In today's world, one of the worst things you can do is trust the wrong people.
Many smart individuals get taken advantage of because they get lured into value exchanges that simply do not deliver.
Even worse, some end up trusting individuals and corporations, believing that unmet expectations will someday be fulfilled.
If you want to consistently make money (and I mean lots of money) you will have to trust someone, eventually.
Learning who to trust and how to develop trust is a skill that can be developed, and it is often refined after failure.
I F*ckd Up
I once found myself in a situation where I desperately needed a freelancer to complete a crucial project.
I had so many projects rolling, and so many freelancers working for me, that I thought I could work with anyone.
The universe has a way of setting you straight.
I had never worked with this individual before, I chose to trust them based on their promises.
It became evident that they were slow to meet expectations, and their communication was atrocious.
I had made the mistake of not valuing and building trust properly, and it led to a costly failure.
That experience reminded me of the importance of valuing how I build trust, it cannot be skipped.
It's not enough to rely on someone's promises; trust must be earned through consistent actions and reliable communication.
It also reminded me that I needed to value how I build trust in my clients and my audience.
As a quick refresher, Trust is the third step in the Value Equation.
It is built continuously after value exchanges, AND after expectations have been met.
If you have never gone through these steps with someone, you could not possibly trust them.
It is impossible to build trust without actions to discern. What you have instead is HOPE.
Hope can be built with salesmanship and words, and hope can be very dangerous.
Let's build a bit more on this harsh truth.
(click below to reveal more value)
What is Required to Build Trust
Trust is the cornerstone of any successful business venture. It requires various elements, such as value exchanges, the sequential meeting of expectations, effective communication, and more.
Without these, trust remains elusive.
Value Exchanges: Trust begins with the value you provide. Whether you're a freelancer, business owner, or service provider, ensuring your customers receive the promised value is crucial for building trust.
Meeting Expectations: Consistently meeting or exceeding expectations is essential. It's not just about promises; it's about consistent delivery.
Communication: Effective communication is key to maintaining trust. Keep your clients informed and address concerns promptly.
It is important to note that trust is not a feeling.
"I feel like I can trust you.." is a statement uttered only by hopeful fools.
Trust requires actions that can be measured and quantified.
How to Vet Trustworthiness
To determine whether or not to trust someone, you need to take proactive steps. Here are the actions you should follow to vet trustworthiness effectively:
Communication Skills: At the beginning of any engagement you should experience open and honest communication. If you sense withholding of information, or vague language instead of descriptive language, it is a red flag! Pay attention to their responsiveness, clarity, and willingness to address your concerns. Effective communicators are more likely to be trustworthy.
Background/Social Check: Research the person or organization thoroughly. You are not a detective, but when it comes to your business you must play one. Look into their track record, online presence, and any relevant reviews or testimonials. A strong online presence with positive feedback is a good sign.
References and Recommendations: Seek references from past clients or colleagues. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the person's reliability and professionalism.
Contractual Agreements: If applicable, consider legal agreements or contracts that clearly outline expectations, deliverables, and dispute resolution mechanisms. A well-structured agreement can safeguard your trust.
4 Tips to Strengthen Your Trust-building Efforts
To strengthen your trust-building efforts, here are additional steps you can take:
Define Your Expectation Metrics: Instead of merely setting expectations, define clear, measurable metrics for success. Choose a quantifiable unit of delivery, whether it's time, assets, or any other relevant measure. Ensure it's something within your control to deliver.
Offer Realistic Timelines: When committing to deliverables, provide reasonable timelines, then add a bit more time. This demonstrates your commitment to meeting expectations while having a cushion for life's unexpected happenings. Domino's Pizza is famous for making pizzas in under 30 minutes. It is noted that from order to box it takes them about 12 minutes. They added 18 extra minutes of cushion to their promise.
Showcase Your Portfolio: In addition to testimonials and reviews, create a portfolio or case studies that highlight your successful past work. Visual evidence of your accomplishments can further establish your credibility.
Over-communicate: This is the hardest one for me. My world has a strong gravitational pull. It is difficult for me to let others peek in while I am in manic production mode. however, over-communicating builds value by fostering transparency and trust in relationships. It ensures that everyone has an opportunity to be on the same page, minimizing misunderstandings. It demonstrates a commitment to clarity and responsiveness. It also shows that you are a competent communicator, enhancing the perceived reliability and professionalism.
As we wind down this discussion, remember that building trust is an ongoing process in any business endeavor.
Building trust is not just a skill; it's a valuable asset that will lead to long-term success and financial growth.
So, continue to vet, define, and showcase trustworthiness in your journey to make money and thrive in the business world.
Are my promises realistic and achievable? Ensure your commitments align with your capabilities. While it is great to learn new things with client work, it is better to explore new software and approaches to work on your own time. This way you can communicate confidently about your experiences.
Am I communicating effectively with my audience? Keep them informed and engaged in what service or product you provide and its value.
What social proof can I showcase to establish credibility? Collect and showcase testimonials, reviews, and success stories to build trust. With permission, examples of your communication with a client can win social proof.
Remember, while "Trust No One" might be catchy, in the business world, it's all about "Trust the Right Ones" to make lots of money and thrive in the long run.
Be trustworthy my friends.