Why Trust is The Competitive Edge.

A while back I made a comprehensive creative proposal to an important client in my community. We had shared pleasant social occasions.  Done business together? No.

Five competitors were pitching for his business—substantial dollars for any of us. He gave no indication his and my casual relationship would win me his business.

Him: “I’ve seen several strong proposals this week”, then asked. “Why should I choose yours?

Me:  “With mine you get me.”


Him: “Hah!” He roared. “Write it up!”

What happened?

Trust. It’s at the heart of the most productive marketing axiom applied to all sides of human commerce there is: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Or, as Roy H. Williams, acclaimed copywriter and marketing guru might say: “Do unto others as you have determined they would want to be done unto.” (Or words to that effect.)  

He trusted me.

Stephen R. Covey once wrote in Reflections For Highly Effective People “a high-trust culture of committed individuals working as a team” can do anything. A corporate culture that fosters trust among its people and its clients will enjoy the most enduring competitive edge they can create.

It’s true of all human activity: athletics, the arts, business, the professions, even politics.

Trust enables every human exchange to succeed.

No healthy society functions without trust. With it, we all benefit best from rapid change everywhere. It frees us to think innovatively, take intelligent risks and seek continuous renewal. Without trust, we obscure, even obliterate opportunity.

More than ever our prosperity is dependant on our inter-dependance.

Call it “Team Think”, “Entrepreneurial Pods” or “Strategic Alliances”, when two or more entities work together on something the best solution for all appears quickest. That happens, however, when all participants are free and equal to share in the positive result. That nurtures trust.

You may say I believe trust is the foundation of every successful business. Yours. Mine. Our clients. Our Suppliers. None of these businesses is merely one that creates value or exchanges goods and services for money. To endure, the exchange must be willing. That’s trust.

Like the rich relationship between mentor and mentored, real growth coincides proportionately with the trust between buyer and seller. Tangible, consistently shown concern for other person is basic to establishing and maintaining trust.

Consistent competence shown by both helps too. Credibility and integrity result. Without either, trust has little chance to grow.

With both come shared vision and alignment. With both come desire to exceed expectations, discipline and action to make it happen. With both doubt, fear and fatigue disappear.

Trust is the result of promises we make to each other.

With trust our belief in the other’s promises is so great it transcends all else. We buy music, see movies, book hotels, enter our credit or debit card information on a website to pay for these purchases, even ride with strangers in cars on the word of others.

The first goal and last goal of every enterprise is to make promises and to keep them. Always know what you promise. And when. Then regularly monitor its reliable delivery.

The bottom line is in your control: being trustworthy will be your competitive edge.

BTW. Wonder what happened to my important client after he trusted and bought my plan?

In less than a year, headhunters recruited him for a big job with a major fashion marketer in Europe.

Him: “What do you think?”

Me: “Trust your intuition. It’s pretty good.”

He did. And went for it.

Trust. Leads to positive results.

By Mike Hanson

The NO BS B2B Copywriter


Cel/text: (416) 200-2430


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