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The Power of the Trust Triangle and How to Build It

By | 04.20.21

The Power of the Trust Triangle and How to Build It

Contributed by Neal Polachek, Founder of ThinkLikeAnApp

We’ve all been through quite a year, and it’s clear that some of the changes we’ve experienced are here to stay … the question is which ones?

Well, at ThinkLikeAnApp, we believe that our greater reliance on our cell phones is one change that is here to stay — and is poised to increase even further.

Everything we want — food, news, health care, entertainment, exercise — you name and we can do it via an App. Hence we think of today as the era of AppCommerce, where businesses must begin to Think Like An App to meet the evolving and changing consumer expectations and demands.

Unfortunately, this reliance on technology and these “supercomputers” we call cell phones, can also leave us feeling like the human connection is missing.  As we’ve analyzed the trends in the local world these days, we’ve noticed that along with our increased reliance on technology, there’s been a growing “trust gap” happening too.

The Decline of Trust

For more than 20 years, Edelman, a global communications firm, has been assessing the state of “trust.” Sadly, trust has been in decline for some time. In the chart below, made public from Edelman’s 2021 research, the data shows a precipitous decline in trust among the key media.

All four of the platforms assessed, search engines, social media, traditional media and owned media, showed a decline in 2020 and a continuation of that decline into 2021.


small business, trust, search engines, owned media

That’s why ThinkLikeAnApp is committed to helping business owners identify ways for them to improve their “trust” factor among prospects as well as existing customers, clients and patients.

Trust Matters

The famous educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker Stephen Richards Covey once described trust this way:

“Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust — distrust — is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them — in their integrity and their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them — of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It’s that simple.”

If you think about it, every business transaction is an act of trust. Consumers are looking for signs they can trust before they transact, which is why reviews and testimonials matter so much.  And, like it or not, it takes many transactions to build trust, however, it only takes a moment to lose it.

Even more, the data tells us that trust-building is more challenging today than ever before. TLAA is a simple framework to build trust — the pillars of Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy come together to form a Trust Triangle because TRUST really is the holy grail for business continuity & growth.

Demonstrating Trust

Here’s a shortlist of some key behaviors that lead to Trust. Audit your business and ask yourself how well you practice these behaviors.

  • A focus on the other. This means having a genuine focus on the outcomes and benefits of the other.
  • A collaborative approach. To drive true trust, collaboration must be done with the core belief that a collaborative effort or initiative will result in a better outcome for everyone in the relationship.
  • A long-term view. By focusing on forging long-term relationships instead of short-term transactions, trust is a natural outcome.
  • A commitment to transparency. Transparency increases one’s credibility and therefore lowers one’s self-orientation.
  • Say what you are going to do and then do what you say. Basic integrity builds trust.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Frequent, honest communication with customers, suppliers and employees creates a solid foundation of trust.
  • Trust is built one day, one interaction at a time. Yet, you can lose trust in a moment because of one poor decision. Make the right decision.
  • Sell without selling out. Focus more on your core values and customer loyalty than short-term sales and profits.
  • Trust generates commitment; commitment fosters teamwork; and teamwork delivers results. When people trust their team members they not only work harder, but they work harder for the good of the team.
  • Become a coach. Coach your customers. Coach your team at work. Guide people, educate them on what you know, and you will earn their trust.
  • Show people you care about them. When people know you care about their interests as much as your own they will trust you.
  • Always do the right thing. We trust those who live, walk and work with integrity.
  • When you don’t do the right thing, admit it. Be transparent, authentic and willing to share your mistakes and faults. When you are vulnerable and don’t hide you radiate trust.

When you implement the ThinkLikeAnApp and the Trust Triangle, you are actively practicing these behaviors – whether in your actions or by using technology:

triangle of trust, Neal Polachek, ThinkLikeAnApp

Build Your Trust Triangle

ThinkLikeAnApp has partnered with Thryv to bring you a four-part series on expanding your trust using Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy.

In this series, you’ll learn:

  • Why today’s Modern Consumer demands are making outstanding Customer Experiences the minimum level necessary to stay in business
  • Why Trust is the cornerstone to delivering compelling Customer Experiences
  • How to use the three pillars of Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy to build trust, deliver great experiences and grow your business
  • Concrete action steps you can take to make a difference in your business’s bottom line, immediately.

Save your seat in Session 1: Building Trust and The Evolution of the Modern Consumer on Tuesday,  May 4, at 1 p.m. CT

In this first session, we will set the stage for your understanding of the power of Trust. We’ll also provide an overview of the ThinkLikeAnApp framework that we’ve already presented to thousands of small businesses to great success. And you’ll learn where you can focus in your business to create outstanding customer experiences and the business growth that results.

REGISTER NOW

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