Do people trust you? Especially if you are in a “high trust” business that’s financial or legal, customers need to know they can trust you. It’s essential.
But, frankly, these days I think everyone is in a high trust business. Given how stretched many people are economically, we all want to trust a return on the investment of every dollar – even if it’s an article of clothing, food, or personal items. We want to trust that we are getting our money’s worth out of every product and service we spend our hard-earned money on.
One way to earn people’s trust is by engaging in non-sales relationships, and that’s where history can play a role. If your business underwrites a historical community event, for example, serve on the committee, promote the event at your place of business and through your normal communications channels, and have a visible presence at the event. Each of these activities gets you in front or hundreds if not thousands of people because of a shared interest – local history.
But, frankly, even just attaching your name to history-related organizations, projects, or events boosts the trust factor. It’s really true! Again, people who choose to live in historical communities – or people who choose to stay there as adults – care deeply about local history. When they notice that you do as well, they associate intelligence, cultural awareness, value, quality, and stability with your business – all of which are building blocks to trust.
The key is to be visibly proud of your support of local history. Please don’t just write a check, have a nonprofit organization put your logo on a flyer, and think that you’ve accomplished what I suggest. That won’t do it! Instead, find out every “touch point” people encounter with the project you are supporting – publicity, displays, talks, committees, meetings, events. Where can you participate in person and/or make sure your name appears?
And, again, promote your involvement through your own methods. This way, you are forming a true partnership between your business and the historical organization overseeing the project you are supporting.
And when you do partner with your museum, historical society, historic house, or public library friends group, potential customers will notice.
You will stand out in the crowd of your competitors by affiliating yourself with this kind of historical organization. You will be seen as credible and generous because of your own initiative AND because the nonprofit has agreed to partner with you. Here, too, you will generate trust.
What historical organizations or projects can you support or initiate? Who can you partner with? I promise, you will notice the high level of trust that will come your way!
2011 © Bonnie Hurd Smith
History Smiths works with service-oriented businesses to use history — their own and their community's — to achieve customer loyalty, referrals, and high status. Subscribe (above, right) to our free Ezine, Connections, where we share ideas and examples of businesses embracing history to achieve business goals.