Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Selling TRUST is easy but losing it makes it very hard to regain. Salespeople’s PR role

Part of the role of many professional salespeople is to be public face of their company. In some sense they are a local PR spokesperson for their company.

For those for whom this is so, I think you will find the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 very interesting reading and useful in the parts of your presentations and pitches about your companies.

Edelman surveyed more than 31,000 respondents in 26 markets around the world and measured their trust in institutions, industries and leaders. Edelman are PR specialists.

Here is their headline figure:-

"Only 14% of the global population trust business a great deal."

 That’s just slightly over one in 7 people.

 This should be of concern to every consumer product marketer and salesperson .

 Manufacture and market consumer goods top the table financial services are at the lower end of the table.

 Consumer electronics 70 %,

 Automotive sector 66 %,

Food and beverage 62 %,

 CPG 60 % ( Consumer Packaged Goods)

Telecom  60 %

Those respondents familiar with Banking / financial services scandals over the past year describe the poor story of Trust in 2013 starkly due to te follwoing

20%  Lack of regulation
23% Corporate culture driven by compensation / bonuses
25% Corporate Corruption
11%  Conflicts of Interest
6% Changes in the economy
13% Banks are too large

Well with Horsemeat scandal now in our news TRUST yet again is op of the Leadership agenda.
 Brand trust for consumer goods depends in product quality and innovation. Although these two attributes remain paramount Edelman suggest 5 clusters in their model

Operational excellence remains important, but it is what is expected of suppliers and not what will differentiate  or build trust.

 In order to build trust, suppliers  must meet expectations on engagement and integrity.

 Maximising trustworthiness needs to be achieved in credible sources through inclusive management, based in grounded leadership

Edelman go on to three key Trust developing areas

Share Your Values

 Most companies equate positive employee experience with business performance and invest significant resources in their employees’ well-being.

 However too few companies share this commitment outside their organization.  Salespeople have a role to play here in communicating the right messages

Consumers want to know who’s making their products and how they are treated by employers (engagement).

The  smart companies  will oblige by making access to information about employment practices transparent and accessible through owned and social media channels.

Share Responsibility

Consumer goods manufacturers have correctly assessed and genuinely addressed their environmental stewardship policy, but according to a World Economic Forum report too few consumers believe companies’ sustainability claims and too many people find it too difficult to make the environmentally responsible and informed  choices about products.

Companies need to be  transparent in their environmental claims and help consumers understand how their own behaviours impact climate change.

Embrace Shared Influence

Traditionally influence has cascaded from business leaders, academics and other experts.

Today, this hierarchy of authority is mirrored by a pyramid of community, where social activists, action consumers and employees have equal influence on the general population.

 Companies serious about building trust will embrace these new communities of influence by giving them unprecedented access and voice.

​Jennifer Cohan is global practice chair at Edelman on Consumer Marketing finishes her report with

”The consumer products and services industry is the most creative and innovative in the world.

 It has led other industries in re-examining business process and customer engagement.

 It’s time to lead in the rebuilding of consumer trust”

Related Links 

The Edelman web site This is very interesting site. Would recommend all Salespeople with a local PR responsibility to read it. It will also help with understanding of the missives from a centralised PR at HQ!

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