Why ‘Trust Matters’

I’ll write another time about "why trust matters." This posting is about why this blog is called ‘Trust Matters.’

Some of you may visit this blog to find a sales tip. Others, because you find something about relationships that touches you. Still others, hopefully, enjoy a different take on issues of business and society.

Trust runs through them all.

If there is any single dominant feature about the economy and the world that is emerging around us, it is connectivity. Whether you’re reading The World is Flat, or Wikinomics, or How We Compete , the message is clear: the world is more and more linked. We’re not just interdependent, we’re all over each other.

1. In the realm of the Trusted Advisor this has always been clear. The relationships that grow up between those who have deep specialized knowledge and those who need it are, of necessity, trust-based.

As someone said, there are no products anymore, everything is a service; and a complex service at that. So the trusted advisor paradigm is increasingly relevant.

2. In the realm of sales, the role of trust is accelerating more rapidly. Selling—always the lowbrow, bastard stepchild of marketing—is about to emerge as a critical function.

As services get more complex, the seller-buyer relationship—call it the “commercial” relationship—is taking over in importance from the seller-competitor relationship. Commerce, not competition, is key in a connected world. And the one place where producer meets consumer is—in the sale and the sales process.

Trust plays a huge role here because, as Jeff Thull says, solutions are now so complex that buyers often can’t articulate what they need. They need a trusted seller to engage with them as equals. Enter Trust-based Selling®.

3. In the realm of leadership development and organizational behavior, trust is becoming the most critical of all. The tolerance for divisional silos, not-invented-here syndromes, or office politics is declining. The business can no longer afford people whose competency at trusting and being trusted are low.

The “soft” skills have “hard” payoffs in a connected world.

They are what permit alignment of organizations, faster go-to-market processes, successful strategic alliances, project teams, creativity, globalization, effective negotiation, people and customer attraction and retention, and execution. Businesses mired solely in the old-think of competitive positioning, behavioral measures-and-rewards, and business processes will find themselves behind the curve.

Through these three portholes—trusted advisor, Trust-based Selling, and leading with trust—we see the same core themes.

Getting along, collaborating, interacting, synergizing, decreasing friction, transparency, plug-and-play people, anger-processing, other-focusing, rapid trust creating, empathizing, fast team-building, relationships-over-transactions, constructive conflict engagement, responsibility-taking, emotional risk-taking, no blame-throwing, straight-talking, truth-telling, always-curious, self-knowing, trust-creating.

These are the things that make a connected world work smoothly, rather than grate and grind.

Matters of trust.

Trust matters.