I recently attended a sales conference here, at StorageCraft. Aside from learning about products and hearing interesting anecdotes, I learned that trust is the most useful tool in your sales arsenal.
But, trust is much more than a sales tool. It’s the crucial foundation for building strong relationships with partners, fellow employees, and anyone you meet.
Recently, I read an article in Tech World about Java and its recent security issues. Users are beginning to wonder whether they can trust Java on their computers, fearing it may be a weak point through which hackers can access information. Despite the usefulness of Java in so many applications, users have lost faith in not only the integrity of the software but in Oracle as a business.
Allegedly, Oracle did not acknowledge the security threat posed by Java until months after a Polish security firm discovered and reported them. Their failure to listen to the security firm sparked a lack of trust in consumers, opened questions of reliability, and burgeoned concern as to whether Java would continue to be a useful product for consumers.
Oracle ignored one of the first keys to building trust– listening. If Oracle had taken to heart the concerns of the Polish firm, the threat could’ve been handled promptly, and their integrity could’ve been maintained.
Another fairly recent article mentions that a giant trust gap, the biggest in history, is growing because of a popular networking tool– the internet. The article centers on author Bruce Schneier’s recent book Liars and Outliers. Schneier asserts that as technology advances, trust issues grow as well. Not only do we now have to trust our neighbors, we have to trust technology, people overseas we have never met, and the security efforts in place; not to mention worrying about whether our own government trusts us.
Communication is wide open in the 21st century. It’s more difficult to know who you can trust, and to show people that they can trust you. Trust is no longer as easy as understanding one another and keeping each other’s interests in mind for our mutual benefit.
Or is it? Simply talking to, understanding, and taking care of each other, in both business and personal relationships, may be the ultimate factor in creating trust, and it all begins with listening to one another.
How are you listening and building trust with your customers?