The Trust Gap

This week I had the great privilege of working with AgStar Financial Services, one of the Twin Cities’ Top Places to Work (for 3 consecutive years). It’s no surprise that their employees rate them so highly. Trust is the foundation of their Team Relationship Model, and it guides the development of all relationships inside the organization. The model of trust-based relationships extends to customers, partners and the community. AgStar teaches employees to trust and hold one another accountable. Their employee engagement and net promoter scores lead their category, year after year. Trust works.

With trust and respect as the foundation, relationships are well-positioned to flourish.

Trustworthy people do what they say they are going to do — all of the time. Consistency counts. Relationships grow through consistency and stability.

Everyone has a Circle of Trust.  There are people that live inside our circle, and there are brands that earn our trust and loyalty over time that stay inside our circle.

When we’re trying to expand our Circle of Trust, it is important to effectively manage the Trust Gap.

The Trust Gap is the gap that can exist between my expectations and my actual experience. Every customer has certain expectations about how a company should treat them. Employees are no different.  The key to managing the Trust Gap is to clearly define expectations and deliver on them, consistently. No exceptions. Open, transparent communication is required to establish the shared understanding that leads to high-value, high-trust relationships.

Do you have clearly defined expectations with the people you care about?  Does that include both customers and employees?

Are you consistently delivering an experience that exceeds those expectations?  How do you know?

The enclosed video offers insight on effectively managing the Trust Gap and earning the coveted distinction of Trusted Advisor.

Ryan Estis, Trusted Advisor on Vimeo


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