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November 8, 2008

Trust = Revenue

I have been thinking more and more about Trust lately. It occurs to me that trust is more than a sense of confidence.

It is in fact the thing that binds us all together.
  • A lack of trust causes the collapse of financial systems and entire economies.
  • Candidates win elections because they have won the trust of the electorate, or because their opponents have lost it.
  • Whole societies rise or fall because they have trust, or a lack of trust, in their leaders and their systems.
  • Sales happen because clients trust them to deliver what they say they will. 
  • When people trust you they will tell others about you.
  • People use LinkedIn because they trust it to provide them a useful networking tool.
Trust has two fundamental elements. The way you are perceived by others, and the way your abilities are perceived by others.

How can you improve your trust quotient?

  • Write a book about a subject that people will find valuable. Showcasing your abilities, and engendering trust in your ability to help them or their company in that particular area.
  • Write a report for a sector of the marketplace, developing trust in your expertise and your opinions.
  • Have a Blog that delivers value, generating trust that you will be talking about issues that are relevant and will provide value.
There are many others. But I think above all else…you need to be honest.

Honest in every discussion, at every time, and in every way. Don’t omit, hide, or avoid situations or themes.

Don’t say what they want to hear, instead say what you believe to be true.

And always deliver value. Remember that above all else your clients trust you with their reputation. And if you blow it, they suffer the consequences.

Trust, like all things, takes time to develop.

If you have trust, work will gravitate towards you; if you do not then you have to win work. And if you cannot do it through trust then you are constantly in the hunt, as opposed to generating waves of referrals.

Want to know if a consultant is trusted? Check her percentage of repeat work.