I was on the learning team this week, and I thought you'd benefit from what happened.

SuccessNet has been doing business on the Internet for over 12 years. And during that time, we've come to be known as one of the most trusted sources for personal and professional growth on the Web. We're proud of the fact that people trust us for our information and for how we do business.

But over the past few days, I've had a chance to see just how skeptical people can be and how seemingly little things will cause people—especially new people—to question doing business with us.

It was quite eye-opening and bears some contemplation—for us and also for you in your business.

The first experience was a phone conversation with a subscriber. He was inquiring about our Diamond Club program and it gave us a chance to get to know each other a little.

He mentioned that he was feeling better about SuccessNet after speaking with me. When I asked why he hadn't before, he mentioned a Teleseminar we had done last year. He had heard about it too late to attend live, but when he emailed me about a recording, I told him to stand by as it was going to be available soon.

Apparently, when we announced the availability of the audio file to our readers, he missed it. And in the process he felt that we had not followed through. It was perceived as a small breech of trust—but enough to cause a seed of doubt. I was glad for the opportunity to clear it up.

There was another event that occurred this week that further showed me just how careful you have to be when you do not yet have a relationship of trust.

One of our new members related to me that she was disappointed in a couple of things. It seems that during our Open House Conference call (the recording is available on our home page ), I had stated there would be time for some questions and answers. And there were via the webcast. Participants could—and did—send in questions which we answered. But I forgot to leave a Q&A time for those on the telephone. Once again, my error caused doubt in her mind.

And this same person was troubled that a link sent to her was not hot-linked and seemingly invalid. We now had two strikes against us.

Now these things may seem like small things to you. They did to me at the time. But these experiences made it ever so clear to me how little things can plant—and nurture—doubt in the mind of the prospect or customer.

Trust is built slowly. It takes time to gain the confidence of people. Making small agreements and keeping them is the way to creating opportunities for bigger and more important agreements. But dropping the ball at any point—even in small ways—impedes and sometimes kills the long-term relationship.

In any relationship, there are no little things. Everything counts.

I'm grateful that with my personal relationships—and with our long-time readers and members--I've built up good "Trust Accounts". Trust accounts are created by consistently doing what you say you'll do and always acting with honesty and integrity. When your trust account is large enough, a small misstep or mistake is easily forgiven or even overlooked. At least they'll give you a chance to clean it up.

But when trust accounts are not yet established, these missteps can be deal killers.

It's something to think about.

PS: I would really like the chance to build trust with you. If we fall down on anything, please let us know—we want to make it right. We're moving fast and as hard as we try, we do make mistakes. But if you'll give us a chance, we'll show you that we really care about long-term relationships. We're good at it—and getting better.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet.org and helps people and businesses grow and prosper. By being a Diamond Club Member of SuccessNet you can expect to reach new heights of achievement by creating the support structure you need to accomplish your objectives.