Soul Business is an ethos to inspire and enable people, business and organisations to communicate better by connecting deeper.
Your No 1 priority in business is to build trust. Period.
Trust is a core that should run through your entire communications.
A 2015 Forbes survey of 500 top US business leaders found that, when asked which credentials they looked for in people they sought to work with, the top five were all characteristics that were trust related – reputation, trust, integrity, ethics and reliability.
Capability came sixth in the list – and I suspect was a given following the top five credentials. The upshot? Character is seen as more important than capability.
You wouldn’t trust someone to mind your children, offer medical advice, perform an operation, fix your car, make a house repair, or, in business, supply a product or service unless you trusted them to do a good job and maybe came on some sort of recommendation.
Coming on referral again would be from someone you trust. Few of us would recommend someone we didn’t, in turn, trust to provide a service for friends, family or colleagues.
We just aren’t like that – we value our relationships.
Trust isn’t a given – it has to be earned and in business has to be communicated. No good being trustworthy if no one knows about it.
Say hello to character marketing.
Soul Business is a dual-pronged approach to connecting meaningfully to form a stronger, longer-lasting bonds to win hearts and minds.
Winning minds is about communicating the effectiveness and ability to do to the job – capability, delivery, organisation.
Winning hearts are characteristics that run deeper. They touch our souls at an intuitive gut instinct, value-driven level. It ‘feels’ right. Why would we say that if it didn’t matter so much?
Together these dual connectors form a strong bond to resonate with your audience(s).
Friendships and, in business, lifelong trustworthy suppliers, partners, employees and customers et al provide ongoing, enduring value. They travel further and mean more.
And Soul Business is about doing better not just different. We’re not shifting deck chairs on the Titanic here – we’re aiming to improve.
Communicating trust is the essence of Soul Business – better means making a conscious effort to progress, gain momentum and add pace.
So here’s the challenge – if Soul Business Rule 1 was about creating strong core messaging, Rule 2 is about focusing on placing trust as the heart of your communications.
Here’s how to shape your own personal trust-o-meter.
List the trust characteristics that are relevant to your business (and the way you do business).
Give each characteristic a rating of 1-10 based on where you feel you are at present (and be honest).
Now use the same scale to rank your trust potential if you actively communicated trust as a priority in your marketing and promotion (be ambitious).
Finally, list the things you could do to maximise your score.
These actions are the vital things you need to do to be as trustworthy as possible and are fundamental to developing a winning business – not just one that can win business but also one that is a winner in all kinds of moral and ethical ways.
Rule 3 is about your purpose – why you do what you do. This will graft another layer of connection onto the character marketing of your business.
Chris Green is an award-winning author and broadcaster – and managing partner of Chris Green Media – which inspires organisations to communicate better by connecting deeper.