One of the most valuable assets a business can have is trust.
If your customers know, like, and trust you, I can guarantee you’ll create more success than a business who’s customers don’t know them well, and feel like they only care about the sale.
It takes time to build trust, and first impressions have an incredible amount of sway on whether someone likes you and trusts you as a business that they want to spend their time in and money on.
I want to tell you about when I struggled with trust in a business interaction.
It was a Sunday morning and I was driving to the vet to pick up my little mini wire coat dachshund, Gretchen who was having troubles breathing. Instead of waiting for the vet to call, I called them and told them I was on my way.
I had phoned in earlier that morning when I woke up and asked about her breathing and the vet tech told me I’d have to wait to speak to the vet.
That irked me.
The previous day, this same vet had suggested she might have pancreatitis. The moment she said this, my trust in her eroded because I’ve had a dog with pancreatitis. Gretchen wasn’t demonstrating any of those symptoms. My instincts were on high alert and I wasn’t feeling 100% confident in her abilities.
Everything felt like a sales pitch. An estimate for this, another estimate for that and still no answers as to what exactly was causing this problem.
On my ride to the vet that morning, I started to question why I felt such resistance towards the vet who was caring for my dog.
Quite simply, I didn’t trust her.
She had implied that other vets who previously cared for my girl were doing things wrong. She used scare tactics such as “if you take her home and she stops breathing for two minutes, you won’t know what to do and she can die unless you live two minutes from a vet.”
These behaviors made me uncomfortable and resistant. It made me want to care for my dog myself.
It also made me want to tighten my purse strings because my confidence in what she was doing was dwindling fast. Not only was I was afraid for my dog’s life – I was afraid we were being taken advantage of.
It felt like she was putting hospital process, and her own ego around what she assumed ahead of building trust and demonstrating empathy for the situation at hand.
This is a HUGE problem in business.
If you’re more worried about proving you’re right, than establishing trust with a customer, you’re not going to get the business.
Some Veterinary Hospitals have a bad reputation for being money pits for pet owners. Countless people have had bad experiences where they feel they have been taken advantage of when it comes to the care of their pet.
On the contrary, other people have incredible relationships with their vets and trust them implicitly. They never question the cost of their pet’s care. I know this because I have felt that way about my regular vet in Ottawa, and my vet in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia.
The difference between the two is trust.
When you feel a sense of confidence and trust in the person you are doing business with, it’s easy to make a buying decision. When people behave in a way that raises the little red flag of doubt, you have a trust issue.
This happens in all types of businesses. It happens as much in the coaching and marketing space as it does a retail store and a restaurant.Trust has the ability to make or break your #business Click To Tweet
When we trust the professionals we interact with, they make it easier for us to buy from them. Yet too many people focus on marketing more than they do relationship building.
Consider trust as an integral part of your business.
There’s an article on Success.com, where the author highlights 9 key areas that you can follow to establish trust with your customers. I’m going to summarize and give you the coles notes version, but I encourage you to read what she has to say.
- Be authentic
- Be consistent
- Demonstrate integrity
- Be compassionate
- Be kind
- Be resourceful
- Be a connector
- Be humble
- Be available
Trust is an important part of doing business with people. When you erode trust, you will lose customers. When you build trust, you keep customers AND attract repeat referral business.
In my case, I was dealing with the life of my dog. While I spent the money necessary to give her the care she needed, neither the vet nor I expected her to die. My feelings around the entire experience and my willingness to use their services again will greatly impacted by the lack of trust I felt.
Leave a comment and explain what makes a business worthy of trust? Share the qualities you’ve noticed, or a story if you’d prefer.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.