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The strategic importance of trust in business

In the world of business today, trust is more important than ever, especially when it comes to relationships with clients, customers, employees and all stakeholders in your business.

In the world of business today, trust is more important than ever, especially when it comes to relationships with clients, customers, employees and all stakeholders in your business.

But what do we mean by trust? Webster’s dictionary defines trust as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.

I firmly believe that trust is right at the foundation of the survival and success of any business. Without trust, there can be no sustainable business.

Trust is a strategically critical issue in any type of relationship because a relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all. Over the long term, business success is dependent upon a network of positive relationships.

Trust is invariably the critical component in enhancing business relationships. The moment a person is not trusted by an individual or team, his or her chances for success within that group are dramatically diminished.

Working relationships that have been built on trust are an important sustainable competitive advantage because trust is so valuable and so rare. The level of trust a leader is able to achieve with his or her associates is contingent upon the associate’s perceptions of the leader’s ability, honesty and integrity.

A study was conducted to determine whether trust could be a source of competitive advantage. The study showed that trust is significantly related to sales, profits and turnover.

The study also concluded that the ability of a leader to earn higher trust from his or her employees likely creates a competitive advantage for a firm over its rivals.

There are certain components of trust that every client, customer or other stakeholder in your business looks for in doing business with you. There are several levels of trust, and I have chosen five for this piece.

A first level of trust is trust in technical competence and know-how. Clients and customers are looking for someone whose level of competence inspires trust.

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