My son, a six-year-old kindergartener, brought home a paper they were coloring in school that had a simple phrase on it that said,
“Don’t be a bucket tipper; be a bucket filler.”
On the paper was a picture of two buckets – one standing upright, nearly filled with sand, the other laying on its side with the sand spilled out of it. It was such a simple picture of trust and commitment to doing the right thing. Extending from that, the trust that is built from continually doing the right thing. Do you think a culture of trust could impact your bottom line?
As we know, trust is something that is not easily given, and less likely to be recaptured after losing it. Many times, when we think of trust, we think of it in terms of “right here, right now, to the people that mean the most to me.” In other words, we have decided that we make a decision to be trustworthy (or not) to those people with whom we interact with every day. This might be limited to friends and family, and perhaps some employees. However, to people that we may never see again, or to people with whom we have a limited engagement with, trust becomes less important.
In marketing, there is a phenomenon called long-tail marketing. It is similar to a battle strategy, wherein one would lure their enemy to a certain area of a battlefield where, to the enemy, it appeared that there was a great opportunity to win the battle. However, once the enemy is drawn to the desired area, they would be crushed by another regiment or other such trap to win the battle.
Trust is like that long-tail marketing strategy, meaning that once you have established trust in a relationship, you have certain freedoms to be able to influence and be influenced by that relationship. Every relationship, of course, invites participants to larger spheres of influence; if I like you and feel that you are a trustworthy person, I am probably going to mention what you do to people as a matter of general conversation. When I tell people about who you are and what you do, people are more open to trusting you, because I trust you, and they trust me.
Understand, however, trust is a value or a character trait. It is not something that is added to the marketing mix, per se. It’s not another SEO or get-rich-quick idea. It is a way of doing things or a standard of operating. Like anything worth having, it may mean that there will be extra work you will have to do. However, looking at the model, it is very easy to see how it will pay off.
Don’t be a bucket tipper. Establish a culture of trust. Know that the more powerful your circle of influence, the more likely people are to do business with you. The more people do business with you, the greater your revenue. Be a bucket filler; build an extraordinary business.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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