I am sorry but I need to get something off my chest today. It’s been bugging me for ages and yesterday was just the last straw!A new supplier who promised me he would do something let me down, yet again. When we first started working together he couldn’t be more helpful. One month in, I am having to chase him to do simple stuff we agreed and confirmed.

He has demonstrated through his repeated actions that I can’t trust him to do what he says. In short, he has become unreliable. If you are in the business of providing B2B services it is a big problem.

Sadly he will soon be an ex-supplier. I like him as a person but I cannot trust him to do what he says.

The concerning thing is that this is not a one-off example. Recently I have had several suppliers who have become very unreliable. And it’s not just me. I have asked around my close contacts and they are finding something very similar. Anyone would think that the recession was over!

Words are cheap. – very cheap. People don’t trust you based on what you say. They trust you when you do what you say on a consistent basis.

If you want to be seen as a trusted supplier, let alone a trusted advisor, then at the very least:

Deliver on promises made during the sale
Deliver on free bonuses and make sure they live up to expectations
Make sure service levels are consistent and live up to expectations
Call when you say you will
Do things when you say you will

Finding new clients takes time, effort, and money. What is the point of winning a new client only to lose them again because you lose their trust? You can be sure the only word-of-mouth advertising going on will be negative – clients talking about how they have been let down.

This is all business 101 and I am sure you have no issues here…. but it’s worth checking just to be sure. I shall be checking myself and making sure my house is in order too :-)

Take a look at the sales messages you use (whether written or verbal) to attract clients and win the sale. Also look at your post sales processes and communication.

If you think that you might have an issue there then please, please, please sort it out first, before you apologise to clients. If you apologise and then do nothing about it you will just reinforce the problems and make it all 10 times worse!