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.
When a brand is trusted people pay more, come back and tell others.
To find out how to create trust in your business and how to grow your profits with less effort, send me an email and we’ll talk!