Many small business owners know that it’s important to build trust in their business partnerships. Some businesses even use it in their marketing or as a point of difference. But why is trust important in the various business partnerships we have, clients, staff, online, actual partners, and how do we actually achieve it?
What is trust in a business relationship?
The definition of Trust is: a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. What we can forget in business is that it is while we may want it:
- It’s given by the other person
- we have no control over when it’s given but
- we can influence when it’s taken away.
The secret to building trust with customers
The true secret is understanding that you have no control over making your customers trust you, but you do control what you do to use it. The keys to building a trusting relationship with your clients is:
- do what you say & say what you do
- behave in alignment with beliefs & values (yours and theirs)
- be vulnerable & show your human side (it’s endearing)
I keep saying that building a trusting partnership with a client is like building a friendship. You start with your commonalities, and that’s not your business/service/product, and then grow from there. Show empathy for their drivers & tell your customer how you solve or meet them.
TIP: You have no control if a customer trusts you, but control over if they stop trusting you.
The steps to build trusting business partnerships in the workplace
Whenever I’ve needed to build trusted relationships at work the one key has been listening. The key is then to act but in a particular way.
- Listen to their drivers
- Align their drivers with those of the business
- Give regular feedback
- Admit your own mistakes
- Set clear boundaries & expectations for all (including yourself)
When I have done these things, I have turned businesses around in 3 months; I have had happier staff; I have had happier clients; I have had increased demand from clients. It is possible and I want you to achieve this too.
How do you build trust in an online business?
Some people might think that it’s harder to build trust in an online brand. I tend to disagree, especially if you remember that the people online are people and you use the tips I shared earlier about building trust with customers. There are some bonus tips which only apply online & make building an online business relationship easier:
- Use live-streamed video wherever suitable
- Be responsive to comments and messages
- Show your customers behind the scenes
TIP: Video shortens the time it takes to build trust online.
Why is building trust important to small business?
Real trust, not just some marketing ploy, is key to building lasting relationships. Trust builds brand loyalty. Brand loyal people are advocates & ambassadors and the best form of free marketing you could ask for as a business. Why? Because people buy from people that they know, like, & trust.
I have a question for you though; do you trust yourself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below & don’t forget that I can help you understand what drives you, your staff, & your clients to trust your small business.