Trust was raised at a recent conference I attended.
It was mentioned as the one single thing a "brand" and it's employees need to exhibit, in today's digital world. Really?
Look at all these "best places to work" articles, this is also a kind of trust. "Do business with us and we are fun too" these profiles say.
At a more mundane level. If you think about it, we fill in a web form, or give our email to a retailer, we know what will happen next. We know we will be deluged with emails or people ringing us up to buy the product or service. You can understand that thinking, we have purchased before or we have filled in a web form therefore this is a "buying signal". But that is all now old thinking in this world of digital.
Now the buyer has access to an infinite amount of data and we can do this through our mobile phones.
No longer do we need to call up a salesperson and buy something, we can go online and research what we want to buy. Anytime of the day or night. From holidays, to cars, to new accounting software, we are able to go online and and make decisions to purchase.
In the world of Business to Business (B2B) it is highly likely that we will need to talk to a salesperson. But we hate salespeople as they try and sell to us. As buyers, the more and more power we realise we have, the more we hate being sold to.
Recently doing some training in Munich we showed the people a LinkedIn profile and the salesperson described themselves as a "pitbull" salesperson and we asked the team what they thought and everybody said in unison "run". Nobody wanted to work with this guy so we asked the team why? They said that a "pitbull" would try and sell them something they didn't want. They didn't "trust" a person who would write this on their LinkedIn profile.
Now I'm sure this salesperson thought having "pitbull" on his Linkedin profile was good, except, here was 12 people who all said, they would avoid this person, people told us they are looking for somebody they can trust.
In the B2B space if you are spending upward of £100K plus, then you are not going to do it with a "pitbull" you are going to do it with somebody you can "trust".
As a buyer, if you are are going to make a significant purchase for a company, you are going to burn through your political capital to do this, will you do it for somebody who calls themselves a "pitbull" or somebody you know and trust?
If you are going to stand up at a Board meeting and present the purchase of a new system, would you do this knowing for well that the salesperson is a "pitbull" or will you stand in front of the Board in the knowledge that you know and trust the salesperson?
The digital buying process is accelerating. As buyers we know they power that the internet, social media and mobile has given us. We are looking for one thing and it's trust, do you offer it?
Indeed, the study revealed an urgent desire for change. “All [customers] share an urgent desire for change. Only one in five feels that the system is working for them, with nearly half of the mass population believing that the system is failing them.” Edelman has revealed a trend which was been building for years now, as relationships — between brands and their customers, between companies and their employees, and between people and their social networks — have become highly digitalised. All around us, institutional trust is in freefall — across every category, industry and geography. Yet the research from Edelman also demonstrates that people are desperately looking for organisations that they can trust.