"Seventy percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising, according to a new report from Forrester Research." - Todd Wasserman, Mashable
To build trust you need to of course cover basics like deliver on what you promise and have great products and services, but there are other x factors that can give you a trust edge.
If a leadership team is only talking about sales, then it might be time to revisit those mission and vision statements. Be a whole brand–one that has a great team and participates in communities larger than your sales floor. Don't get me wrong, selling isn't bad, but if that's all you do, that's just boring. Which leads me to the next point...
You care about something. Your employees probably care about a lot of things. Connect with some of those, pick some causes, rally around them.
At the recent IBJ Tech Breakfast, the CMO of Exact Target Tim Kopp summed this up nicely: "Serving is the new selling." Amen.
In the quest to win a deal, it's easy to try to fit your square product or service into a round hole. If what you have to offer doesn't fill the need, say so. Seriously. Say no. No can be refreshing in an endless sea of yes. People begin to understand you're not the type to try and pull the wool over their eyes. "No" has an uncanny power to build trust.
It isn't all doom and gloom. While you're working in the trenches, trying to earn trust, don't forget the first half of that statement. 70% of consumers trust a friend's recommendation. If you're not thinking about how to earn referrals from your best customers, it might be time to start.