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Openness, transparency and trust

I was talking recently to a wonderful HR professional who is strongly considering launching a business with us during next year, and like many others I talk to, she has also had conversations with some of our competitors.

Sometimes people are a bit apologetic about having done this – not on this occasion but it does happen. Which is completely unnecessary, because exploring the competition to make sure you are choosing the right franchise for you is so important – probably one of the biggest factors in your success really, and I genuinely actively encourage it. We’re asking people to make a big commitment, financially and in terms of their life, so making sure it’s the right choice is crucial.

Sometimes people give me feedback about why they are either choosing to go with us, or, in some cases, choose to go it alone but are keen to let me know they would have gone with us rather than one of the others if they’d opted for a franchise at all.

Feedback is always nice, obviously, because it reinforces that we’re doing the right things, and that we are communicating what we are all about effectively. In this case the feedback was about transparency and openness, and the big difference that made to trust.

One of the things new potential consultants usually ask me is for an idea of earnings. Quite reasonable, especially if they are looking to leave a permanent salaried role to do this. They want to know things like how soon will they get clients, how soon will they have regular income, and how much can they earn.

It would be very easy to either over-egg this stuff, or to be vague about it. But my philosophy is that I am asking people to trust me enough to decide to work with me for a significant period, and to invest in face2faceHR to support them in their consultancy journey. So openness, transparency and most importantly, realism about earnings are really key as far as I’m concerned. The feedback I had from this particular HR professional was that our competitors were vague when pressed on this, and she liked my realism and honesty.

In our prospectus we give some projections and averages (including consultants who work very part time) based on actual real figures, not taking the best and emphasising those.  And when it comes to how soon it all starts coming together, when I’m talking to a potential new consultant I try and be as realistic as possible.

If I promise they’ll be making plenty by month three and then they’re not, that undermines the trust. So I’m open, honest, realistic and transparent, which means potential consultants trust me, can make a realistic decision about whether/when to go ahead with launching a consultancy (whether it’s with us or not), and the relationship is on a good footing from the start.

 

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