Yes, this is a loaded question. It can also be interpreted in several different ways. There is, however, better ways to interpret trust than others. Based on the relationships with my clients and experience running SmartCat Marketing, here is my interpretation.
Trust should mean working with someone who has your best interest at heart. When someone is honest and sincere, they will tell you when they’re not the best one to help you. They won’t take your money. Rather, they’ll recommend someone who would be a better fit for you.
But if they are a good fit, this person will take the time to build trust with you, and invest in the development of a relationship. They will take the time to understand your goals moving forward. If you’re hiring someone for marketing, they should be able to offer effective tactics which relate to the uniqueness of your operation. If not… are they really the right fit for you?
So, what does trust really come down to in your business, and the relationships which come from it?
Trust is about communication.
It’s okay to make mistakes. We all make them. And as consumers, we shouldn’t demand perfection. Because it doesn’t exist. What we should really be demanding is transparency.
If something is not going as planned, or is going to affect an end result or change budgets, timelines and outcomes, then you should rightly trust the person you’re working with to communicate that to you. They will offer a new solution to correct the course and get back on track to deliver the product or service that was part of your collective agreement.
Because nothing is worse than receiving a bill that is way over the originally agreed-upon budget.
Trust is about choosing someone for the right reasons.
It’s tempting to let the restrictions of our budget, or our discomfort for spending money, dictate who we choose to work with.
Does this sound familiar? When it comes to design and websites, isn’t pricing the first thing we want to know? What much do they charge per project, per hour, etc? But… why do we do this? Shouldn’t the first question be, “What are your qualifications?”
If getting the job done right is our top priority, why are we always searching for the person who can design our logos and brochures at the cheapest price?
Trust is about authenticity, not promotion.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because someone has a portfolio, they have the expertise to match your project. Remember the section above, “trust is about choosing someone for the right reasons”? Just because someone is a lot of talk, doesn’t mean they truly understand or appreciate your audience, or your brand. When the designer or marketer you’re talking to is the right fit, they’ll start to truly understanding the elements of your business through conversation with you.
You should also take into consideration whether their passion for your business and your project exists. Are they asking you questions about you and your business, or are they just bragging about how great they think they are?
Through reflecting on these questions, you’ll discover whether or not you are actually appreciated and respected in the process of finding the right contractor for you. And you’ll figure out whether this someone is trustworthy or not.
Trust is hard to regain once it’s lost.
Clients buy from those they trust. If the designer or marketer you’ve been working with has betrayed that trust in some way, via missing an important deadline or providing work which completely neglected points you’d already made, you lose trust in this person.
Trust gives us the faith to move forward in developing a relationship with someone further—it also plays a role in deciding whether it’s time to sever ties with that particular relationship, based on the behaviour of both parties.
Has trust every played a huge role in choosing a contractor, for the best or for the worst? Tell me your story in the comments below.