This is the second in a series of three blogs dealing with key components for the success of any business or non-profit, us as individuals or business leaders, and our communities.
In order to be successful as business owners we must be able to earn the trust of our customers before we can succeed in our professional lives and endeavors.
Trust is an elusive thing for those who do not persevere as well as those that believe that the end justifies the means, which has never been true. Think about one of the most maligned businesspeople, the ubiquitous used car salesperson, the one we all know and dread, the one that will tell you anything he or she thinks you want to hear and will fabricate yarns to sell you that used car that looks ok, but it was in a flood and has a multitude of problems. We can add to this list the new car salesperson and the house salesperson of today, the one that convinces you that you can afford a much more expensive car or house and before you realize it you have payments that will stretch your finances for a number of years in the future. These people will never have anyone’s trust, not to mention repeat sales.
When all is said and done, it is easier to deal with the truth since you will not have to remember what lie you used and with whom. We will always remember the people that treat us with enough respect to tell us the truth and allow us to make up our minds. Never up-sale a customer because of the additional profit, you might mention whatever benefits may be obtained from an additional price, and then listen to the person, pay attention to his/her reasons to remain with the original item and respect their wishes. This customer will not only return to you in the future but will also recommend you to the people they know. When you really think about it, this is the cheapest and the best advertisement you can possibly have, and it did not cost you a penny!
Always follow through on your promises, if there is a problem getting the information or product that your customers wanted, call them. Yes, some might get a little upset, but the majority will be grateful that you saved them a trip and that you keep them in the loop. This is one of the easiest ways I know to lose the trust of a customer, nobody wants to find out the hard way.
Once you lose a customer’s trust it is one of the hardest things to regain, and as with the good publicity, bad publicity can exterminate a company faster than anything else I know and tends to spread faster.
• Never believe that the end justifies the means.
• Always tell the truth, even if it hurts.
• Treat all the people you meet with respect.
• Always follow through.
• Keep your customers informed, never let them find that there is a problem the hard way.