Trust in digital era is everything. Technologies will come and go but our values remain timeless. As we all know, building partnerships based on our values and core purpose are the key to trust overtime and ultimately to fuel growth and long-term success in business as well as in personal life.
This article is inspired by the wisdom and experiences I have received from my mentors, partners, customers and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s book Hit Refresh. I highly recommend Hit Refresh book.
The basic question is: who do we trust in life and why?
Think another way. Today multiple tech buyers are involved in the technology buying decision which is making the IT sales cycles much longer. The model is changing from single transaction to As-S-Service subscription revenue. So when buyers are making the buying decision, why should they buy from you? Why You?
We are all technologists and understand equations and algorithms. So let me write this thought as a trust equation and see if this equation and it’s terms can help us find the answer to the above question.
The Trust Equation
E + C + R2 + FS = T
Empathy + Consistency + Relevancy + Reliability + Future Security = Trust over-time
The trust starts with empathy. Are we empathetic to people and their needs or a specific situation. When we start our conversation in-person or digitally, do we genuinely care about the situation or the audience or the unmet and unarticulated needs of the buyer? If we are empathetic to the pains and unarticulated and unmet needs of the buyer, we will start building trust. This is so important and that’s why I have put empathy as the first term of the trust equation.
“At the core, Hit Refresh is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.”
– Satya Nadella from Hit Refresh
According to the CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner, “consistency over time is trust”. Being consistent about our shared values and information that we share with our buyers and partners build trust over time. Be consistent in sharing the wisdom and content with the buyer at every stage of the buyer journey.
Providing right information at the right time builds trusted relationships. I have heard that in the old times, some people used to curate the stories from the newspapers and magazines and physically mail them to their friends. The recipients trusted those people for what’s new.
In the modern times, we trust people who share relevant information and wisdom via email or social media or in-person as we are trying to accomplish our goals.
If I as a customer have an issue or a situation, can I rely on this partner? Can I call their partners in the middle of the night when my data center is attacked by the ransomware or our cloud crashed because of the heavy traffic that our recent promotion created? If the answer is yes, it builds trust over time.
In the current fake news climate, a reliable source of information and trust filter is a must.
Future Security (FS)
Is my future safe with this partner? Will this partner help me realize my digital future? Do they have the vision for the future? It’s extremely important to share your point of view of the future and if it aligns with the buyer’s point of view, buyers feel their future is secure with this partner and build trust over time.
Trust in digital era is everything and all these terms of this equation help build a trusted partnership. So as a solution provider, when you are selling to a group of technology buyers, yes, you will need to make sure that the technology stack makes sense for the buyer. But more importantly, if you are also addressing all these 5 terms of the trust equation (empathy, consistency, relevancy, reliability, and future security), you are answering the question “Why You” to the technology buyer and becoming a trusted IT provider for life.
When we live all these terms of this equation every day in every customer and partner relationship, the trust will fuel the business growth and bring all the benefits digital future promises, or the distrust will kill the business.
At InXero, we have built industry’s first and only Go to Market Platform for IT Resellers. Our science and machine of Go to Market is enabling solution providers build trust and grow their business…faster. We are very proud to serve our industry and build trusted partnerships for life.