I have just returned from a speaking engagement with the NLA in Atlantic City. Those of you who have been following me know of my association with the National Limousine Association and my yearly pilgrimage to Las Vegas to speak at their National Convention. The event in Atlantic City is new and is an attempt to have an East Coast meeting. I’ve been told it was quite successful with over 1200 participants. It is always fun and exciting for me to be around entrepreneurs who come together to learn from each other and the NLA’s speakers and trainers on how to grow their businesses.
After my talk, an owner by the name of Jeremy who has a successful business in Miami, Florida asked me an interesting question. “John, you got my attention on building trust as an attitudinal key in successfully building a business; my question is how to restore trust when it is broken with a customer or an associate?” Jeremy is wrestling with a customer who always pays, but is always late. Even when promises are made and guaranteed with his sales associate, regardless of what is said and the commitments made, the payments are always delayed.
This is an example of dishonest behavior and goes beyond what we mean in building trust, credibility and respect for others. The fact of the matter is, in the above case, that trust cannot be restored until the customer’s behavior is changed. Here is where direct and frank communications are needed with a human relation twist. I would ask for a meeting with the customer gives them a fine reputation to live up too, make the fault seem easy to correct, talk about my own mistakes and then through counseling through questioning convince the customer that they need to own their behavioral issue that is causing the problem. If the customer will not own the mistake and be willing to make clear changes then we need to make another business decision which is our right to determine if we choose to continue doing business with a customer that is costing us time, talent, and treasure to serve beyond what is profitable.
When I am talking about trust building to build your business I am thinking about clear actions or strategies that we can all do to establish trust in order to advance a sales or significant business to the next level. The same is the case in leadership. Leaders need to establish trust with the people on his or her team and then throughout the organization to gain followership. Without trust followership is always questionable and not sustainable.
With this in mind here are some coaching points that will help you establish trust with others:
- Be helpful to them. Here you need to ask questions to truly understand what action you could take to be helpful. We fail when we make assumptions based on what might be helpful to us.
- Be understanding… I mean really listen ask natural follow-up questions while demonstrating a willingness to change how you think.
- Be genuinely interested in others.
- Be respectful towards others in all ways.
Note three out of four is not good enough… we have to bat 1000!
Which of the top four do you struggle the most with? What will you choose to do to improve?
Human Relation Principal
Become genuinely interested in others.