Networking Tip: The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey Jr.

July 26, 2008

Last month Stephen Covey Jr. came to Antwerp to give a Master Class about his new book Speed of Trust.This Master Class was organised by Franklin Covey Belgium.

An excellent moment to hear what someone else is saying about the topic of trust. It’s a topic that also gets more attention in our own training courses and presentations.

Networking is about building relationships and building trust. It’s very hard to get referrals without trust.

Stephen addressed a few interesting topics. I won’t go in detail for all of them in this post, I will write about them in future posts.

One of his main points is that trust increases speed and lowers costs. And that also the other way around is true: low trust means high costs and lowers speed.

An example that he gives in his speech (it is also in the book) is about 9/11. Afterwards more security measures were taken: more safety, but lower trust.

The consequence was less speed (we all have to be at airports much sooner than before) and higher costs (more security personnel).

Stephen also gave positive examples, but the one that sticked with me the most was one from the audience.

A person who works for Carglass (it is a company that is primarily known for repairing wind shields) told the story how they changed their complaints department.

They used to have a rather large department to deal with complaints of customers. Some of them also tried to rip them off by telling that the service people of Carglass damaged their car or made the problem worse than before (but most of them had a car accident AFTER the repairs done by Carglass). For every complaint a lot of administration had to be done by Carglass and the customer.

At a certain moment Carglass considered options how to decrease costs. And they decided to go for trust.

They decided to say “yes” to customers who had a complaint (even if they knew they tried to rip them off) and to offer them a free repair.

The result? Not only they got rid of lots of administration and now only have two people left in the complaints department (in other words: reducing costs massively), but also the amount of people taking advantage decreased tremendously. People who made an appointment while it was not Carglass’ fault didn’t show up and the ones who did show up became regular customers and their best ambassadors.

For me this was a very nice example of how extending trust to people gives trust back and has very positive results.

How about you? How about your organisation? How can you extend trust and hence increase speed and lower costs?

To your success !



Networking Tip: Make Someone’s Day

July 12, 2008

Yesterday I was installing new software that I received from my bank to make transactions much smoother.

Having worked in the ICT industry before I started Networking Coach I always dread such moments because I know Murphy’s Law is always around the corner. And yes also this time.

Apparently the installation software is not 100% compatible with Windows Vista. So I had the call the help desk. And that on a day that banks are closed because of a regional holiday. While I was going through the options (For .. press 1, for .. press 2,…) I was already starting to tell myself “How can you set yourself more up for frustration than this?” until … I got a real voice.

And even more to my surprise it was a very helpful man. And at a point he even admitted he didn’t know the answer, but was going to get back to me with the answer (“Yeah right” I already hear you think). But after the first helpful contact, I started to believe in helpdesk-mankind again. And I was right. 20 minutes later he called me back with the right answer and I could go on with the installation.

So I got to the next step. Again a problem. So I called the helpdesk again. Another man, but cheerful, and determined to resolve the problem. And he did in less than a minute.

After I thanked him for his help, he asked me: “Can I ask you a question?”. “Of course” I replied expecting that he would ask me to answer a customer satisfaction survey (which I was glad to do because of the good help I got from them).

To my surprise he asked “Are you the one who wrote the networking book “Let’s Connect”? “Yes I am” I answered. “Well, I have been reading it and I want to thank you for the many good tips, it is really a great book.”

Wow! That took me by surprise!

Thank you KBC Business HelpDesk for not only helping me out and getting my frustration out of the way, but also for putting a big smile on my face and making my day!


PS: who has suprised you lately? And who did you surprise? Most of the times it is in the small things.

Referral Tip: How To Ask For Referrals

July 5, 2008

This week’s post is a link to a short interview Alan Stevens did with me when we met at the Professional Speakers Association Holland Conference in Amsterdam earlier this year.

The short interview is about how to ask for referrals.

Alan is also a professional speaker, moreover he is the chairman of the Professional Speakers Assocation in the UK, and he is also a known as the Media Coach. Each week he posts a podcast with tips and interviews. Always very interesting content.

Have a great networking day !


PS: if you want to set up your own referral strategy or discover the other 6 steps of the Everlasting Referral Sequence, then the Everlasting Referrals Home Study Course might be a solution for you if you don’t live near a venue where you can attend an open training course or when your company doesn’t hire us (or other referral experts) to give a referral training course.

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