Someone else can likely do your job. There are plenty of qualified companies that can take your customer. In a sea of choices and with greater access than in times past, the world is available at every customer’s fingertips. Your competition is a click away. Another resume is easy to get on the table.
However, while the world seems so daunting and abundant, we still do business with people that we trust. Trust can be based on one of several fronts:
- Competence. You will get the job done on time without hassle.
- Craftsmanship. You add flair and differentiation that shows care. Your creativity shines through.
- Character. You won’t cheat, lie or steal. You may have different knowledge than your customer but you don’t compromise on integrity.
- Connection. You are likable and show empathy. You understand the customer and their desires. This applies to what they are not only expecting but yearning for.
- Characteristics. With time and cycles, your reputation and who you are become clear. You may have been more about transparency than perfection with your customer and they valued that.
For me, I like to compete in these areas. They take longer for people focused on trust than those who are set up in transactional businesses racing to the bottom based purely on lowest cost. There has to be proof played out in the drama of business. This proof has to be explored together with some amounts of mutual risk doing business together.
Fortunately, trust cannot be automated nor can it be faked. Working hard for another person’s best interests, ideally who is also trustworthy, is one of the hardest parts of business. Everyone is different and each approach is custom. I guess that is what makes it so valuable and worth competing on.
What would the difference be in your business if you focused on trust building as a process and strategy?