Who Do You Trust?

By CEO & Founder Adam Witty

We live in a world of rising uncertainty, complexity, and turbulence – there is absolutely no denying it. Between the breakneck speed of technology and its growing incursions into our lives, our polarized political landscape, and the geographical challenges coming at us daily, it’s not surprising that for many us, our trust of others – from our political and religious leaders all the way down to the folks next door – has hit what feels like an all-time low. Our reaction to just about everything nowadays is skepticism, and if you’re in the business of business, that’s a problem.

Trust is the heartbeat, the pulse of your business. Without it, your business will fail. Without trust, there’s no sale. Before someone is willing to push their money across the table to you, they’ve got to believe that your product or service will do what you say it will. Customers and clients have got to trust you. But, how do we build that required trust between our potential customers and ourselves? In a word, authority.  

With today’s risky world, people are yearning for something to believe in; a rock of certainty they can count on. As a leader, having that expertise and significant knowledge you can share with customers to help them make better decisions – having authority – makes you that dependable rock. Having authority creates trust, and when a potential client or customer trusts you, there’s no shopping around or kicking the tires. They make their purchase decision around the value that you’re bringing them. Your authority means they can trust you. You’re the advisor, the counselor, the coach – the expert.

What happens where there’s low or no trust? You’re not seen as a reliable advisor. You become just another sales person – someone trying to make money out of their pocket. You’re a pest, not a welcome guest, and your would-be customer is much more likely to shop around. When a prospect tells you, “I need to do my research before I decide,” what they’re really saying is, “I don’t trust you.” Now that person will make his purchase decision based on price, because you’re merely a commodity with nothing to differentiate you from the other people trying to sell to him.

That’s why authority matters – because when you grow your authority, your customers’ trust grows with it.  When you and your company are seen as more trustworthy, you speed up the sales cycle and take price out of consideration. You have a value proposition that sets you apart – and people buy will buy on value rather than making a choice based on price.