When it comes right down to it, our main goal should be to become the high-trust person and a high trust brand in the marketplace. If we can establish trust over time everybody wins.
How can we establish trust over time so everybody wins?
By first creating a brand promise and then (here comes the tough part) honoring that brand promise
Why is honoring your brand promise so difficult? Because when you honor your brand promise in that moment it will cost you money, in that moment it will cost you time and aggravation and there are tempting shortcuts to dishonor your promise everywhere.
I would like to give you my brand promise for Next Step CFO where we provide CFO Services to small companies on an as needed basis. It has 5 promises
- I promise to empower small business owners with information and analysis that can lead to multiple 6 figures in profit and income 7 figures in business value. I have accomplished this with 3 clients. That is nowhere near enough, but common denominator in all 3 cases. Trust. The trust to collaborate, trusting the process and trusting the strategy to finally executing. It was trust.
- I promise to maintain strict confidentiality of client financial matters at all times. Nothing much more has to be said about that because if I violate that promise I’m done for.
- I promise to be available at all times. I’ve have answered telephone calls from clients at 2 am, at 3 am. I have had meetings with clients at 5 am and 6 am. Night and weekends. In the rough and tumble world of commerce there are anxious moments. They can happen any time and I have to be there for my clients.
- I promise to give everything I got for my client to be successful. I like to think of myself as a thoroughbred because a thoroughbred is a rare breed. No matter how far out of the race they are they are always giving 100%. Once again in the rough and tumble world of commerce there are ups and there are downs. The ups are easy to deal with the downs are not. When my client is down I need to urge us both to keep on fighting because I have seen it time and time again that just a small breakthrough can turn the whole ship around.
- Finally, I promise to be fair. Fair is an honored promise. I have written checks back to clients for mistakes I have made that have cost them money. The most recent example was in April. I made a mistake on a payroll matter with a client that cost him $832. I wrote him a check for $832 The client didn’t know he lost $832. But I did. This is what I mean when I say when you honor your brand promise in that moment will cost you money, in that moment it will cost you time and aggravation and there are tempting shortcuts to dishonor your promise everywhere.
That is my brand promise. With that promise I feel I stand for something. Not something here today and gone tomorrow. But Something enduring. My Brand Promise is Conceived, inspired and Driven by Trust. Trust, the most valuable asset in the world.