When we talk of trust, people think only of integrity, keeping promises and being nice. While this is true in a few relationships, however, in business, it’s a different ball game. The following are the 4 Essential pillars to gaining trust in business. While 2 hinges on character, the other 2 hinges on competence.
When your business is perceived as been able to deliver to its promises. The values are unbending and guided by principles. There’s this temptation in business to temper with quality in other to cut costs and increase profit while making your customers believe your business has the best of quality. You might sell that trick only in the short run. Integrity is important in business. Staying through to the values of the business and having enough courage to make it known that this is your stand not only earns you some trust, but it also helps you build a brand too. While integrity is necessary, with it alone, you can’t earn trust. It is essential in gaining trust in business.
Intent springs from our character. It is part of our value system. It is how we know we should act. Covey in his book Speed of Trust breaks intent down to three things.
Motive is why you do what you do. The best motive for building trust is genuinely caring about people. If you don’t care and have no desire to care, be honest, and let people know you don’t care. If you don’t care but want to care, start to do caring things. Often, the feelings will follow the actions.
Agenda stems from our motive. The best agenda is honestly seeking what is good for others. Notice that your agenda is much more than wanting what is good for others, but seeking what is good for others.
Behavior is putting your agenda into practice. It is what we do base upon what we intend to do and what we are actively seeking. Behavior is where the rubber meets the road. Behavior is important because it is what people see and judge. Telling someone you love them is important, but showing them you love them is essential.
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This includes the talents, skills, knowledge, capacities, and abilities that our business have that enables it to perform with excellence.” To can think of it as TASKS: Talents, Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, and Style. A construction company with 100% integrity and right intentions but have no capability to build a “sky bridge”, would never be trusted with such task. So here comes the question
Would you rather work with one with integrity but has no competency or one with competency but without moral values and integrity?
This has always been the dilemma of companies in hiring staff. A surgeon walks up to you before an operation and says “Hi, I’m Sally I understand your condition and care a lot. I will operate on you though I don’t know how to.” How much of trust would you give?
People don’t trust people who don’t deliver results. This is another factor in gaining trust in business.
Results are the deliverables. They are what you contribute to the company. You can’t hide from your results. A business with good customer reviews on its site and awesome testimonials will easily gain the trust of customers than companies that don’t have such on their sites.
“If the results aren’t there, neither is the credibility. Neither is the trust. It’s just that simple; it’s just that harsh.”- Covey stephen
There are three areas of results people look at to judge your companies credibility. First, your past results: what you have proven you can do, your successful track records. If the doctor Sally walks up to you with words like “hi, I am Sally. I care a lot and understand your condition. I and my team have recorded 90% success in similar cases in the operating room.” You will find it much easier and will be at peace to give trust.
Second, your current results: what you are contributing right now. Studying the stock market has shown that people buy more stocks when stocks are rising. Don’t succeed silently, let your success be known as this will gain you trust in your business.
Third, your potential results: what people anticipate you will accomplish in the future. When investors see a big potential in a companies ability to command profits in the future despite the current profit margin, they’ll trust their fund with such companies. The case study for this is the rise of Twitter. When you think of trust in business think in terms of these pillars
These are the essentials to gaining trust in business.