|Honesty, Trust and Sales.|
It has always caught my attention when coming across conversations about honesty in business because, for me, being honest is among those things one shouldn’t consider optional.
It’s like being well educated and having good manners: Since childhood I was taught I had to be an educated person, that women aren’t to be hurt not even with a rose petal, that elderly people should also be respected and, of course, that one should not lie, and with all these many other things my parents and teachers by that time were committed to engraving deeply in my mind.
So being honest, for me, is an inalienable condition. That is, when we're talking business (and even life itself, I would say), you can not decide whether to be honest or not. You have to be honest, whether you like it or not. Or at least, that's how I've always thought it should be.
I recently read an article (as always, you’ll find the link at the end of this post) which clearly demonstrated the relationship between honesty, trust and your business sales. It was conducted by Bonfire Marketing and its results indicated that:
- 91% of respondents don’t like it when you lie to them about your product or services.
- 63% of respondents prefer to buy products from companies they trust.
And they topped off the whole study with the following sentence: "An authentic company owns up to their mistakes and is honest with customers. Does not sugar coat anything or sweep problems under the rug". Pretty clear, isn’t it?
So, let’s go then step by step.
A truthful company, acknowledges its own mistakes.
If you want your company to really grow and develop itself, you have to be willing to admit when you mess things up. But not only from the surface, but on a very deep, profound way, not looking for someone to blame or hold accountable, but rather to make this error a turning point, learning from it and then starting a new, renovated path.
Have you ever noticed how, for alcoholics, the first step to stop drinking is to recognize they have a real problem? It works the same way when we refer to businesses and entrepreneurships.
Deep changes occur only when we honestly recognize that we made a mistake and our need to change.
And so there must be this recognition, the person has to be honest and true to herself, say "alcohol has made a lot of damage to me and my loved ones. It’s a situation that I don’t even deserve, so I really need to make a change".
And it is then, at that very moment, when the turning point emerges, the person has recognized herself, recognized her mistake, the damage it has caused, and then promises to herself: "I will change".
Always be honest with your customers.
Honesty builds trust. Lying raises suspicion. And it is a rule that can be probed at any stage of our life. Even the most stable relationship is damaged when there is a lie or even when you suspect there might have been a lie.
Haven’t you ever felt completely overwhelmed by a bittersweet, anxious feeling when you come to realize or even suspect someone is cheating on you, or even lying to you?
If your client comes to suspect that you're cheating on them, you can be sure you’ve lost its business.
Same thing happens to all human beings, and you must remember that your customers, above all, are human beings. Lying, cheating, even the mere suspicion that there might be an irregular handling of things, can throw away any business relationship.
That’s why 91% of respondents indicated a preference for brands that were not lying about their products and services, and 63% said they preferred to buy from those brands they trust on. It’s common sense.
To all of us, the same thing happens.
Honesty builds trust. Trust generates more sales.
And it really is something that makes me feel uncomfortable to mention, but it looks like some companies continue to consider honesty and transparency in business as an optional item. But it’s not.
Honesty and transparency are the key ingredients on any relationship, whether commercial, professional or sentimental. And when referring to your business, if you want to build relationships with your customers that will last a lifetime, earning their confidence is a cornerstone in the process.
And to earn their confidence, you necessarily have to be honest with them. Like it or not. It’s not me who’s saying it. The study I mentioned above explains it to you, as well as pure common sense:
Honesty builds trust. Trust generates more sales.
And it's something you have to consider while managing your business. At all times and in every stage of your relationship with the customer, keep always in mind honesty will generate much more long term profits: more purchases from the same customer, and the opportunity to have satisfied customers recommending you with new customers.
A deal which is definitely good for you.
Photo credit: Les Cunliffe / Dollarphotoclub
I recommend you reading on this blog:
It is not a golden rule but works great: Honesty and transparency.
And the link to the infographic with data that I pointed you up:
The authenticity of the brand.