Building Trust in Business

A mistrusting relationship is not much of a relationship at all.  Trust in a relationship, especially a business one, is more important today than ever before. Creating a trusting bond with customers, employees, stakeholders, and prospective clients alike can be the difference between success and failure.  In the long term, the success of a business is dependent on a network of positive relationships.

Importance of Building Trust in the Workplace

Since building a rapport is such a valuable aspect of business, working relationships built on trust posses a competitive advantage.  It is a fragile commodity that requires attentiveness and genuine disposition. If someone broke your trust once, how quick would you be to forgive them and believe they would help you solve problems and find solutions to your challenges?  You probably wouldn’t act quickly to build trust again.

A study showed that trust is greatly correlated with sales, profits, and turnover.  The more trust an employee has in their manager, the more likely they are to work diligently and enjoy their job.  The ability of a leader to earn more trust from their employees provides a business advantage when it comes to competition with rivals.  Conversely, when trust is broken in the workplace, workers will be less focused on their work and general unhappiness will lead to a higher turnover rate.  A survey done by The World Economic Forum revealed that less than 50% of employees trust the company they work for.  What does that mean? A decrease in trust equals a decrease in speed and an increase in cost.

Workers want to know that their employers are able to create a solid, authentic, and trustworthy foundation.  It is something that can take a long time to build, but a split second to destroy. The process is incomprehensible and cannot be fake, it must be 100% genuine 100% of the time.

Importance of Building Trust Externally with Leads and Inbound Customers

The first step in the sales process is thought to be lead generation.  While that is not completely false, it is also not totally true. A prospective client is generated once a lead makes it to the point of being just that, a prospective client.  In order to transform a lead to a prospective client, you must entice them to continue through the journey with you. How does one do that you ask? The answer is simple – by building trust.

Prospective clients and inbound customers have many options of from who and where they can get just about any good or service.  You want to be the differentiator in their choice so that they ultimately pursue what your business has to offer. It doesn’t necessarily mean your product or services have to be the best of the best, but it does mean the value you place on trusting relationships is high on the list of your priorities.   Don’t try to fool them – it’s obvious when someone is more focused on selling than creating an amazing experience for the customer.

When a client who may eventually become a prospect approaches you, they are more concerned with the problems and challenges they have, and greater more, their success.  It comes down to one question, how can you connect your business/product to their needs? You can’t assume that you have a solution for them.

What you have to offer will only be valuable to those who find value in it and in order for them to find value in it, they need to trust you and be confident that you will provide a solution.  That means you have some work to do in addition to increasing revenue and that is increasing your trustworthiness.

Tips on How to Build Trust

Forming a trusting bond takes work, but is an invaluable asset to any relationship.  Below are some tips on how to build trust.

Listen Attentively

Others want to be comforted by the fact that you care about and take to heart what they have to say.  It creates an open and comfortable space for communication to occur. To demonstrate that you are actively listening and engaging in conversation, wait your turn to speak.  Let the other person finish what they have to say and reciprocate with a related response to demonstrate you were not only listening, but also relating to what was said. Taking notes is never a bad idea either.  Empathy is a key component in trust.

Be Patient and Flexible

Take into account that mistakes happen.  Refrain from being quick to judge when one is made and provide the benefit of the doubt.  Reacting to negative actions to a greater degree than positive actions will only hurt your ability to form a trusting relationship in the long run.  Meet the other person in the middle keeping in mind that trust is something that is built over time and unfortunately, not everybody has experienced a plethora of it throughout their lives.

Show You Trust Others

Be forgiving when someone lets you down or disappoints you.  Being negative and bitter depletes trust, not create it.  Obviously, you shouldn’t be accepting of being let down over and over again, but by giving a second chance, you are demonstrating that you trust the person to do the right thing the next time around.  It will not only benefit your relationship with that person but with others as well as they will be learning from your actions of how you treat others in any relationship.

Respect Their Time

Society today has taught us to be in a constant hustle and bustle, always grinding.  We often forget that while we are moving at a quick pace, not everybody else is. At the same time, when we delay responses to emails and phone calls, show up late to meetings, and expect others to move to the beat of our drum, we are exhibiting the fact that we don’t care so much about their time.  They have taken time out of their day to treat you a certain way and the least you could do is pay it forward. Nothing says trust more than respect.

Deliver the Unexpected

Giving the expected to your employee, client, stakeholder, or business partner is an important aspect of trust.  But delivering the unexpected is the ultimate bonus to creating a strong bond.  Going above and beyond by giving more than what is expected goes a long way.  Not to mention, your act of kindness will not go unnoticed when the receiver feels the need to share the story of your kind gesture with others.

How to use Thnks to Build Trust

As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.  Thnks has made it easier than ever for you to deliver the unexpected.  Not sure of exactly how you can utilize Thnks in building the bond of trust?  We make it easy.

Had a rainy day meeting with a prospective client?  Send them An Uber ride.

“It’s brutal out there today! Hope this keeps you dry.”

What about your employee who stayed in the office well past office hours working their butt off?  Maybe send them a week of Starbucks Coffee to thank them for staying late and working so hard.

“I know your schedule has been packed so I figured some coffee would help you power through the week.  Looking forward to connecting again soon.”

Your client just closed a deal?  Amazing news! Send them a mixed wine bundle as a congratulatory gift of appreciation.

“It’s been amazing working with you thus far!  I know you are swamped, so kick your feet up and enjoy a glass (or bottle … no judgments) of wine.”

As George MacDonald, the nineteenth-century Scottish author and poet, once said, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

Written by: Ariella Sharf, Editor and Founder of Heart and Vogue