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How to build trust according to Richard Branson

Your business cannot survive if your customers and clients don’t trust you. They carry out business transactions with you only because they trust you to deliver what you have promised.

But how easy or difficult is it to build that trust? People don’t just start believing you the moment you start interacting with them or promoting your business. In the beginning it can be especially difficult. And according to this Q-A with Richard Branson published in entrepreneur.com, you need to build trust among your customers and clients as well as your suppliers, distributors, business partners and also your employees.

First of all, according to Richard Branson, you need to stand out. If your prospects cannot distinguish you from everybody else around you, how can they single you out? This is more so important if there is already an air of mistrust. Supposed you represent a business marred by individuals who never deliver what they promise. They muddy the water for everybody, especially well-meaning business people like you. It’s not your fault, but you will need to convince your prospects that you are different. You will have to walk an extra mile in order to stand out.

How do you stand out? One, by performance, and two, always remaining in a positive limelight. Perform well. Deliver what you have promised, and whenever you can manage, deliver more than what you have promised. It doesn’t mean you are bending backwards (sometimes even have to do that), but it means conveying to your prospects that you really care for them.

Since there are very few businesses that actually go the extra mile to accommodate their customers and clients, the mere fact that you are doing that will help you stand out in many instances. Remember that these days we live in a highly connected world. Your prospects are continuously exchanging words with each other through social networking and social media websites. Whether they have good, bad or mediocre experience with a business, they immediately share their opinion with each other, and considering that many of these opinions and exchanges show up on search engine result pages, it is more important that they are positive rather than negative.

Aside from that, you also need to continuously engage people in order to build trust. You have to be in their consciousness when they have to make a purchase. Again, with social media it has become extremely easy, although time-consuming, to engage your prospects. Get involved in the ongoing discussions. Express your opinions and provide help wherever needed.

Building trust is a long-term process. When you start a new business it should be an integral part of your overall approach. Large business empires are built on the foundation of trust.