3 Ways to Build Trust

Here is the cold hard truth. Nobody is going to buy anything from you unless you establish trust first.

In fact, part of the sales cycle that I talk about a lot with my coaching clients and classes is the Know, Like, Trust, Buy sales funnel. That Trust part is a key factor in getting people over to your side of the buying fence.

If it is so important, why are shops so horrible at it?

Because developing trust takes care and effort, and a lot of shops are simply not focused on this idea. It’s a commitment.

This article is focused on three different ways you can build trust in your business. Are there more than three? You bet. But let’s start with these and see if you can use them to help drive more sales to your company.

Trust With Your Employees

For starters, your business doesn’t operate without staff. Your business is only as good as your employees, so what are you doing to develop a better sense of trust with them?

Better employees = better interactions with customers.

There are many ideas that can help build a trustworthy relationship with your crew. Here’s what I would focus on:

  • Comprehension of the Big Picture. Uncertainty about the company’s direction can lead to stress and undermine your leadership goals. With every employee, ensure that they understand your company’s goals, ways of working, and expectations for their job.
  • Clarity with Expectations. A lack of clarity regarding employee’s daily duties can lead to confusion. Ask your team to recap instructions, agree that tasks are achievable, and let them know they can ask questions.
  • Practice Active Listening. Take notes and listen to what your troops are telling you. Ask open-ended questions to get better feedback.
  • Be Honest. Even when things are not working out or there are big scary challenges. Be open to sharing the truth, as that will lead to deeper levels of trust with your team.

Consistently Deliver

Trust is built when attention and intention live in the same place. When your company is consistently delivering awesomeness, people take notice.

So in your shop, does that happen with every order?

Remember, the only way to get referrals is to be referable. Nobody is going to say, “Hey, you gotta call my friend at the t-shirt shop, they will take fantastic care of you!” unless you have a consistent track record with that customer.

The reason referrals don’t happen is because someone is afraid that you might drop the ball. Fear prevents the referral from happening.

When you eliminate that fear by consistently kicking butt for people, they will happily recommend you to everyone they know. Here’s what I would focus on:

  • Hit the big items on every order. On-time delivery. Quality in the decoration. Ease of ordering and working with you.
  • Be a problem solver. Constantly ask questions to pull out your customer’s biggest problems and challenges. Solve those.
  • Be the expert. They are coming to you for answers. Be prepared.
  • Let your creativity shine. Developing a sense of style and quality with your art will become a market differentiator for you. Nobody flocks to a company because they have awesome clip art or stock images. What flavor is your creative rocket sauce?

Be Value-Based

What is your approach to sales? Are you thinking long term? Or, are you simply transactional in how you develop new customers?

Here’s what I mean.

What actions does your company make with how you develop and nurture customers? Are you thinking about and developing your customers as partners? If your actions are centered on these ideas, you might develop a deeper sense of trust with your clients:

  • Truth. Even if it hurts to tell something to a client, be truthful. Especially when there is a mistake or problem. Trust is built upon a foundation of truth.
  • Generosity. Do you give value first? Will you help someone even if they don’t buy from you?
  • Clarity with Expectations. This means no hidden surprises. You do what you say, always.
  • Love. Do you love your customers? How do they know that? Are you expressing that with your actions?

Change The Way You Look At Things

I believe it is crucial these days to take a macro view of your business from your customer’s point of view. Your future success is 100% based on how your customers feel about you.

It’s easy to get caught up in “our rules”. You do things a certain way because they make sense to you. But are they confusing to your customer? Is it hard to order from you because of something?

How hard are you focusing on making your customers happy? Do you go out of your way to surprise and delight them?

If you are not happy with your current level of sales, maybe you need to change the perspective of how how customers interact and view your company? What do you need to change to achieve the level of results that you expect?

Is there a “Big Domino” that you could revamp that might affect everything else in your business? This could be updating your sales process, creating a new website, or how you interact with customers.

When you change the way you look at things, those things can change.

To have more trust, you have to do a better job of creating trust on purpose. Reframe things from your customer’s point of view.


“Trust, but verify.” – Ronald Reagan

“Trust is the glue of life. Its the most essential ingredient in effective communication. Its the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey

“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” – Stephen King