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Our blog is a place for small business ideas to help you understand various aspects of business and communication. We hope you find them helpful.

4/16/11

'Trust' - Your Invisible Asset

The dictionary definition (amongst others) of Trust: "A person on whom or thing on which one relies."

Trust is amazingly simple:  Trust is created by consistent behavior.  You can't create trust, but your behavior can, and will!

In business, your most valuable asset is the 'trust' that people have in your consistent behavior.  I call this invisible asset your 'Trust Bucket'.

When you act consistently, you build trust, when you don't, you destroy trust. It is always easier (10 times easier) to destroy trust than to build it.

Trust is difficult to quantify, and most people are not even aware that they are reacting to their trust in you.

However there are some danger signs that you can look for:

  1. If you have clients or customers (or others) that seem to be drifting away from a relationship with you, they may have discovered a leak in your 'Trust Bucket' that you may not be aware of.
  2. If you hear some 'gossip' that sounds negative (it is almost always negative!), you have probably violated your trust in some way.
  3. When people start to say 'I don't understand why they did that' about you or your company, they are expressing a distrust.

So how to you increase your 'Trust Bucket' and regain their confidence? You have to act consistently!

How do you do that?  One of the most effective ways to engender trust (particularly in an organization) is to publicly state your expected behavior.

An example:  The small package carrier FedEx states that their overnight service will 'guarantee delivery by 10:30 the next day'. They try really hard to meet that commitment, and their customers trust them to do that. 

So, you can state your customer/client commitment as an organizational policy, and instill it on your staff (most especially including yourself!), and you will begin to fill up your 'Trust Bucket' (surprisingly quickly!).

How can I help you to implement a 'trust policy' for your business?  Let's meet for a cup of coffee, and we will together figure our how to fill your 'Trust Bucket'!


12/17/10

Making a Difference

There is an old joke "How do you catch a one-of-a-kind rabbit? Answer: Unique up on it!"

Well, every business is 'unique'.

Consider Starbucks coffee shops.  They are known for having a common image - every shop has the same menu and similar look.  So what is unique about each Starbucks?  Answer: At a minimum, each one has a unique geographic location.  but that is not all, because the people who own and serve you at Starbucks are unique too.  In fact, you probably have noticed that some Starbucks are more popular than others, and this is due to the attitude and service of the people there.

So, when you are looking for a way to make your business 'unique', consider how your attitude and service can make your business stand out above your 'identical' competitors.

Please meet me for coffee, and let me point out how your company is unique.  Just fill out the form on this page.    John Alderman


12/5/10

Solving A Problem Vs Proving A Point

Your business is solving a problem!  Forget about proving your point, find a problem and become known as the solution provider!

Sales is based fundamentally on 'need'.  These are the ways that people describe their problems.  Your business is to identify these needs, learn ways that you can be involved  in solving them, and 'package' your solutions as a product or service.

For more information, see the article 'Your First Marketing Plan' on the 'Resources' page of this website.

If you want to meet me for a coffee, I'll explain this whole concept - Just fill out the form to your left on this page.                        John Alderman

 


12/5/10

Do you have 'Customers' or 'Clients'?

The people you do business with generally fall into two classes:

  1. There are 'customers' who buy a product or service and pay for it in a single transaction.  Starbucks thinks you are a 'customer'.
  2. There are 'clients' (also called 'Patients' etc), who establish a relationship with your firm.  Your lawyer thinks you are a 'client'.

It is critical that your entire organization know what kind of buyers you work with, and use the proper term for them.  If you have 'Clients' the most important thing you can do is build your relationship with them.  Clients keep on buying from you because they like your work, your attitude, your services, etc.

You MUST insist that your staff (and you too!) are constantly improving the relationships with your clients. Calling them 'customers' tends to short-circuit the relationship building!

If you want to meet me for a coffee,I'll explain this whole concept - Just fill out the form to your left on this page.     John Alderman