Over two years, I have had business consulting sessions with many entrepreneurs. And when I ask them about the kind of core qualities they easily look out for before they do business with someone, two distinct qualities always stand out.
Many times, as entrepreneurs, we think the big reason people do business with us is our high level of competency. We think our capacity and capability are what open doors for us. But, in essence, these two things are not primarily considered at first.
Trustworthiness and likability are two reasons people will want to work with you – confide in you – do business with you. Before someone considers your level of competency, they have to trust and like you.
People open doors for who they trust. And, in the long run, trustworthiness breeds likeability. A strong and trustworthy person elicits admiration, but only after the trust is established does the strength become a gift rather than a threat. If someone you’re trying to influence in business (and relationship) doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative.
While competence in business is highly valued, it is evaluated only after trust has been established.
Today’s entrepreneurs and organizational leaders must understand that trust, not competence, is what drives a successful business relationship. And it’s easier to find competence, in today’s highly driven society, than it is to find trustworthiness. This is why it is important.
Before engaging in a business deal with you, people are always asking the following questions
Can I trust this person?
Can I like (respect) this person during the course of our business relationship?
When they have satisfactorily answered the above questions, only then will they come into a business partnership with you.
These are two most important questions that must be answered in furthering a great business relationship.