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build brand It is not surprising that study after study shows a decline in the public’s trust of business and political leaders, and in their personal lives. The Edelman Trust Study found that nearly two out of every three adults surveyed in 20 countries trust corporations and businesses less than in past studies.

Even though we are faced with a crisis in trust, and have ample examples of how a lack of trust can ruin relationships, I am a firm believer that we can work on trust and build lasting relationships with everyone around us by being trustworthy in someone’s eyes. Trust is based on perceptions, and it needs to be earned through genuine and honest communication and behavior.

About a year ago we noticed a cat lurking around our house. She obviously did not have a home. We began to feed her, but every time we got near her, she would hiss at us and back up to protect herself and avoid harm. This continued for a couple of weeks and then she began to trust. She loved being around our house, and now she approaches us. Not once has she hissed at us again. You see, you have to earn trust from everyone, even animals.

Trust is very powerful, and it’s one of the main pillars of any healthy relationship. When trust exists between husband and wife, family members, clients and your business, you and your team, you and your pet and so on… it results in lasting relationships. But, if trust is broken, the relationship is usually tarnished, and you have to work very hard to repair it, assuming it can be repaired.

In business we all work very hard to obtain new clients, and we do everything we can to retain them. Or we hire a new team member and pray that they will be good and stay with the company. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t. Let’s face it; we all need to build lasting relationships to be more successful in all of our relationships. Here are some tips on how you can apply T.R.U.S.T. in your daily life.

T. Transparent

Be Transparent.

People will trust you more when they see and understand why you are making certain decisions. The more transparent you are with information, the more your spa team will understand why you do what you do. Communicate as openly as you can about decisions, processes and changes. Encourage your team to participate openly in as many decisions as possible. By allowing them to ask questions and offer you their ideas, you demonstrate that you care about their input. If your team feels you’re not really hearing what they have to say, you’ll find it hard to gain their trust.

R. Reputation

Build a strong reputation. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford

Joan Jett – BAD REPUTATION (LIVE) 1991

Building a strong reputation and earning your team’s and your client’s respect, plays a large role in gaining trust. Focus on building a great brand image and reputation. Reputation is about what others believe to be true about your character, personality, skills, competencies and values. People develop an opinion of these things based on behavior. When you leave a positive impression, you open up many doors of opportunity. Don’t let a bad reputation break trust and close doors or even alienate others.

U. Understanding

“Seek first to understand and then to be understood,” the 5th habit in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. What about listening? If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood and you want to get your point across. In doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation, or attentively focus on only the words being said and miss the meaning entirely. This behavior does not promote trust. If you focus on listening and understanding the other person’s point of view first, this behavior will help you build trust and long lasting relationships.

S. Satisfaction

Exceed your client’s expectations.

Trust is related to client and team satisfaction. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure the satisfaction of both. When you succeed, you establish trust. Make customer satisfaction a strategic priority for your business. Communicate clear guest service expectations, and paint a picture of how great your guest will look and feel. Recognize and reward your team for their delivery of a great guest experience. Resolve client complaints quickly. Measure guest and team satisfaction by how well internal and external customer needs are being met.

T. Training

Continually participate in training.

It takes training to ensure that trust is strong between your organization and your clients. Earn the trust of your clients by insisting that everyone observe the “Five Pillars of Trust”:

1. Deliver on your promises.
2. Go out of your way to help
3. Anticipate and fulfill needs
4. Make it easy for guests to do business with you.
5. Be consistent

Trust is power. It’s the power to inspire and influence. It’s the glue that bonds us together and strengthens our relationships.

Build trust and you’ll build a strong spa business!

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Dori Soukup is a recognized spa consultant, expert, speaker, coach and author. Dori is the founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a business firm that specializes in providing business solutions to spa and salon leaders. The firm offers education via CDs, DVDs, Coaching Memberships, Seminars, and more. To learn more, visit http://www.InSPArationmanagement.com.

Dori Soukup is a recognized spa consultant, expert, speaker, coach and author. Dori is the founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a business firm that specializes in providing business solutions to spa and salon leaders. The firm offers education via CDs, DVDs, Coaching Memberships, Seminars, and more.
Dori Soukup
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