Building Client Trust

Sales & Marketing


“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou  

The relationship between company and client is of the utmost importance when it comes to business. Successful brands thrive on meaningful correspondences with consumers. In fact, according to a report from Microsoft, 90% of Americans identify customer service as a deciding factor in whether or not to do business with a company. 

These local business owners and brand representatives share what they’ve learned about building successful relationships with clients and partners.  


Shawanda Mason (Above)

Co-Founder, The Chattery

For us at The Chattery, it’s all about consistent communication. I think we’ve done a great job at getting to know our audience and talking to them. We’ve established trust by not only sharing important updates about our business but by being transparent about the ins and outs of how we run it. To put it simply, we let our customers (who we refer to as students) see the good, bad, and ugly of starting and running a business. When starting any company, you’re constantly building your brand and teaching others about what you do and why you do it. You’re essentially always building trust.

Gable Eaton headshot

Gable Eaton

Founder, TeqTouch

Under-promise and over-deliver. Working from this paradigm, I am able to deliver consistently. Being consistent is the same as being dependable, and dependability is the basis for trust. Getting my product to my customers before they expect it builds that trust. In any industry, we are supplying our clients with something they need that is most likely just a part of a bigger piece. So, when I consistently deliver without fail and earlier than promised, the pain point that my product addresses is removed from my client’s tier of issues.



Erik Zilen headshotErik Zilen

Owner/Head Baker, Niedlov’s Bakery & Café

Like other relationships, I believe trust is built on honesty and vulnerability. For example, when our bakery makes a mistake or falls short, we want to own it and look honestly at our failures. This provides clarity and trust for our clients and also helps us see areas where we can improve. Humility is always tough to own. However, I believe it’s often where authentic trust happens. We take great care in striving for that perfect loaf of artisan bread and pastry. This is what inspires us, but the real joy comes in sharing our craft with our community. We never take their appreciation for granted. 

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Zane Smith headshot

Zane Smith

VP of Sales, Trident Transport

Trust begins and ends with communication. The easiest thing in the world is delivering good news. Delivering bad news, although incredibly difficult, provides an opportunity to build trust with a client by relaying the information in the same manner and timeframe as one would deliver good news. Trust can take a long time to build and only moments to break. It’s important to realize that there is no trust without transparency. It’s not something that exists without being earned. Trust leads to loyalty. Once trust has been built and maintained, it creates loyal followers. While trust is the foundation, loyalty is the cornerstone of a lasting business relationship.



Jim McKenzie headshot

Jim McKenzie

Market President, FirstBank 

At FirstBank, we strive to establish trust by showing genuine interest. Everyone’s situation is unique. Developing new relationships is a function of our team members being visible and active in our community and taking the time to really get to know people. When your aim is to be authentic and help other people get what they want, things usually work out well in developing new relationships. Warmth and caring still matter, even in our high-tech world. They may actually matter more than ever. Providing consultative advice is always our goal. We think all of this together creates raving fans.

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Lisa Nausley headshot

Lisa Nausley

Owner & CEO, Sandler Training

Building trust starts with disarming honesty, meaning you put the truth on the table, even when that may be in opposition to your own self-interest. To build and maintain trust, we must learn how to make others feel comfortable and safe sharing openly. As a generally accepted rule, people relate most easily to those who act and think like themselves. There is no way to determine how to help someone without learning the truth about their situation. Without trust, the truth will not be shared. Ultimately, we must produce results. When clients benefit from a successful business partnership with you, they want to continue that relationship. Their success must be the gauge by which you measure your own success. 



Chas Torrence headshot

Chas Torrence

Executive Vice President, EMJ Corporation

Our mission is to deliver an exceptional experience to our clients, partners, and colleagues. We work to establish trust by focusing on our clients’ construction experiences. We spend a great deal of time working to understand them and recognizing that each one is different. We know that with a deep understanding of what is most important to each client, our project teams will be able to work more efficiently and effectively. An exceptional client experience happens when our project teams deliver the activities that are important to our clients. This demonstrates to the client that their needs are important and that they are a priority to us. When this client-focused approach is applied, remarkable experiences unfold and long-term partnerships develop.

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Shevonda Sherrow headshot

Shevonda Sherrow, MD

Founder & Physician, Innovative Women’s Health Specialists

Relationships mean simply that: to relate to someone. I listen to my patients and their concerns. We approach treatment plans in phases so that they can be comfortable. The biggest problem is the overwhelming amount of information available to patients. The information is only good if you know how to apply it and if it applies to your circumstances. Having the time to educate my patients by giving tangible examples helps them ease fears. Trust has to be earned, even for the physician. If you show someone you are willing to meet them where they are, a trusting relationship will come.


Sean McDaniel headshot

Sean McDaniel

President & GM, Chattanooga Red Wolves

The No. 1 thing is to under-promise and over-deliver. When we do that, it shows an amount of satisfaction from those who have spent money to come to watch our games. We create loyal fans by leveraging the relationships we have with our season ticket holders. As we design our apparel, we include them in those decisions. We stay in one-on-one contact with those who have spent money to watch the Red Wolves play. We don’t just listen to them, but we act on what they want as fans. At the end of the day, the fans are our customers, and when the customers give us feedback, that’s how we know where we should act. 

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