Trust is the foundation for all successful relationships. Trust is a basic human need, and it begins the day we are born. We learn from our earliest years who to trust or in some cases who not to trust. Much has been said and written about the importance of trust but it always comes down to the individuals involved. Ask yourself who do you trust and why do you trust them?
In business, people buy from people they know, like, and more importantly trust. It doesn’t matter whether you are in B-2-B or B-2-C. Confidence in a company all starts with gaining trust and in some cases it no easy task. Trust can also be very fragile, hard to create and easy to destroy. Especially given all the up evil over the last several years, establishing trust has become an even more difficult task. So if it is essential for business success, the question is, how do you develop it and just as importantly, how do you maintain trust?
First of all, know that establishing trust takes time. Trust is one of those things that is earned and not given freely. Gaining someone’s trust is something that comes with time and proven loyalty. The good news is there are things that you can do to lay the foundation for a trusting relationship.
Here are five essentials for building trust:
Having real personal integrity is a quality that cannot be faked and that is difficult to teach, you either have it or you don’t. You must display a clear commitment to ethical conduct in all of your business dealings. You need to maintain a high level of integrity and confidentiality regarding all of your clients. Integrity is essential to building enduring connections with clients, and the communities in which you do business. And it drives the risk-taking that leads to innovation and progress.
This builds on your personal integrity. This is obvious, but how honest are you? The old adage of “how do you know if a sales person is lying? Their lips are moving”, is sometimes difficult to overcome. Everyone embellishes at some time, but lying to a person won’t ever gain trust.
Being consistent and predictable is a must. Humans are creatures of habit and therefore respond positively to consistent action. Building trust, means you have to be consistent with who you are and how you act. Being unpredictable with your moods, feelings, and thoughts is not a great way to gain trust.
This goes hand-in-hand with being consistent, Be who you say you are and do what you say you will do. Be there when they need you. Reliable and effective communications, even during difficult times, is key in developing trust.
Often taken for granted, respectful behavior is essential in developing trust. When you think about it, would you trust someone you don’t respect? It’s very difficult to do business with someone whom you don’t respect and vice versa. Treat people fairly, listen to them and be respectful of their time, their position, their feelings and opinions. Respect is at the heart of trust. Without it, there can be no trust.
Trust is one of those things that is earned and not given freely. Gaining someone’s trust is something that comes with time and proven loyalty. It takes time for a person to really get to understand you and to see the value that you bring. Make a sincere effort to be consistent, reliable, and honest when dealing with them. Show respect and above all let your integrity shine through. If you focus on these key areas, trust will come. After the trust is there, there is an elevated confidentiality present. The business relationship will grow on a solid foundation. It takes time, but it is well worth it.