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June 26, 2009

Don't trust me...

Ever worked for a company who started an engagement in a passionate love affair with the client.. and then was somehow able to turn that good will into loathing and contempt?

The sorts of consulting or software firms where repeat business is done begrudgingly because there is nowhere else to go, not because they want to do business with them.

What is wrong here? how can something so good turn so bad?

When you hold somebodies trust you have an awesome responsibility. A responsibility to not make them look bad. People hate to admit when they are wrong. They hate it even more because they will often not admit it very quickly.

When a client trusts you they will help you through the rough times, they will even defend you if you make a mistake. (Which we all do at sometime or other)

But if they finally decide that you are not worth trusting. If they come to believe that your character or abilities were not what they had been led to believe, then they feel betrayed and humiliated.

And they will not trust you so easily next time.

In fact, they will go out of their way to use their brand, their "trust account" with other people to ensure that others do not make the same mistake that they did.

So why does this happen? More often than not it is because somewhere along the line; between the hype, the close and the delivery...someone (or a group of people) acted in a dishonest way. Misrepresenting the deal, the skills, or the capabilities of whatever it was that they were selling.

This just screams "don't trust me"

And after a while of blaming the market, the clients, their workers or their products... the realization that something is rotten just has to sink in or whatever value you had to get them won't be enough to keep them.

In a world where trust is scarce and getting even more rare, it is vital to nurture the trust based assets that you have today...they won't be so easy to come by tomorrow.

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