You must always operate with impeccable integrity. Problems with competence and dependability can always be solved but there are no second chances for people perceived as lacking integrity.

Rejected: Rebound From Rejection

Eddy Ricci, CFP ® is a founder, author, leadership consultant, talent acquisition specialist and angel investor.   He empowers entrepreneurs, executives and professional service practitioners to upgrade their businesses, careers and lifestyles through leadership consulting, firm building and talent acquisition.  He is the author of The Growth Game: a millennials guide to professional development and Miss Money Plan and the battle against emotion, a superhero-themed financial literacy book for kids.    

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