3 Key Ingredients to Building Trust and Greater Co-operation.
So why should I trust you?
Many of us are looking to be inspired and informed, be entertained and learn new things. Well a lot of us do anyway.
In fact many business owners may be searching to find the top 5 things that will grow your business, the 6 sure fire ways to generate more leads, the 3 key things to avoid if you want to stay alive and thrive in business, and much more…
However what you are probably thinking is …
“Can I trust them or Should I trust them? “
I have spend most of my adult life working with owner managed business and the many people that are directly involved in that business or could be impacted by them. I’m a curious person by nature and have immersed myself in learning from some of the most successful people in business over the last 30 years.
For me business is fun and helping business people and their families get great results is highly rewarding.
We are mostly only 2 or 3 steps away from being great, but is may as well be miles away.
Most people will only trust someone, a product or a service if its been positively referred to them by someone they trust. Or if it’s not a referral from a trusted person, then they need to feel that you really care about them and their situation and this feeling that you genuinely care about them needs to happen early in the piece. As individuals we are good at picking up on authenticity.
Okay, so where does Passion, Focus and Capability fit into all of this you may be thinking?
Most founders of a business went into business because they had a burning desire and passion to do “it” better than anyone else and to make a real difference and to offer a better product, service or client experience than any others before them.
In many cases they wanted to be the leader they never had or build a business they had never felt a part of or proud of. The founders will surround themselves with people who believe in what they believe, who buy into their purpose, their BIG WHY and quite a number will build a business that will get to the first phase of success.
When I feel your Passion and feel aligned to what you, your company, product and services offer, I’m more inclined to trust you. When I believe in what you believe in, when I feel connected to your company and what you are offering I am prepared to listen to more of what you do and understand how it helps me be or feel better off.
Up until then I’m not really listening, and I’m certainly not tuned in and singing along with you. In fact I’m ready to tune out and find another station or not even bother at all.
And the real shame is that you wont even know why, you wont know what I was looking for, where I’ve gone, because I dont like confrontation (who does?) and we didn’t get a chance to have a conversation. To build a connection. A lost opportunity for both of us.
This is a real challenge in an age where technology almost rules our lives and if it doesn’t, it accelerates the speed at which we connect or disconnect, without warning or a chance to explain or remedy.
One of the challenges of a business is to emotionally connect with their team, their clients and community over the longer term. This is true of all businesses regardless of whether they are starts up, established or mature.
The consequences of not staying connected may feel different based on the life cycle or phase your business is in, but the outcomes will be similar. This could be reduced buy-in, lower productivity, average or stagnant profit, sales and prospects dropping off or increased price pressure, difficulty in attracting and retaining the best talent, lack of enjoyment, frustration … not realising your potential.
A little on Focus.
Each business is comprised of the owners (the board), the team and clients. We need to understand the things that are critical for our success and what this means for each of the parties.
I mean really understand why we do what we do before we focus in on the what and how.
The what and how are important but have much more impact when we all know why we do what we do.
We can then ensure we design a bus that is purpose built for the team and for our clients who will know what to expect on the marvellous journey. We will have a stronger connection and relationship with our team and our clients. That’s gotta be a good thing right?
If we start to feel that you have lost your focus and are no longer truly interested in us and making sure we get great value from you or feel that you know longer care about us we can disconnect. We need to feel part of your company and your product and service.
Don’t go chasing the next shiny object. Yes I know we all get distracted. In a time of uncertainty most of us want to feel safe and secure in our environment and to know what we can expect from those that we engage with.
Understand what makes you great, what your team and customer wants and expects and deliver it every time. Keep in touch and ask for regular feedback, make it easy for them to provide feedback (both good and bad) and make it easy for them to do business with you and refer you on. Provide options.
Trust is a feeling. It’s not an absolute tangible thing we can calculate precisely each time. It’s not a checklist or a form we can tick off. And we can not “set and forget”.
Show me your Capability
Ask me good questions to find out what matters to me. Show me who you are by the approach you take, that you are willing to understand my objectives and what is important for me.
Don’t try and sell me anything or tell me you have the answers for me in the first few minutes of meeting or connecting with me. That doesn’t feel right to me.
I want to be able to trust you, your product or service before I will buy it – particularly if its not super cheap. And if its cheap do I trust it will deliver the value I seek? I want to know that it wont harm me or the people I care about. I want to know it won’t put me or others at risk and that it will be fit for purpose – that it will do what I want it to or make me feel good, happy, excited, that it represents great value for money.
Some of this will be evident or real, however other parts will be less tangible and more importantly will be about how you made me feel. Don’t underestimate this.
Most businesses produce products and services that are capable, that seem the same as the others and that’s part of the problem. We cant see what makes you different and in many cases it is not obvious or transparent until sometime after we have bought from you. It is the the job of the business owner to find out if their company product or service is capable of delivering what the customer expects. And more than this – it delights them, they talk about your brand and what it did for them or how it made them feel.
The reality is that when you care about what the customer wants more than you care about the profits, you will always find a way to help them. It may not result in an immediate sale however you will build trust, the good news will travel fast of the amazing authentic experience (on social media) and you may still be able to assist the customer or deliver the service or product via a trusted partner . Or you may decide to develop this yourself over time, given you have a loyal customer base who feels you have listened to them and who you continue to keep in touch with ( as part of your community).
To bring it all home, the best businesses truly understand the human condition and our desire to connect and feel connected.
We need to feel we can trust you.
Or we need to feel we can trust ourselves to make the “right or best decision” with the information we have or that the experience of engaging with your business was great, special or made me feel good, valued or understood. That you cared about me.
And its always about the little things. The one per cent’s that make a big difference.
Want to know how to build a truly extraordinary business?
Blacklaw Advisory helps owner managed business create an even more profitable, valuable and enjoyable business. One that has more options so that the owners can live the life they desire.
We have built trust over many years by focusing on what the best businesses in the world do and having the privilege of working with thousands of business where we rolled up our sleeves and strategically focused on improving the performance of the business consistent with the owners objectives.
Along the way we have developed significant IP which is proven, powerful and practically implemented for improved outcomes. This includes The Business Improvement Program (The BIP) which has been described as “life changing, amazing, brilliant”, by so many business owners.
Click here to see what others have experienced from this 2 day live-in program.
And click here if you would like to know more about The BIP.
The next BIP will be held on 18-19 May 2017 where Alec Blacklaw will share the 9 key Success Strategies and be joined by a team of renowned experts in their field of business, people, sales, social media, brand, finance, succession and digital marketing. Alec will partner with Armstrong Watson who are a leading firm of Accountants, Business and Financial Advisers based in the north of England.
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