When we at WPG protect our clients, we first built trust. This is true, especially for those from another country. There will always be cultural differences and trust issues. Right now, the US is in a trade war with China, so there’s already a lack of trust that Chinese billionaires have when visiting the states.
Trust doesn’t always come easy. It builds over a while if done right. When we start interacting and working with high-net-worth individuals from China, building trust is the most critical part of our initial stages of protection. They have to trust us, and everything that we’re doing is for their best interest in protecting their privacy, confidentiality, and of course, their physical wellbeing.
Let’s face it; some foreign countries and the residents don’t like Americans. We are known for being arrogant and ignorant when it comes to other cultures. We don’t let that reputation reflect how we protect our Chinese clients.
Foreign clients want to see your real character before they will trust you. You wouldn’t want the people protecting you from being inappropriate, arrogant, and not understand their culture or the way they do business.
Building trust is all about respecting our client’s culture. Learning about another person’s culture and the way they do certain things, from taking off your shoes before entering a house or not taking off your shoes, will affect the way they see you and ultimately trust you.
To get an understanding of someone’s culture, all it takes is some research, and we don’t mean watching a sit-com on television. We suggest finding valuable and accurate information about their country culture and following those principles. Not only will this impress them, but it will open them up to trust you more.
Mutual respect is equally important when it comes to building trust. By learning about someone else’s culture and the way they do business, you are showing them that you respect them. They will then be more comfortable with your ability to protect them.
Why is Trust Necessary?
Trust is necessary when it comes to protection. Ultimately, to protect someone, they have to trust you to do your job. Otherwise, you might end up with a client who tries to tell you how to do your job. When that happens, it’s more complicated for us to do our job. Building trust provides less pushback from the clients and makes them more comfortable and trusting in our ability to keep them safe in a place where they might not feel safe.
For example, if we have a Chinese billionaire client who doesn’t trust us as people, they won’t trust us to protect them. When that trust is gone is when the real danger begins. They may end up telling us to stand in a particular position, which would put them in harm’s way. They may also not follow our directions when it comes to keeping themselves anonymous because they don’t trust anything we say.
Our agents are trained to stand their ground since they are the experts and would never intentionally put a client in harm’s way. However, when that client begins to question us, the experience becomes less than pleasant for everyone, which can make the client feel even less safe than before. We never want that.
What the Other Guys Do
You’ve heard of bodyguards and even seen them on television standing next to a billionaire or celebrity looking tough with their arms crossed. These are not executive protection agents. The other guys only care about themselves.
They will not build trust with the client, learn about their culture, and may even be offensive with or without knowing it. This can be dangerous because if the trust is never built, the client can be easily put in harm’s way.
Because China is a superpower, the clients understand that Americans may see them as a threat, so they are already coming into the US with zero trust and probably a little fear.
Untrained bodyguards may post on social media about their clients, putting their location up for the entire world to see. This can make their clients a target for attack. Not to mention, the other guys just aren’t trained enough to know better. They don’t have our extensive knowledge of different cultures, business, or customer service.
WPG Builds Trust
Our clients, their safety, and privacy are our primary concerns. We know that to protect our Chinese clients effectively, we have to understand them and show them respect. We learn about their culture if we don’t already know about it so that we never offend or act in a way that would lead to them not trusting us.
Building trust between us and any client is one of the most critical aspects of our job. If our clients don’t trust us, they won’t listen to our advice and won’t follow the proper precautions that keep them save. Ultimately, this lands back on us. If a client doesn’t trust us and doesn’t listen to us, they could get hurt in some way. That responsibility will always land on the agents unable to protect him or her, something that we want to avoid at all costs.