Trust and Temptation
Trust is one of the hardest things to earn in business and one of the easiest things to lose. Trust means having confidence in the business or salesperson. Trust comes from honesty and integrity. When we trust a company and their policies, we are willing to pay more for the product because we TRUST them.
Lie to a customer and you lose that customer for life. Trust management is what is really called Brand Management. A brand is what a customer thinks about us. It is trust in a graphic. A brand is the customer’s level of confidence. It’s what we associate with when we think about a company.
Let me give you some examples of the effects of trust, but first, let me share the inspiration for this article. I was recently chatting to a retired sales professional. He went from sales to sales management and beyond. Speaking about his favorite topic… sales.
So I asked him what were the three most important things someone should know about selling. He didn’t hesitate for an instant and answered:
He said it's the difference in making your job easy or hard. If you have those three elements, your sales increase naturally. He is right on target. Let me prove it.
I recently needed to hire a flooring company to install and remodel an outside patio floor. I had a good conversation with the company on the phone. We set up an appointment and he gave us three names of his most recent jobs in my area. We called the people up to see his work.
The workmanship was great but all three references raved about their professionalism and the work crew that actually did the work. By the time the salesman got to the house I WAS A SLAM DUNK for him.
WHY? Because I trusted him. I had confidence in him. I am sure I paid more and I don’t care. I am a very happy customer and he really hasn’t done anything other than show up.
The next story is not as happy as the first one. I was negotiating with another publisher to merge a part of my business. I liked him and trusted him until he sent me a copy of the preliminary agreement.
I got an agreement that referred to putting my business in a religious trust. My first reaction was that was not ethical and I wanted nothing to do with it. I did research online about tax-exempt companies like that and I just wanted to run away from any type of deal because it just isn’t right.
I wrote back immediately saying to end all of the negotiations only to find out he used a legal template that happened to be a religious one. It was all one big misunderstanding and embarrassment from the other party.
The problem is that the trust that was built up during negotiations was thrown out the window with an error like that. I now have to check and recheck everything he sends because that trust was seriously tarnished.
Finally, we do business with a nursery and landscape company that we LOVE. He is creative, innovative, price competitive and very personable, BUT I can never refer anyone to him again.
Because he doesn’t return a phone call and NEVER follows up on a new lead. I can’t trust him anymore. It is just a matter of trust. That’s all.
So, are you trustworthy? Do you try to take shortcuts? What would your customers say about you? After all isn’t that where word of mouth advertising begins? Have them trust you first. (Of course being liked is equally as important. But let’s save that for another day.)