Winning is a long game and building and maintaining trust in the marketplace is fundamental to it. If you’re a new kid on the block this will take time and maybe a bit of luck. If you’ve been around the block and have the scars to prove it you’ll have built your street cred but beware, it doesn’t take much to lose it.
What is Trust?
Trust is the foundation stone to making any relationship thrive. It’s an assessment of whether an individual or organisation will do what they say they’ll do.
Trust and Risk
In Trust Rules (2018) Bob Lee highlights why trust is so important when he says:
“Trusting others is dangerous and risky because it leaves you exposed. Your trust can be taken for granted, abused, misused, unappreciated, and exploited. It can leave you looking foolish and naïve. It can lead to poor-quality work, missed deadlines, and lost customers – for which you are ultimately responsible – reflecting badly on you as a manager and leaving you exposed to criticism from your peers and higher-ups. Or worse…”
The Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort achieved his fame or notoriety through Leonardo di Caprio’s portrayal of him in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Belfort’s notoriety is primarily down to his exploits driven by his outstanding sales skills. Today Belfort’s services as a sales trainer are in heavy demand across the globe.
Belfort opens his best seller “Way of the Wolf” (2017) by highlighting three key areas where you or your organisation must be trusted before someone else will buy from you.
Does what you currently offer give a buyer a level of comfort and certainty that it will address their needs and pain points as well as being very good value for money? Belfort uses a certainty continuum with 1 being Absolute Uncertainty and 10 being Absolute Certainty.
The closer your product is to scoring a 10 the more likely the buyer is to buy your product. But this is also contingent on you scoring highly across the other two areas.
If the buyer trusts you, thinks you have his or her interests at heart and are unlikely to knife them you’ll score well. In Belfort’s words:
“Do they think you’re a likeable, trustworthy person, who is not only an expert in your field but also prides yourself on putting your customer’s needs first and making sure that if any problems arise you’ll be right there on the spot to resolve them? That would be a 10 on the certainty scale. Or do they think you’re an unlikeable “snake in the grass,” a stone-cold novice who’ll stick the knife in their back the moment they turn it from you, because all you care about is extracting the maximum amount of commission out of the deal and then moving on to the next target as quickly as possible?”
This highlights the need for very good relationship management. If your relationship manager is good, the client or buyer will trust him or her. They’ll engage and discuss important issues such as needs, pain points and all the important intelligence that you are going to need to craft a product or service that they love.
3. The Company
The product may be good, the buyer may like the relationship manager but if the company has a poor reputation there’s no way that they are going to buy from you. Years back I consulted into a company who invested zilch in improving processes and capability. The company started losing competitive tenders because of this and it took them close to five years before they won another large contract.
So watch out, word always gets around and it can take forever to get back in the game.
What Happens Now?
If you would like to know more about how to build trust in the market place in order to write winning proposals click on the link below to arrange a chat. You can also fill out this business development scorecard for further insights.