Building Trust in the Business World
By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.
Trust is of utmost importance in the business world. All functional relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Establishing trust both within your organization and among the clients and organizations you work with is imperative to achieving success in any industry.
Building trust in the business world takes time and effort. The idiom “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” summarizes trust building quite succinctly. It is the credo that guides Gould + Partners, and likely other organizations, in successful trust building.
Establishing trust with a new or prospective client is a delicate process. Saying what a prospect may want to hear in a business pitch or touting relationships that may have been meaningful a decade ago but are outdated today will not ensure trust. Instead, it’s your organization’s reputation, track record for success in the recent past and work with colleagues and/or competitors that will help you to gain the trust of potential clients. In the business world, actions speak louder than words – especially when it comes to building trust and earning credibility.
What are some of the best ways to build trust with clients and prospective clients?
- Working with the top firms in the industry. Being privy to their confidential proprietary financial stats and having them come back year after year builds trust.
- Listening more than talking. Giving clients and colleagues the opportunity to share their views, thoughts and what keeps them up at night helps to establish connectivity and trust. It is critically important that the person you are connecting with feel that you care as much about them as you do about the business challenge(s) they face.
- Providing reliable service. Keeping your promises and following through on everything you promise to clients is imperative to building trust and credibility.
- Sharing information transparently. Being honest and open with your clients and prospective clients and speaking from the heart will help you to prove you are trustworthy and have no hidden agenda.
- Trust is the cornerstone of any proprietary relationship, whether it is for financial advice, counseling, buying or selling a firm or a personal issue. Successful trust building can be the difference between success and failure in any business venture or industry, especially such a high profile industry as public relations.