Trust is a prerequisite for any transaction.
We talk a lot about getting to know, like and trust people but we often fall short of understanding exactly how to go about establishing trust.
You can’t just say “You can trust me” or “I’m trustworthy”. Its a bit like telling someone you’re funny when what you need to do is make them laugh.
Part of the trouble of defining trust is that it is usually recognised as a “gut feeling”.
How do you describe “trust”?
Feelings such as trust and loyalty are established by our limbic brain which is responsible for all of our feelings. It is also responsible for our behaviour and decision-making. Unfortunately this part of the brain has no capacity for language so we’re relying on recognising the feeling and then the language part of the brain takes over when we rationalize our decisions.
Trust is so important in the world of business and government that Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, has been conducting trust surveys for 14 years.
We believe that trust is an asset that enterprises must understand and properly manage in order to be successful in today’s complex operating environment. Unlike reputation, which is based on an aggregate of past experiences with a company or brand, trust is a forward facing metric of stakeholder expectation. Edelman.com
Engagement and Integrity
Their latest Trust Barometer shows that Engagement and Integrity are two of the priority areas for building trust. While trust in government, institutions and media has waned, trust in our peers has increased, which is great news for small businesses that relate on a very personal level with clients and customers.
Trust is a measure in of the belief in the honesty, fairness and benevolence of another party, and most importantly, in our belief that it will be reciprocated. In other words, trusting and being trusted in return gives us a chemical feel good rush.
I interviewed Sunil Bali, author of A Lust for Trust. (The book hasn’t been published yet so if you’d like to know when its available, follow Sunil’s blog)
Listen to the interview here: (apologies, the last few minutes are cut off – my fault!)
The last few minutes of the recording were mostly me talking about other brands that demonstrate trust including Fair Finance, a company that offers disenfranchised people loans at reasonable interest rates because they believe that most people want to pay back what they borrow and when lending is designed to make this easy, very few people default (unlike Wonga which is designed to create more debt).
The other company I mentioned is Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company that has always delivered on its promise to produce clothing that won’t wear out and to use materials that are kind to the environment. This has resulted in a healthy re-sale of items and Patagonia, rather than trying to suppress this and encourage people to buy new, has opened a store on E-bay with the sole purpose of making it easy for customers to re-sell their goods, further building on the trust that people have in the brand.
You can listen to interviews with Clive Rich of Lawbite and Faisel Rahmen of Fair Finance in The Radical Redesign of Business post.
When a brand is trusted people pay more, come back and tell others.
If you’d like to share your own thoughts on what makes you trust people, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on The Inspired Group on LinkedIn or Google Plus
Do you know the name of the guy in the picture?
I’m not the best informed when it comes to pop stars but I was utterly bowled over when I watched an episode of The Voice UK when a contestant was taken to meet the international superstar Justin Timberlake - that’s him, in the picture.
As the unknown approached the star, he (the superstar) proffered his hand and said “Hi I’m Justin”.
Now a guy like that could be forgiven for assuming that most people in the music industry know who he is. He could even be forgiven for assuming that a lot of the general public know who he is but there he was, INTRODUCING HIMSELF.
I immediately took notice. Someone with that level of awareness of putting other people at ease, of not making assumptions, is worth taking notice of.
I’ve been to networking events where the idea is to meet people, get to know, like and trust them and maybe do business with them, where that level of self awareness would work wonders.
A place where everybody knows your name?
People, there is no such place. You may think you are a big fish in small pond and that folks know (or should know) who you are.
You may simply be so unused to such gatherings that you’re not aware that someone would like to introduce you but has forgotten or never knew your name.
Either way, please, ease the social interaction by simply copying the superstar and saying your name every time, as many times as necessary, always and forever, so that no-body feels awkward or worse, walks away without ever learning your name.
That simple gesture turned me into a fan of Mr. Timberlake that has nothing to do with his prowess as a musician, singer, producer and entertainer. I’m a fan of his awareness and humility and his desire to put someone at ease.
It’s such a simple thing to do but it speaks volumes.
In any interaction, its never about you, its always about the person you’re meeting. If you focus on them and not on you, you’ll be the superstar.
The Collaborative Economy is going corporate.
Million dollar businesses like Airbnb, Lyft and LendingClub are a few examples of businesses that use technology to enable large numbers of people to rent or borrow or otherwise pay for things that other people want to get paid for, whether its a spare room, a spare seat in a car or some spare cash.
These businesses are being branded as part of the “sharing” economy, tapping in to people’s desire to deal directly with each other rather than use the traditional agencies.
At the other end of the spectrum there are some stunning examples of collaboration in the use of of creative commons licences and open source programmes that encourage the free sharing of things published on the web.
