“More than half of Americans are simply looking for honesty, openness, and transparency from their leaders.” - 2019 Trust Outlook
Business is built on relationships, and relationships are built on trust. Your employees, shareholders, and clients need to be able to trust and rely on you to do what is in their best interest. Once these people know they can depend on you, they become more willing to cooperate, invest their time, and open their wallets. This is key to helping a business grow and prosper.
Transparency is the key for trust in business. Being able to admit your failures and grow from them is crucial. Trust is more than just being confident. You can be a confident person who is sure of themselves and their role, but that does not mean people will automatically trust you. Trust must be earned.
Trust is like a credit score. If you mess up your credit, you score goes down and you lose benefits. Trust works in the same way. If you do something to break trust, peoples reliability and loyalty in you decreases. This is why earning trust and maintaining it is one of the most important aspects in creating a successful business.
Among the many benefits of trust, we found 3 core ways that gaining and retaining trust helps grow businesses.
1. Trust Builds Customer Retention
Trust is worth investing time in. If people don’t trust you, they won’t stay with you. Building a customer base is the best thing you can do for your business. Customer retention is more important in business then gaining new customers. If you cannot maintain the trust and support of your current clients, how do you expect to grow and attract new clientele? People invest their time and money in businesses they trust. If people do not trust you, they won’t pay you. More than 13 million Americans invested over $100K based purely on trust. When people trust the business they are investing in, they are more willing to keep investing because they know they won't be lied to or lead astray if things start going downhill.
2. People Will Want to Refer Their Friends
David Horsager, the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, spoke about trust in businesses at the Scaling Up Summit in Atlanta this past May. He said that “9 out of 10 Americans would not refer products or services of an organization they don’t trust.” If people feel as though they cannot trust a business, they are not going to tell others about it. Bad referrals can do considerable damage -- perhaps more than anything else -- to a company's credibility because in a growing social media and internet based culture, word-of-mouth is one of the biggest impacts for businesses. Word-of-mouth is so powerful because everytime someone speaks about your business they are putting their reputation on the line. They are not gaining anything from referring your business; they are helping you out. If customers feel as though they can trust your company and your values, they will be more willing to refer their friends to you, which grows your business.
3.Trust Makes Employees Happier
Happiness in the workplace increases the morale and productivity of employees. When employees are happy they are more willing to give their full attention to their work. Employees are less willing to work for management they do not trust. According to 2019 Trust Outlook, “83% of people say they would not follow a leader they don’t trust.” This is due to the fact that people want their leaders to be straightforward and they want to know they are being respected. 92% of people say that they would trust their senior leaders more if they would be transparent about their mistakes. It is common for upper management to be discreet about their shortcomings because they do not want to seem weak, but it is proven that employees would trust their leaders more if they admitted when they were wrong. An increase in trust allows for employees to feel more involved. Additionally, if they trust who they work for, they are more likely to stay longer and do better work.
Business is about more than just making money. It is about trust. Trust builds more than relationships in business; it builds loyalty, care and support for long term success.