Archive for Business Mindset

Would I lie to you? The business of trust

Dog with apple on headJust as trust has a huge impact on my personal life and relationships, it has a huge impact on my business. But this should come as no surprise – business after all is made up of transactions between individuals. Customers vote with their dollars when they give you a ‘vote of trust’. So trust translates to dollars spent with your business.

 

What is trust?  Trust is not a concrete object, it’s intangible – it’s a complex mix connected with feelings and judgements on many levels.

Trust is built up, reinforced, undermined or destroyed by our words and actions or inactions on a daily basis.

William Tell had never shot an arrow at an apple placed on his son’s head when he was forced to do that.  But the boy was able to stand still and calm because of a trust in his father fostered over many years.

My partners know I will be loyal to our business agreements because of my actions over many years.

Trust can cause businesses or relationships to fail or breakdown.

How do we build up trust?

Trust is built up through our actions and the intent we bring to the action, through the way we interact with an individual, through demonstrating the degree to which we can be relied upon.

It’s the clarity of communication, the empathy we display, our character and being genuinely ourselves, being present, open and honest.

For example

  • If we give an undertaking to be somewhere – do we make sure we get there?
  • If we promise we will do something, do we do it?
  • If we are unable to fulfil a promise, do we take the initiative to clearly communicate this beforehand? Or do we let it slide and leave the other party wondering what is happening and questioning why is going on?
  • Do we present ourselves as genuine? Or do we come across as fake?
  • Are we present? Does the person we are with at the time, feel we are giving them the attention and respect they deserve, given the nature of the relationship they have with us?
  • Do we communicate clearly, with clarity and intent?
  • Sometimes things go awry – but do we acknowledge and explain? Do we take steps to follow through and prevent a re-occurrence of the problems?
  • Do we show empathy – an understanding of how things can happen, and how people feel about it because we have put ourselves in their shoes? Empathy allows you to get your head around the perception of others; how they story plays out for them. The other person can relate to you because they recognise your understanding and they feel heard. By empathising with your customers, putting yourself in their shoes, you will be able to find ways to provide solutions to their problems and they will trust you to give them genuine advice and service.

How do we destroy trust?

Simply do the opposite to the above – anything that does not build trust destroys trust.

  •  Be unreliable – consistently cancel or change plans and agreements
  • Put other events or people first
  • Be unfair in our dealings – take but not give
  • Be dishonest in our communications

Why is trust so important from a business point of view?

Your profits and the value of your business is based on interactions that occur.

People trust us, or our product, to deliver a service or action.

If they don’t trust us, will they believe and value our advice? And as we commented at the start of this blog – people vote with their dollar when it comes to trusting a business.

The key here is two words – People and Trust.

Business success is built upon People and Relationships.  Relationships are built upon Trust. The success of your business therefore relies upon trust.

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The real secret behind nurturing trust, as I have blogged in the past*, is that it is all about perception. But it’s not your perception that matters; it’s the perception of your customer, your client or your team member.

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Always look at things through the other person’s eyes.

* (Perception is reality from a different angle. Coming to terms with your customer’s world and “But you said ‘later’!” Understanding your customer’s language).

‘The Secret’ of mindset – four techniques that help keep your business goals on track

Everything is achievable, nothing is impossible; the only thing stopping me is me.”

A little while ago I ran a workshop for Mortgage Choice.

The thought that popped into my head while preparing for this workshop was “why is it that some franchises perform whilst others either fail, under perform or roll along at an average rate?”

Personally, I do know that everything is achievable, that nothing is impossible, and that the only thing stopping me is me.

However, the reality is that a lot of businesses don’t achieve more because of mental roadblocks that means the business owner stops, slows down or limits themselves rather than the business actually limiting them.

As business owners we often have hundreds of roadblocks thrown in front of us, many on a daily basis.  In the end often the biggest roadblock becomes our own unwillingness to make the most of opportunities because we simply lose the will to do more; we start choosing just to continue along handling the day to day mini crises.

Eventually, the excitement dies, the energy isn’t there, the dream seems unachievable and we start to believe it can’t be done.

How do we keep the faith in ourselves – or find it to begin with?

How do we keep the passion when the practice muddies up the waters and silts us under with staff issues, customer demands, financial challenges, family obligations, health needs and concerns and our own inner demands of ourselves?

How do we keep on track?

The first thing is to realise that there really are not many issues that we cannot do something about.
Yes, we may need help or assistance, there is no requirement that says you have to do everything by yourself and alone.  But if nothing else we are the always master of our own destiny.

Here are four failsafe ways to get back on track, shore up our faith in ourselves, re-energise that passion in our dreams – and get back on track to growing a successful business.

  1. Revisit your goals. If need be, reset them. 
    There is no disgrace in deciding that either the path you have chosen to reach your end game, or the original goal you had in mind aren’t going to get you where you want to be.  If that’s the case, don’t flog a dead horse.  Re-vision, re-imagine, re-set the goal.
  2. Re-work the feasibility of your plan, re-examine it and re-plan it.
    If the goal is still great, maybe it’s more about the plan to get there.  Re-appraise it and see if there are not other ways to undertake it.
  3. Consider whether you need a support mechanism, a network or a coach to push you to achieve your goals.
    The quick answer here is that you will always need a support network. That might be just a sympathetic ear from a loved one, but in business it’s usually more than that. Your support network might come from a variety of sources, and be a mix of professional mentors, business networking colleagues and family and friends.
  4. Step back and look at the bigger picture.  Take yourself out of the business for an hour, a day, whatever it requires to regain the perspective.
    This is a crucial action and one which I find many business owners simply fail to take. They don’t factor in the need to allow the mind and spirit to work their creative magic in peace and come up with the way forward.

And remember “Everything is achievable, nothing is impossible; the only thing stopping me is me.”