Most of us are familiar with the idea of sharing images on Flickr and the code used for free blogging platforms like WordPress. Some recent additions to this are open source architect’s blueprints via Paperhouse and plans for prosthetic limbs that can be made with 3D printers, making both of these expensive items available to many more people. General Electric is making its patents available to crowd sourced inventions on Quirky. This is sharing that is not about making money.
Sharing or renting?
However, most things that are described as being part of the “sharing” economy are simply using innovative technology to create collaborations and new, profit making business models.
A recent survey of 90,000 people by Crowd Companies showed that most people use these services because of convenience and price and not for any altruistic reasons.
Paradoxically, the growing rejection of big corporations and their dominance in the consumer world and a desire to support locally sourced solutions is fuelling the growth of collaborative initiatives.
Big brands see the opportunity
Not to be outdone, the most recent entrants to the sharing economy are big brands that have seen the opportunities.
BMW is offering a subscription based car-sharing scheme, big retailers are crowd sourcing new designs from their customers and making over part of their stores to Etsy’s artisans, Patagonia is providing a buy back service for its customers worn-wear items, simultaneously providing a platform for people to talk about the adventures the clothes have seen while emphasising the quality of their items.
In all this confusion of terms and ideals, one thing is clear: New business models are all around us and it’s an exciting place to be.
Small businesses in particular have a great opportunity to collaborate and use crowd sourcing and crowd funding or to work with those brands that want to be seen as being part of this new economy.
How does your business fit in this world? Are there new opportunities and collaborations to be explored?
If you enjoy this blog you may like to explore my on-line solutions to a better business :
“The Social Media Opportunity for Small Businesses”
“The Seven Steps to Your Successful Business”
The know, like and trust formula is bandied around a lot in business but the big question remains. How do you get people to trust you enough to do business with you?
My good friend Sunil Bali wrote this on his blog:
There are 5 reasons people don’t buy (your product or service). The first four are easy to deal with.
- No want
- No need
- No money
- No hurry
The 5th reason is the most difficult to contend with. That 5th reason is no trust.
You can only build trust by being yourself.
You win people over by consistently sharing your values, your beliefs, and your stories.
Wearing a mask on the other hand wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be who you know you’re not.
When you choose you, there’s a good chance that others will choose you.
Being personal is far more important than being perfect.
Follow Sunil’s blog for more like this but beware! He includes groan inducing jokes in every post!
I have recurring conversations with people about their presence on social networks. It’s usually along the lines of “Will I upset potential clients or harm my brand if I reveal too much about myself?”
My reply is always: “If you try to hide who you really are you’ll end up with clients you hate who don’t appreciate you.”
Social networks provide the ideal opportunity to show the world who you really are, what your values are and, more importantly, that other people trust you.
They’re also a good place to see who other people really are ………
Lately I’ve been quoting Simon Sinek a lot. His answer to the trust question is simply this:
“Don’t try to sell to everyone who might need your product or service, find the people who believe what you believe and they will gladly buy from you.”
I recently interviewed Paul Taylor from Bromford, a social business that actively encourages all of its 1200 staff members to usual social networks freely to connect with each other and their clients. Since taking this bold step they have recruited more talent and got more business because the world can see the real values that the organisation embodies.
Another revealing interview came from Sam Collett, the award winning property blogger of What Sam Saw Today. When I asked Sam why her blog was so popular (5,500 readers a week) she said she doesn’t employ any of the usual techniques of catchy headlines and keywords, she writes exactly what she feels and attracts readers who appreciate her for who she really is. This approach earned her a weekly column in the Evening Standard and a book deal with a major publisher.
“Being yourself” definitely pays!
If you enjoy this blog you may like to explore my on-line solutions to a better business :
“The Social Media Opportunity for Small Businesses”
“The Seven Steps to Your Successful Business”
Most businesses are started to solve a problem.
A few create delight.
If you can do both you should not only be very successful but you’ll probably be very satisfied and fulfilled as well.
Do your customers have a pain they need your solution to alleviate or do they have an irrational passion for something that you can supply? Can you combine the two?
It’s not always as obvious as it might seem. It all comes down to what you’re really selling.
These three famous brands seem to have it nailed. What do you think they’re selling?
On the face of it (sorry) Revlon could be seen to be solving the problem of imperfect skin or ageing. Harley Davidson might have started by solving a transport problem and Nike is solving the need that sports people have for high performance equipment and garments.
According to their own PR Nike sells winning; Revlon sells hope; Harley Davidson sells freedom.
Could you combine a winning combination of need and want for your business?
What are you favourite examples of businesses that combine problem solving with creating delight?
To make changes, what you need are some new friends and new habits!
It’s been said we are a combination of the 5 people we spend most time with.
Look at the people you hang out with all of the time. its likely that your eating habits, overall health, wealth, and levels of success are similar. What does that mean when you want to make changes?
