No surprise that it takes a longer to get new clients than retain past ones. However, it is distressing how long it takes to get in sync with a prospect when you are both mature professionals. Are there any shortcuts?
There are not, nor should there be any "shortcuts." The process to build trust takes as long as it does because both parties need to get to a place where they are as comfortable as they need to be to do business. In the book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
, Greg Mortenson tells about the slow steady process in Baltistan (northern Pakistan) required to build trust. He relates a Baltistani proverb that says, "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time, you are an honored guest. The third time you become family." Maybe it takes more or less times than three times, but you still need to go from introduction to trusted advisor. Tip:
Getting to yes means making haste slowly. Be deliberate in the relationship development process, taking each step with specific outcomes in mind. How long do you think it will take for your prospect to think of you as family? © 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA