Tag Archives: reliability

Encore! 3 Keys to Creating Trust with Potential Clients.

A key factor in whether potential clients will hire us as personal historians is trust. But how to build trust in an introductory meeting?…Read more.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

More gems in this Monday’s Link Roundup. As someone who lived and worked in Ghana for two years, I was drawn to this article, In Africa, the Art of Listening.  I highly recommend it. Another story that touches close to home is Mourning in a Digital Age. How do we find new mourning rituals in a world that is increasingly secular? And for those of you looking for online time tracking, take a serious look at Paymo. I did and was impressed.

  • The 10 Most Expensive Books in the World. “To help you brush up on your knowledge of the very old and very valuable, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most expensive books ever sold — no white gloves necessary. Click through for an overview, and then head upstairs to check your attics for any forgotten dusty tomes — you could be a millionaire and not even know it.”
  • Supreme Court rules Congress can re-copyright public domain works. “Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”
  • How Film Was Made: A Kodak Nostalgia Moment. “Before pixels there were silver halide crystals, and before memory cards, film. Little yellow boxes cluttered the lives of photographers everywhere, and the Eastman Kodak Company was virtually synonymous with photography…To indulge this nostalgia–and perhaps learn something new about an old technology–we offer a fascinating 1958 documentary from Kodak entitled How Film is Made.”
  • Paymo.  “I thought you might like to know about a software package that has really changed the way we keep track of our time and bill our clients. I have no affiliation whatsoever with this company, but it has made such a difference in our organizational habits that I think it would be great for other personal historians…Before Paymo, … trying to keep track of how we spent our time was a nightmare…Now we have a Paymo widget on our desktop computer (Mac and PC), in which we can click on the project we are working on, hit the Start button, and go…The report functionality is amazing – you can look at your data from almost any conceivable angle and get a clear picture of how you are spending your time and how much money you are making.” [Thanks to Alison Armstrong Taylor of pictures and stories for suggesting this item.]
  • The story of the self. “Our ability to remember forms the basis of who we are and is a psychological trick that fascinates cognitive scientists. But how reliable are our memories?”
  • In Africa, the Art of Listening. “What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats — and they in turn can listen to ours. Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening. So if I am right that we are storytelling creatures, and as long as we permit ourselves to be quiet for a while now and then, the eternal narrative will continue.” [Thanks to April Bell of Tree of Life Legacies  for alerting me to this item.]
  • Mourning in a Digital Age. “Grieving has been largely guided by religious communities, … Today, with religiosity in decline, families dispersed and the pace of life feeling quickened, these elaborate, carefully staged mourning rituals are less and less common. Old customs no longer apply, yet new ones have yet to materialize.”

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3 Keys to Creating Trust with Potential Clients.

Here’s a shocker! I was reading that a CBS News/New York Times Poll revealed only 30% of respondents believed people in general are trustworthy. Not surprising perhaps but disillusioning.

But all’s not lost. When a  similar group was asked,“What percent of people that you know are trustworthy?”  the response jumped to 70%.  Clearly knowing someone makes a big difference. The more people get to know us, the higher the level of trust. It makes sense.

A key factor in whether potential clients will hire us as personal historians is trust. But how to build trust in an introductory meeting?

I turned to The Oxford Dictionary for help. It defines trust as: a  firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. If we take each of these components of trust, they provide clues to building rapport with a new client.

Reliability

Reliability begins with the simplest of acts – showing up on time for your meeting. Nothing kills  reliability more than changing an already fixed appointment date or showing up late or early.

It also helps if you’ve been in business for a few years, have a track record,  and have a set of glowing testimonials.

Avoid being needy. It reeks of desperation and raises questions about the health of your business. No one wants to sign a contract with someone who’s about to go under.

Truth

Refrain from being somebody you’re not. People can smell phoniness.  You don’t have to adopt a “marketing”  persona or be over solicitous.  Go into your meeting with a new client confident, friendly, and mindful. That’s it, nothing more.

Forgo trying to be all things to all people. For example, if your specialty is producing video biographies, don’t “fudge” things by selling yourself as a book specialist in hopes of  getting the job. You won’t sound convincing. It’s better to recommend a colleague whose expertise is print. You’ll win points for being honest. While you might lose the contract, your good name will spread in the community. And that matters.

We all expect straight answers. Your clients are no different. Questions about your fees, expertise, years of experience, and the time to complete a personal history need to be answered  without obfuscation.

Ability

If you’re new to personal histories, you may have little to show prospective clients. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t highlight your previous experience to establish your proficiency.  For example, print and video editing, interviewing, counseling, radio and film producing all require skills that come to play in producing a print or video life story.

Regardless of the number of years  experience, you want to display your interviewing expertise from the moment you meet your prospective client. If you’re friendly, curious, attentive, and  non-judgmental, then you’ll have modeled  good interviewing skills. This is subtle “selling” but it works in establishing trust and rapport.

Photo by iStockphoto

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