I write this from an Internet cafe in Kerobokan, Bali. It’s just around the corner from Chapelle Corby’s prison home, but that’s a story for another day.
I was reminded yesterday about building trust. We came to Bali primarily to buy for Rita’s gift-ware store. There’s lots of beautiful, hand-crafted jewellery to chose from over here and the people are always friendly and helpful.
We’re lucky to have two wonderful local “agents” who help us source the best product. Dedi and Yasi a young beautiful young couple with a young family. They fall over themselves to help us and we have come to trust and rely heavily on their advice.
At one point they took us to a place in Denpasar we wouldn’t find in a million years. It was tucked away behind a bunch of disheveled Balinese houses and we sat on the floor looking at rings and gemstones and pendants while chickens, ducks and children wandered happily around the yard. There was no security guards, no lurking sales attendant, no hint at all that there was many tens of thousands of dollars of jewellery sitting out in the open.
And Dedi and Yasi had the full run of the place. They were in and out of the house with trays and trays of product. No-one showed any concern that we might pocket some of the jewellery and it was an observation that Rita made out loud.
It was Dedi’s response that I thought was both insightful and profound. “He trusts me. And I will never abuse that trust”, he stated. Sure he could make a few bucks on the side by stealing a ring or a pendant here and there. But in the long run he knows that, at a whole bunch of levels, he’s far better off nurturing that trust and building on the relationship.
For me it’s a great lesson for business. Honouring someone’s trust is a long term project with long-term dividends. It takes a long time to develop and can be destroyed in an instant.
I’m up for building a business based on trust and reputation just like Dedi is doing. How about you?
Photo credit mahayani1 on Flickr