Something's new about how people buy things. It's happened over just the past few years.
Many attribute it to the economy. Others to changes in family dynamics. And still others to social media. It’s not critical to understand why, just to acknowledge it exists.
Because businesses that “get it” are thriving. And those that don’t aren’t.
For example, it’s not enough now to give employees competitive compensation, attractive conditions for work and a sense of security -- if you want them to give you their all.
Just like it’s not enough now for the features, functionality, quality, convenience and price of what you sell to match others’ -- if you want zealot customers.
Today, people are looking for something more than the goods. They’re looking for trust -- in the businesses from whom they buy.
How about guarantees?
That misses the point. Entirely.
Today, most people assume that whatever they buy is going to work. So they’ve raised their sights. Now deciding which businesses to support with their purchases is based on a different angle of trust that doesn’t have much to do with what they’re buying. It’s about:
So, if this kind of trust isn’t about what’s being sold, or even the buying experience per se, where does it come from?
Only one place: It comes from the top.
But there’s a problem. Most people running businesses underestimate the degree to which others scrutinize even the most minute detail of their personal behavior for signals of trust. And they underestimate the power of emulation that spreads the models they exhibit throughout the rest of their organizations.
Accordingly, few pay the assiduous attention required to continuously convey the consistent signals that anchor trust, that they want to have emulated and amplified by every other person in their businesses -- and, thereby, to customers, suppliers, bankers and all the others whose opinions matter in sustaining a vibrant enterprise.
Soon you’ll notice others acting in ways that more clearly align with your values. Because they’ll trust you more. Then they’ll start infecting others. They’ll be raising the general level of trust of your business among all the people who count: customers, suppliers and the general community you serve.