The days when lip service was good enough to keep you in business are long gone. With the social media aspect of doing business becoming increasingly important and accessible, being truthful and trustworthy is a critical factor to ensure continuous success.
Many companies have historically focused on just topping up the funnel regardless of what comes out of the end and this could work as a strategy where price sensitivity is the main factor, no value-add is required and the product is simply a commodity. But in business to business purchasing and selling, people buy from people. If a person does not feel that they can trust the other party, then there isn’t going to be much longevity in the relationship.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why trust should become your new best friend.
Trust has always played a part in business, but with online access to information and relationships being commented on continuously via social media, the real truth of a company’s character will inevitably come out. The repercussions of getting on the wrong side of an affronted former customer base can be detrimental to any organisation.
People care about what other people think, so the conscientious buyer will seek out the positive and the negative comments and information being said about a company prior to making the final purchasing decision. A content customer is now more than ever willing to share with other people what they have experienced. The importance of encouraging positive feedback and behaviour should not be underestimated.
It is not all about what people say about you, it is also about who you know which can also send out signals of the level of trust other people already have in you. An endorsement from a person or a partner that is respected by their peers or colleagues goes a long way to fast track the level of trust placed in you.
How you approach getting to know someone will matter immensely at the start of the relationship. Regardless of the tools being used, such as phone, email, social media or face to face meetings, all these interactions will lay the foundation for gaining someone’s trust.
Actions speak louder than words
It might sound like a cliché but actions do speak louder than words, so delivering on your promises speaks volumes. Let’s face it, things might not always go according to plan but how you handle potentially delicate situations can even build upon your trustworthiness.
People can tell when they are being lied to, so why make a situation worse by not being truthful when something has gone wrong? The way in which you explain an issue will help increase trust in you.
So next time something doesn’t go according to plan, confess, explain what happened, rectify the situation and highlight what has been done to prevent it from happening again.
Easy to work with
No one wants to make things more difficult or complicated than they need to be as it will inevitably be incredibly frustrating and damage efficiency. No matter how good a relationship is, how great their reputation is or how honest and actionable someone is, if the execution and project delivery feels like a challenging obstacle course then this might not be the right fit.
Understanding who not to work with can be just as important, as eventually it will have an impact on how people regard you as a company, what is being said about you and how much time is being spent on trying to rectify something that just isn’t a good fit.
Regularly reviewing your processes and how easy they are to work with from a customer’s point of view, is something that should be done continuously and as objectively as possible.
Proof is in the pudding
The above is most certainly true, but every company must start somewhere so in the beginning there might not be any proof points to showcase. Here is where trust plays an even more important part. Someone is buying from you because you have gained their trust by how you act, what you say and the way in which you have told them their objectives will be delivered upon.
Being honest and truthful in how you interact with customers and prospect alike will be the critical factor that will keep the relationship going through both good and bad times. Your company might not be the cheapest or the most expensive but all clients want to feel that they are getting great value for their money and dealing with people they trust.