Dec 23 2008

“High Trust” Delivers A Strong Economy? It’s Time!



     Staying with the “Low Trust” issue raised in yesterday’s post, have you noticed recent responses to this red flag? 

     I have.  There’s a sudden proliferation of “Trust Us!” and “Trust This!” marketing messages (even from the usually unsavvy Better Business Bureau with its “Start With Trust” branding theme) being used –wishfully, hopefully– to ring out the old and ring in the new.

     That’s great, businesspeople . . . the wishing and hoping . . . but without some substance to back up the slogans, you’re just digging the hole deeper.  Why?  The public is tired of lip-service.  Can you blame them? 

     Customers and consumers alike (note ther’re not always the same!) are looking for businesses to do business with that give solid performances, and that maintain solid track-records for having consistently EARNED trust and confidence. 

     Buyers have learned the hard way to be more selective.  Enough with all the politics and empty political promises!  The public is fed up with companies that claim to be “green” at their front doors while dumping ill-treated wastewater out their back doors into neighboring rivers and streams, then pass along increases to customers for the cost of upgrading waste treatment. 

     The public is sick of (and from) wake-up-in-the-morning coughs delivered to respiratory systems by subdued-in-appearance power plants that placate daytime observers by claiming to be technologically advanced as they spew toxic fumes into the night skies. 

     And these are of course the same entities that wage relentless battles with alternative energy proposals that will force them to clean up their acts.  You know who they are.  They’re also the ones who never hesitate to pass any expense increases they’re forced to comply with along to their customers.

     Talking about being trustworthy and earning trust are two different things.  One’s an inexperienced schmoozer; the other co-pilots your jet!  Customers want to deal with businesses that walk the walk!

     Trust and ethics go hand-in-hand, but ethics go beyond behavioral benchmarks into life and attitude value systems. 

     I work with a solid client company in a shaky industry.  In what is generally considered a fast-paced, fly-by-night industry (we’ll stay with the airplane metaphor), where average career tenure is generally measured in months, my client has employees who’ve celebrated 20 and 30-year anniversaries by keeping in step and up to speed, and earning public trust along the way. 

     How do career tenures like these translate to the public-at-large? 

     Stability.  Reliability,  Honesty.  (Ah, there it is.  Businesses that cultivate long-term employee relationships are regarded by most of us as “high trust.”) 

     But, wait!  There’s more.  These veteran employees have also built a reputation for community involvement and charitable support.  They are the same businesspeople who spearhead local fundraising campaigns, who donate generously of their time and money to needy organizations in the towns and cities that support their business interests. 

     Oh, so it’s a give and take scenerio?  No.  It’s a do-your-work-as-honestly-and-diligently-as-you-can-and-respect-the-community-you-do-your-work-in scenerio.  It breeds trust.  Trust breeds sales.  Sales breed profits.  Profits breed success.  Success breeds a strong enonomy.  It’s time.    halalpiar   

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