Trust the elephant in the room

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A white paper by mext Consulting that outlines the importance of trust as a driver of business success and outlines that 6 principles you need to understand to turn trust into a competitive advantage.

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Trust the elephant in the room

  1. 1. 1The big elephant in theroom: TRUSTBy Stefan Grafe, Managing Director, mext ConsultingMay 2013Everyone talks about trust being critical. Everyone would agreethat their organisation, business and their relationships are builton trust. Many say they know how to build trust and dismissfurther discussion about the topic.We can put the importance of trust to your business into clearnumbers: 60-80%. Yes, trust drives 70-80% of your reputation,client satisfaction and loyalty. Trust is also the single biggestdriver of new client consideration –up to 60%.You kind of knew that, didn’t you? And, luckily, you are trusted.But what if we told you that this wasn’t enough? To turn trustinto a strong competitive advantage and success factor youhave to consider 6 principles of trust.
  2. 2. 21) It’s not about being trusted, but about the level of trustEven a small, 20%, change in trust can affect your client behaviour by 400% positively or negatively.Do you know where you sit on the scale?2) If you aren’t more trusted than your competitor, any amount of trust doesn’t mean anything.Only if you are more trusted are you more preferred. The more you are trusted over your competitor,the stronger your advantage.Do you know where you stand against your competitors?3) It is not just about being trusted, but what your clients want to trust you for.Honesty, transparency, communication and a ‘great relationship’ don’t mean a thing if it’s notprecisely what your (potential) client wants to trust for to do (more) business with you.Often we discover that clients trust and say they have a great relationship, but still don’t give thepartner more work because in some aspects they don’t trust for the right qualities.What clients want to trust for can be broken down into 6 clear facets - HuTrust®. Unless you canclearly define what you need to be trusted for in each facet, you can’t consciously build and manageyour trust. In fact, you may destroy as much trust as you build.4) What the client doesn’t know, the client can’t trust for.Building trust is about building the right trust equity. The more of the right proof points you canidentify and convey, the more trust equity you can build. How many proof points come to mind? Howwell can you convey them to maximise the impact?5) Trust is built and destroyed in an instant.Building trust doesn’t take long. Building trust is done instantly with every right action, every rightmessage. The same goes for destroying trust. Building more relevant trust is about knowing how to domore of the right things and fewer of the things (big and small) that push your trust down again.6) Trust is a group effort.In professional services client trust is determined by the firm, partner and product. The varyingdegrees of importance are a continuous source of discussion, but the bottom line (pardon the pun) isthat each of the aspect’s trust builds upon each other. Considering that trust drives 60-80% of success,relying on the firm’s and partner’s natural ability and intuition to build trust may leave you stagnatingor declining.Understanding the sources of trust and aligning them makes building trust in professional servicesmore complex, but also much more powerful if done right. The firms and partners that best build andmanage trust in the firm, partner and product will take more and more of the cake.0%5%10%15%20%25%30%35%40%45%0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10The Trust EffectLikelihood to recommendFeel connected toGo out of my way to buy a specific brand/product
  3. 3. 3About mext Consulting.mext helps clients deliver on their objectives by developing brand, product and people interactionsthat make customers trust more. Mext was created in 2004 with a view to challenging theconventional thinking driving the disciplines of sales and marketing in order to create a trueunderstanding of customer motivation. mext bridges the gap between business strategy andimplementation. We provide businesses with:˃ Consulting˃ Training˃ ResearchWe support businesses to gain a competitive edge in their markets and help our clients grow withvision, precision and certainty. We employ a unique mix of rigour, insight and creativity and apply ourproprietary and proven tools to identify key growth levers and help clients operationalize this acrossbrand and proposition development, client experience, innovation and training.About HuTrust.HuTrust® reveals the 6 components of trust.˃ Developed by a team of strategists and psychologists under supervision of Prof W. Salber˃ Developed, validated and applied with through over 20,000 interviews and groups˃ Scientifically correct˃ Statistically robust˃ Practically proven with companies from Airlines to Government to Telco to Yogurt globallyAbout Stefan Grafe.Stefan’s career spans 20 years in Europe, Asia and Australia where he worked as an award winningCreative and Strategy Director for the Bates and BBDO networks, as well as a Management Consultantin the position of Head of BBDO Consulting. He studied design and fine arts and was trained inmorphological psychology. His eclectic experience and wide range of perspectives furnishes him with aprofound understanding of human psychology, marketing and branding. This is similarly complimentedby his long-term vision and creativity to develop outstanding strategies for success.If you’d like to hear more about trust and how to improve performance by actively building trust inyour firm please contact me, melissa.wraith@mextconsulting.com for an overview of our process.165 Cremorne Street RichmondVictoria Australia 3121P: +61 3 9428 5417www.mextconsulting.commelissa.wraith@mextconsulting.com

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