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Nicci’s Call: Do you dare to be Transparent?

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

Being honest builds trust, telling lies destroys trust.

Obvious, isn’t it? But are you completely transparent and truthful with your clients all of the time?

“Do you share your pricing and business model up front and openly on your website?”

Or do you still operate with small print clauses that are only revealed once the contract is signed? Do you tell white lies to spare your clients feelings? Do you under promise and over deliver to make you look better when in fact you know what the delivery date is going to be?

Transparency

‘Transparency’ is a buzz word that is being used more and more these days, especially in business and in politics. Most of the time people associate transparency with the practice of being honest and open about their operations, e.g. being  upfront about their income and outgoings, their funding sources and expenses, their supply chain and their working conditions.

In this sense, Transparency is part of a system of checks and balances to ensure corporate social responsibility.

But I believe there’s another dimension to Transparency. It’s not just about being honest so we can prove we’re not dis-honest. True Transparency is something much more positive and expansive, it’s about putting your client first and sharing the journey with them, being open partners. The reward is honesty back from the clients, a better understanding of their real needs and a higher chance of working together.

“However fear can prevent us from being totally transparent”

Dynamo

Dynamo profiles may fear that they will lose their competitive edge if they share their ideas with their clients. They may not fully demonstrate the value they can give their clients and hold back because they fear the client will cherry pick the best ideas and then turn to a competitor to deliver them. However if they were to be generous with their ideas and transparent about how much consultation you get up front and clear about what added benefits you get  from being a paid client, they are more likely to secure that business.

Blaze

Blaze profiles may fear that by giving away their secrets people will think differently of them and not respect them, e.g. if they share any aspects of their products or services that are not right for the client. They may hide any aspects of the business that are not suitable for the client, telling white lies to make the client feel good about their purchase. But it is precisely because of their honesty and putting the clients’ needs first by being open and telling them which of their products and services fit their clients’ needs and which don’t that means their clients and prospects are likely to respect them, trust them as their advisor’s and work with them.

Tempo

Tempo profiles in wanting to be seen to deliver a great service may under promise and over deliver, may give more bonuses than originally declared. This may seem a good thing but it is still not transparent. The client won’t know where they stand, won’t trust your next declaration and assume the delivery will be earlier and the service will have even more added extras again. So you set yourself up for disappointment or confusion down the line. Better to be completely candid and tell the client the same information you have and share any changes along the way.

Steel

Steel profiles may fear losing control of the sale. Pricing, negotiating, all become a game with the fear on both sides of not getting the best deal or not getting a fair deal. Creating contracts together side by side, being honest about margins and restrictions is far more likely to not only get the business but keep the business for a long time.

Transparency is scary as it goes straight to the heart of buyer centric trusted selling rather than seller-centric. Do you dare to be transparent?

Let me know what you think.  What stops you being transparent or how you dare to be transparent?

Email: niccibonfanti(at)btinternet(dot)com
Mobile: +44 77 34361923
Follow Nicci on Twitter: @NicciBonf

2 Responses to Nicci’s Call: Do you dare to be Transparent?

  1. I really related to this Nicci, and recognised myself in this Tempo description. A useful reminder to say exactly what it is I deliver – and stick to it! Not only is that great for my clients (they know what they will get), but good for me too as I can ensure I am consistent in my service and also pricing. Thanks 🙂

    • Nicola Bonfanti says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Julia. It can be a weight off your shoulders when you realise that you don’t have to play the so-called business or marketing games and can just be straight with your clients. Much harder for competitors to replicate that and likelier to get a much more favourable response from the prospects.

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