We can’t change in isolation. Everything we do affects the people around us so this means that if you want to change, either you friends need to change with you or you need to associate with different people.
Most things happen without a plan. Many of them are good things: friendships, falling in love, finding great music, food or art, or things that make you laugh. Spontaneity and serendipity are important.
However, if you want to achieve something it means making space in your life and taking action until you’ve created new habits that become an integral part of your life.
If you’ve struggled to stick to a plan to achieve your goals (and who hasn’t?) it may be useful to think of goals in these two very different ways.
A RESULT oriented goal would be to lose a stone in weight by a particular date. This can sometimes result in embarking on a plan of action that you hate and you have to grit your teeth every day to move closer to your goal.
A PROCESS oriented goal would be to eat healthily and exercise every day and because you focus on the process you are more likely to choose one that you enjoy and can keep at until it turns into a new life habit. An important point about this is that however much you want the result, if you hate the process you are unlikely to succeed. Finding a process that is enjoyable is the best way to achieve any goal.
How long does it take to make a new habit?
The popular view is that it takes 21 days to create a new habit but a new book by psychologist Jeremy Dean “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick” reveals that this figure is wrong. Dean’s research shows that the length of time it takes to create a new habit varies enormously so don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up if the new habits don’t come easily.
You don’t have to do alone.
There are four crucial people that you need to have on your team in order to make the changes you’ve identified:
A Mentor – This is someone you know who has had success in the areas in which you want to be successful. If you’re unfit and want to be healthy and strong, find somebody who used to be unfit and is now healthy and strong and find out how they did it. (Remember you have to like the process or it won’t work for you). If you want to earn more, learn to sing, open a shop, win a medal, find somebody who has had that experience and learn EVERYTHING you can about how they did it.
A Buddy – This is someone who is struggling with the same things, working on the same stuff as you. When you have a bad day, this person knows exactly how you feel. Because you’re both striving for the same goals, you have somebody to bounce ideas around with, share triumphs and struggles with. Caution: don’t take the buddy support as far as going down the plughole together. Understanding its hard doesn’t mean you support each other in giving up.
A Student – The BEST way to get better at something is to teach it to somebody else. If you think you need to be an expert in order to teach, think of expertise on a scale of 1- 100. If you’re a 5 you can help out the 1-4′s. Find somebody that needs help, maybe a co-worker or friend who wants to do what you’re doing and teach them how to get started. As you get better and learn from your mentor, you can then compare are share this with your buddy and then help teach it to your student.
A Cheerleader – This is the person who will always be in your corner, cheering you on. They’ll believe in you more than you believe in yourself, have high expectations, keep you on your toes, push you outside of your comfort zone, make you try new things, not let you settle for less, dust you off when you fall and push you back out there.
The best year of your life is within reach if you focus on creating new habits. The first step is to begin.
This is an extract from the workbook “How to Have Your Best Year Yet” If you’d like a copy of the workbook just ask
What are your best tips for making changes that stick?
Why, when we gather to celebrate a New Year, do we sing the song that hardly anyone understands?
Auld Lang Syne – the song that everybody sings and nobody knows is often attributed to Robbie Burns but the song is actually much older and RB just added a few verses sometime in the 1790s.
The band leader Guy Lombardo is credited with making the song a New Year’s tradition after hearing it sung by Scottish immigrants to Canada. Lombardo played the song at midnight at a New Year’s eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929. After that, Lombardo’s version of the song was played and broadcast every New Year’s eve from the 1930s until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria.
Looking back and looking forward
There are those who see the end of the year as a chance to look back on their achievements (or what they failed to achieve) and look forward to achieving more but the song asks us to reflect on our relationships with the people who have shared our journey in life while we think of what has passed and what is to come.
More than any other achievement it is the connections to other human beings that give life meaning, bring us a sense of belonging and make us emotionally healthy.
Auld Lang Syne urges us to call up memories of old friends and to lift a glass to toast them even if they are no longer with us or we haven’t seen them in a long time. When times are bad it is especially good to remember those who cared for us and supported us and remember that these same people celebrated with us in good times.
People are the most important things in our lives
The media continues its relentless fear-mongering, trying to make us believe that danger and evil lurks around every corner but there are also countless stories of the kindness of strangers and more especially, most of us are fortunate enough to know that there are people we can rely on and who can rely on us to be selfless and kind with no thought of reward.
We sing the song that we barely understand because we know instinctively that it is these relationships that we should celebrate at the end of a year and know that spending time on building and strengthening them will be the most important things we can do with our time in the years to come.
Appreciating that life has had good moments with good people is what sustains hope and makes us want to experience that feeling again in times to come.
May you have many such moments in 2014.
Here is my version of the old song:
If you want to see the traditional words just go here:
Happy New Year!