How to Build Trust in a Digital World
For as long as people have been working together, trust has played a role in who we dealt with, sold to, purchased from, or shook hands with. However, as virtual interactions became the norm over the last year, trust between colleagues, businesses, and individuals took on a different shape. The ability to look someone eye to eye or shake a hand disappeared in place of digital communications, where we could never be sure if the person on the other end of our Zoom call was wearing their PJs with their dress shirt.
That being said, the fundamentals of building and maintaining trust did not change, according to our best speakers on the subject.
We asked them for their thoughts on how we can maintain positive trustworthy relationships in a digital era. Here is what they had to say.
The basis of trust is found in the simplest human expression of interest: listen to your clients. Heather R. Younger, Resilience & Diversity Keynote Speaker, cites this as the foundation for building trust in any relationship, be it professional or personal.
“The best way to build trust is to show compassion and competence. Most research shows (Gallup, PEW, and Harvard Review for example) that these two things are what the most influential people have in common,” adds Communications speaker Garrison Wynn.
The overarching theme from all of our speakers was this: in order to build trust, we must be consistent in our actions, words, and follow-through.
David Horsager, Trust Expert, puts it like this: “If one is late consistently I will trust him or her to be late next time! Consistency is the only way to build a reputation, brand or trusted relationship…for good or bad.”
Leadership speaker Kaplan Mobray says that “trust is based on credibility and credibility comes from delivering on the ‘ask’.” He adds that clients trust you based on what you do and have done for them previously, building your relationship into the future.
Delivering on the “ask” comes from doing what you say you are going to do, and placing your clients’ needs ahead of your own, and acting on those needs, adds communication expert Keynote Speaker Phil M. Jones.
Mark C. Crowley adds that you must do whatever it takes to fulfill the ask consistently and regularly to establish long term, solid connections with clients and business partners.
According to Colette Carlson, our award-winning speaker on communications, this requires alignment of your thoughts, words, and actions to who you say you are as an individual and company. And this is where many organizations fall down.
In times of change, as in the past year, this alignment can be challenging, but the answer is simple.
Tell the Truth
Tell the truth. Dr. Gary Bradt, Organizational Psychologist, and Keynote Speaker suggests that this is the key to helping organizations build and maintain trusting relationships during periods of transition.
Doing this requires you to meet your clients, teammates, and colleagues where they are, adds Perception Keynote Speaker Amy Herman. A simple element that is easily forgotten in the wake of more complex tasks and requirements of the day to day.
Further to this, Nick Morgan, an expert on how to connect in a digital world, reminds us not to forget to “delight our clients” to build lifelong relationships.
The Trust Cycle
Trust is essential to every step of the business cycle: from prospecting to selling to engaging with clients, teammates, and leaders.
Author of The Language of Trust, Michael Maslansky sums this up beautifully:
When you want to accelerate the process of building trust, your words matter as much as your actions…so I would add:
Make your message about them and their situation (Personal)
Speak in their language (Plainspoken)
Frame the positive outcomes of doing the right thing not the negative consequences of doing the wrong thing (Positive)
Don’t pretend you have the perfect or only solution (Plausible).
To Learn more about these great Keynote Speakers contact [email protected]
Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]