Where Does Trust Fit Into Business?

Elvis Costello, Trust

Where Does Trust Fit Into Business?

In my business and marketing, trust is the goal. I was raised in a family business where we understood the know-like-trust factor very well. When people get to know you, then like you, they’ll trust you. And it’s much easier to engage in a transaction when trust is established than without.

One of the reasons why I have prospective private clients schedule a 20-30 minute chat with me before deciding to work together is so we can determine if the trust is there to work closely together… or at least if we show the beginning signs of allowing this to happen.

I see the word trust come up more and more. Trust Marketing is now a way of doing business, and Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agents explored it in an even deeper way.

Lately the word trust has been popping up for me as I embark on a journey to discover my “meta-brand”, the big picture umbrella brand that encompasses all I do.

And in the discovery process, I found out some interesting things about trust.

You see, most of the trust building practices we employ as marketers are about getting our prospects to feel OK with being vulnerable and then to come to us for help. We discover their challenges, then move forward with a solution (ie, working together.)

We, in turn, have no obligation to put our trust in them or show vulnerability. We can look perfect.

They can look all screwed up. They can cry on the phone to us.

We can look like we have it all together… even when we don’t.

I’m not saying you need to cry to your prospects and tell them what’s not working in your business… this isn’t about that at all. But I do want to say aloud (are you listening?) that it’s time we start showing TRUST as we market and take risks doing things a different way.

  • Trust that we don’t have to look perfect as we try new things. (For instance, if you’re just trying out video, be OK with it not being Academy Award material… or if you’re in a rebrand, you’re not afraid to show the process)


  • Trust that we can be truthful and not fear that it will kill sales. (Example: not being afraid to say no to a non-ideal client so you can make room for an ideal client)


  • Trust that perfection isn’t what people are looking for in a healer, coach, consultant, et al. (Example: “Here’s something new I’m trying and I’ll let you know what works and doesn’t work as I explore it”)

I already know some of you are disagreeing with me. “Who’d want to hire someone who isn’t perfect? You MUST craft a public image free of flaws!!”, I hear you saying.

This isn’t about you being you stumbling down the street in a drunken stupor and letting the world know about it. But it is about holding the trust that you really can be yourself… and the world will still buy from you.

How does this land for you? Does it scare you? Drive you batty? Wish I’d “shut the front door” and move onto another topic? Resonate?

I want to start a discussion on this because I think there’s a lot of juice in this topic. Leave your comments below. Or if you’re a blogger, take on the topic of TRUST in business and come back here and leave us a link to your article.

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  • Gregwaddell

    Great article Nancy. Love your suggestion of the brief interview. How easy it is to forget that! Basically it’s about recognizing the person that’s inside before getting down to logistics.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com/ Nancy Marmolejo

      Thanks for the feedback Greg!

  • http://www.creaturegood.org/ Ruth Hegarty, Creature Good

    I love that you’re talking about this, Nancy. It’s a great next step to your articles on transparency. I incorporated a big “flaw” in my business (that I at first thought would stop me dead in my tracks) as part of our story and people have responded very positively to it. I think it actually makes my mission stronger.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com/ Nancy Marmolejo

      Thanks for the encouragement Ruth and congratulations on how you’re healing lives with Creature Good! This is the brave new frontier of marketing.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Nancy, my initial reaction to this concept is actually a huge sigh of relief. I don’t know everything, I’m always learning too. But I know enough to help those coming up behind me and I find it stressful to try to be what you described.  I think the whole hide behind assistants, withhold access gets carried away along the same lines. If it’s too easy to reach me, I must not be busy enough or celeb enough. While there is a point when there truly aren’t enough hours to always respond personally, I think some people try to do that artificially for similar reasons to the above. Not having to do that, being able to just do what I do, sounds like a much better way to do business in my opinion. Good topic!

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com/ Nancy Marmolejo

      Thanks Cheryl, those are great points. How we do this 2 way trust dance is going to show up differently for different people. Clearly the “limited access” curtain is one you’re done with!

      Sometimes people go to great lengths to make it seem like they’re busier than they really are… I think that’s what I’m pulling out of your comment.

      Thanks so much and if you want to write about this somewhere, please come back and share a link!

  • Cindy

    I love this Nancy! It’s been top of mind for me lately. In fact, my last blog post asked the question: how far are you willing to go to let people get to know the real you?

  • http://musicroad.blogspot.com kerrydexter

    working as I do in music and with musicians, I find that intersections of authenticity, vulnerability, and trust do come up. I may take you up on that thought to write a post about that — and I look forward to what you have to say next on the subject, as well.