One of the most important things you can do to deter customers from working with you is to display incongruence in how you appear, what you say and how you behave.
Incongruence is a common mistake that many business people make without even noticing that they are doing so. When meeting with a client, your image and brand is important. If you are appear professional and then the next meeting appear unkempt, the inconsistency can minimally cause one to feel unease and often can be a cause of distrust.
Your words are your promise and your brand. For example, if you offer services as pre-priced, packaged deals, make sure all price quotes reflect this. If some services are sold individually, a better way of communicating cost would be to offer several packages of various prices, so customers can select the package that suits them best based on their needs.
If you are using information to back your business strategies or products, make certain the research is well-documented and publicly published. Check the source. We have all been surprised to find something we may have believed to be true, in fact was not. With many electronic sources at our fingertips, with due diligence, we can verify conflicting reports.
Be sure of the accuracy of the information you share and don’t contradict yourself. Before you make any public statement about your business—whether on your website, in your newsletter or at a press conference—reread what you have written in the past to make sure that all your messages are in sync. This can help ensure you never have to make embarrassing explanations about a verbal slip-up.
Finally, your actions will be believed over your words. If you make a promise to do something, you must follow through. We must also be aware of our behaviors when we are “off the job”. Due to the craze in self pics and posting to social media, your reputation is always at stake.
Consistency and congruence in your image, words and behaviors will build a positive reputation and promote your trustworthiness.