TrustMe: This Article is Excellent! Persevere to the very end


It’s ALL about Trust…ESPECIALLY if you’re a Medical Provider. There’s NO other endeavor on the face of the Earth more dependent on Trust than Healthcare. If you’re in the business, and you’ve compromised your Trust, you’re Dead in the Water.

There’s a serious lack of Trust in seemingly everything these days. (Bad News: it’s growing!) Around the world, people are looking at national and multi-national corporations with a narrow gaze and a suspicious eye.  (Lately, BOTH eyes!)  No matter what you’re ‘pitchin, consumer confidence has fallen off the table.  Trust is waning.  No one’s buying anything.

This trend is nothing new; it’s probably not even a trend. Tales of unscrupulous business oligarchies and less-than-trustworthy empires have been part of the culture since Genghis and Kublai Khan stamped their multinational brand on the world market. Back in the Day, the Khan Boys kept a tight leash on Trust and Confidence through fear and intimidation, not by being becoming Socially Responsible Corporation (or Hoard as the case may be).

Today, leveraged by The Social Media and billions of bloggers worldwide, the levels of distrust with guys like Genghis, and Kublai, and Madoff, and Satyam, and Enron – even Arthur Anderson for crying out loud – have taken us to a new level; we’ve reached a new tipping point.  Trust, throughout the world, has been thrown on the trash heap. This time, perhaps, for good!

Global readings from The Edelman Trust Barometer show the meter upside downfrom these new lows: 66% of the public trust corporations even LESS than they did one year ago!

Not just corporations…NO one trusts government, either. The constant huffing and puffing from blowhards in the US Congress is taking its toll across globe. The Trust Barometer further shows:

ONLY 13% of the public trusts corporate or product advertising – down from its all-time low of 20% last year;

ONLY 17% trust information about a US company from its CEO; Globally, it’s just 29%;

ONLY 38% trust a business to do what’s right, a 20-point drop from last year.

“A catastrophic year for business,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of the firm that keeps both eyes on the data. More accurately, it was a catastrophic year for Trust.

Closer to my home in Green Bay Wisconsin, Trust walks a tightrope, but is being buffeted about by a steady, ill wind and by constant, low blows. A few months ago, The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse* addressed the issue of Trust with CEOs and Business Owners:

28% said The Public Trust of Business has eroded Significantly; 36% said it has eroded Moderately; 25% said Slightly.

Ten percent said, “Trust has not eroded at all!”  (Yes, Faith and Hope springs eternalamong some people around here.)

When asked if their OWN, Personal Trust in Business has eroded: 14% of the CEOs said it has eroded Significantly; 25% said, Moderately; 31% said, Slightly.

Twenty-eight percent said their trust in business has not eroded at all.

CEO Mike Krysiakof ENCAPLLC in Green Bay said, “Like sand on a beach, year-over-year erosion of this magnitude has compounding effects. If this keeps up, we’re going to lose the beach.”

According to the Edelman and the Nicolet Bank barometers, the Beach may already be gone.  And once it’s gone, how do you get the Beach back?  You can’t buy a bushel fullof it from one of your vendors; you can’t create a product or remedy that reestablishes Trust in people – certainly not one that’s “Fast Acting” enough for the critical condition of this patient.

You could, probably, just tell people to Trust you – like the unethical and untrustworthy Bernie Madoff was saying for years.  Trust me, The Madoff Approach isn’t going to work now that the foundation/the beach has eroded from under your toes as you’re standing there.

To compound the problem, Trust isn’t the only thing ‘roding‘round here.  According to the CEOs and Business Owners surveyed by Nicolet National Bank, 65% say Unethical Business Behavior in the US is Serious problem; and 67% say the Standards of Business Ethics have declined, as well.

No Ethics, No Trust, No Economy: A Perfect Storm to bring a medical product ashore?  Would you dare stick a toe in that water when the sharks might hand you back your hat?

Ray Kotcher, CEO of Ketchum, addressed the International Public Relations Association in Beijing in November.  He said, “In addition to the normal competitive barriers, [companies] must also contend with long-established beliefs that may hamper their growth.  These can be overcome with a lot of work, but they cannot be ignored.”  (No kidding, Ray!)

If you’re selling Healthcare, how do you win in this environment? Can’t you promote your price advantage, your great facilities, your excellent outcomes – and take your money to the bank?

In last month’s issue of Medical TourismMagazine, Alex Piper wrote a great piece on The Patient Experience.  To achieve success, Alex wrote, “Hospitals must sell the patient on the Complete Experience.”

Trust is a HUGE part of the Complete Experience.

Nicolet Bank also asked CEOs about the importance of Trust in Building Effective Relationships:  72% said Trust is Extremely Important; 26% said it’s Very Important; 1% said Moderately Important and 1% said Somewhat Important.  NO ONE said Trust was NOT Important!

In his book, The Speed of TrustSteven M.R. Covey wrote:  “One thing, which if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership.  That one thing is Trust.”

The corollaryis:  If Trust is developed and honored, success follows.  CEO Krysiak said, “We need to build our businesses based on a rock of character traits that define us personally like: Faithfulness, Compassion, Integrity, Honesty and Perseverance.”

When building your business in Healthcare, there’s very little need to: Sell The Sizzle; you gotta sell the Steak/The Complete Experience!  And before we get close to that meat, you MUSTsell me on Trust.  Only then can we be Faithful, Honest, Compassionate and, I trust, we can Preserve together.

Michael Bina

Just because Michael Bina has written about Trust & Ethics for this Magazine does NOT mean he’s trying to come off as,“Holier than Thou.” He freely admits he is not without Sin.  He does, however, personally and intimately recognize all of Man’s weakness which, Trust him on this, represents a huge opportunity for his Company:  michael@IntellectualMarketing.com

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