Blog Post - Earning Trust in Business

Earning Trust

Trust, Respect and Understanding in Business

The Golden Rule

In business, we can and should adhere to the "golden rule" - treat others how you want to be treated.

The golden rule states "treat others how you wish to be treated". In a business (or personal) transaction, if you wish to be trusted, you must trust. Likewise, if you wish to be respected, you must be willing to give respect. Very simply, it’s a two-way street. Let’s relate this to small business, specifically website design. It shows a typical conversation between a website designer and a client. The post assumes the client is always right. However, one can argue that the designer is the expert. Both are due trust and respect.

For the service provider - It is important to run the business transparently and to be up front with the terms of service. If for some reason the potential client is uncomfortable with the terms of service, you should try and explain why those terms are in place. If the client is still uncomfortable, simply explain it’s not personal, it’s just good business. Perhaps ask how to earn their trust without breaking the terms of service. However, do NOT react in frustration. It is counter-productive and simply makes you look bad. If this is where the conversation is going, walk away before any regrets are said. It’s ok to say no, just try to keep it professional.

For the service seeker - You must understand that it can be very frustrating for the service provider to be expected to trust without being trusted. It is not fair to ask a business to break or even bend their terms of service that are in place for their protection - it is not personal. It’s simply good business. Even though it is the service provider’s job to make you customer happy, it is also their job - as the expert - to look after your best interest. If you are making them unhappy, they cannot do their job (to make you happy) to the best of their ability. It is frustrating for them to be asked to NOT do their job as the expert (either directly through constant questioning or indirectly by not providing the information they need to do their job).

There is a balance. The provider / client relationship in business services is a two-way street. Mutual trust, respect and understanding where the other is coming from is required to make it work.

In the end, just as there are tools available for the service provider to right a wrong (terms of service, legal contract enforcement procedures, etc.), there are plenty of ways for a service seeker to right a wrong in a professional and non-retaliatory way. However, if mutual trust, respect, and understanding is in place, there will be no need to right a wrong.

Rob Shurtleff
The Website Guy
We offer quality, affordable, brochure style website design services for local small businesses in
Lino Lakes, Hugo, Centerville, Forest Lake, White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Blaine,
North St Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities Minnesota area.