Trust: The Forefront of our Business

A few weeks ago, I read a very fine article by Dan Coughlin, a business coach, life coach, and corporate speaker who also writes a lot about workplace relationships. The article, “Nuances of Interpersonal Effectiveness, #5: Trust is the Critical Element,” really got me thinking about trust – or the lack thereof – in our broader world, and trust in our business specifically.

You don’t have to look far to see the examples of distrust in the broader world. Just a few examples include:

  • Distrust in what government leaders tell them about vaccinations or masks.
  • Distrust in local and national media, viewing much of the information presented by them daily as propaganda
  • A lack of trust in what one political party says about members of the other
  • A lack of trust in the information being presented by teachers to their children.

And the result of all this widespread distrust is the political, public health, and overall societal chaos we are all witnessing.
In our own business, we have not yet witnessed the same degree of degraded trust. In fact, one can make a solid argument for the position that the professionalism – and thus trustworthiness − of the average advisor has increased substantially over past years. There is little doubt that the members of this organization and the advisors who read NAILBA’s articles and other content are polished professionals looking to improve how they do business.

Leaders in our business have made conscious and consistent efforts to keep trust at the forefront of client relationships knowing that trust is crucial to building and maintaining client and business relationships.

If focusing on trust has not been a conscious priority for you, I urge you to make it one. Without it, it will not be long before your business starts to show the same kinds of cracks that our society as a whole is showing. And without earning the trust of those with whom you do business – those both up and down the chain of distribution – it is only a matter of time before your relationships dissolve.

No matter how many bells and whistles your products have or how clever your client presentation skills are, nothing works over time unless you have a solid, trust-based relationships with your client. The foundation of this business is relationship and if you build your relationships on trust, your business will have the foundation it needs to grow and to make it through strange times like these.

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU, is the president of Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC, a communications consulting operation in Florissant, MO. For many years, Chuck was the editor and publisher of Life Insurance Selling magazine, and has published several of the leading life insurance industry magazines. He continues to contribute articles on a regular basis to industry publications, in addition to providing a wide range of writing, editing, content development, and marketing services through his firm. He is a regular contributor to NAILBA Now e-Newsletter as well as to Perspectives magazine.