How to Build – and Keep – A Client’s Trust

To earn and maintain your clients’ trust, take this advice from Albert Einstein: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Whether it’s closing a big business deal that everyone can see, or taking care of a small detail that might go unnoticed, it’s important to do your best for your client every single time.

In any relationship — business or personal — trust doesn’t happen immediately, it’s earned over time. Building a track record of doing exactly what you say you’re going to do, with honesty and transparency, sends the message that you’re trustworthy.

Trust may be hard to achieve, but once you have it, it’s priceless. That’s why it’s crucial that trust is established early — and then maintained — throughout any client relationship. But how can you make that happen?

Here’s our list of do’s and don’ts for building trust with clients:


  • Listen to what your clients’ needs are. We mean really listen. Make sure you’re on the same page with what THEY want from you vs. what you may want FOR them.
  • Tell them the truth. About them, about you, about their competition. If they’re paying you to improve their image, enhance their website or upgrade their marketing materials, you may have to share opinions that will be hard for them to hear. But sugarcoating isn’t what they need from you.
  • Keep the dialogue open. Make a commitment to open, two-way communication. An honest flow of ideas, feedback and questions will help strengthen your relationship.


  • Lie to them. Big or small, it’s never worth your reputation.
  • Shield them from the truth. It’s better that YOU are the bearer of bad news instead of the media and the general public.
  • Tell them what they want to hear. It’s your job to tell them what they NEED to hear.

Be vigilant about doing all the things — large and small — that let your clients know they can trust you. Never lose sight of this because, as billionaire investor Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

This blog was originally published in March of 2017. It has been updated and republished.

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