The collapse in the global business markets in the ‘noughties’ was followed by a collapse in trust in business and the institutions of business. In fact the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao at one point is credited with saying that now ‘trust is more valuable than gold’.
Trust is a powerful thing – nothing moves and no-one acts without first having achieved some form of trust in a person or an undertaking. It is essential in business and what happens when trust is lost is things spiral down to a stop and we face recession. Banks don’t lend, businesses don’t invest, jobs become insecure and consumers don’t spend. In fact you could say that nothing moves without trust.
Where there is trust there is acceptance and where there is acceptance there is influence - then change can happen and decisions can be made.
If there is to be trust in business again it will become the job of the foot soldiers – the business owners, the accountants, sales people, account managers, client relationship directors, entrepreneurs, in fact anyone who has a revenue responsibility by getting face to face with prospects and clients – to re-build it, one person at a time.
Many of these sales and account management ‘professionals’ then get promoted to managers and directors and we find ourselves with business where sales managers and directors manage by spreadsheet and not through expertise, mentoring and high staff engagement.
Selling needs to return to being transformational – focused on people. Where selling becomes what it should be – not about the product or the service – but about the experience that the prospect or customer gets through having that product or service – and that experience starts with ‘first contact’.