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October 28, 2008

Faith lost is revenue lost

When I was courting my wife in Mexico City we used to go regularly to a chinese restaurant near Polanco there.

I have eaten Chinese food all over the world and I always order the same thing. Beef with oyster sauce, accompanied with steamed rice. And in all the world this little restaurant was by far the best.

I liked it so much I recommended it to all of my friends and coleagues who went to Mexico. I would tell them to go out of their way to check this little place out.

I went back to Mexico city last year after a 5 year hiatus. We took about four hours to try and find this little restaurant. (Cities change a lot in 5 years it seems)

And we did find it... I was ecstatic. The same place, with the same welcome space, same decor, and even some familiar faces among the waiters there.

And then came my favorite dish...and it was disgusting!

Not bad - disgusting! The worst thing I had tasted in a long time. I also noticed that the service had dropped, the clientelle had dropped, but the prices had risen.

I will never go back there again, I will never recommend it to anybody again. And if anybody asks me about it I will actively discourage them from going there.

They've lost my trust.

Trust is a funny thing. It is extremely hard to gain. Extremely easy to lose. And once its gone - it's gone forever. 

You might be able to replace it with some measure of checks and balances - but once the trust goes out of a relationship it doesn't return easily.

Expertise AND trust form the gravity that pulls revenue towards you. NOT expertise alone!

  • A past client or employer will refer you to others only if they trust you not to damage their reputation. 
  • Prospects will contact you through an article if the trust that you have the expertise they are looking for. 
  • Clients will give you repeat work because they trust you to deliver on it as you have in the past.
  • Prospects may contact you through LinkedIn if the recommendations show you are a person they can trust with their companies problems and their future.

But if they have reason to doubt you. If they think you could skip out on the contract and leave their colleagues floundering. Or if they think you simply cannot be trusted to deliver...

...then they will never mention your name...or worse, they will actively campaign against you.