Building Trust, Value And Relationships In Times Of Uncertainty is the key to sustainable growth

Trust may even be the question of survival or going under. Trust can be broken if it is not nurtured just like any relationship – even marriage.

Building Trust, Value And Relationships In Times Of Uncertainty is the key to sustainable growth – may even be the question of survival or going under.

Every big shift in the global economy, including major recessions globally, has shown that rapid changes impact all businesses, including Islamic Social Enterprises. However, they don’t always impact all equally.
In times of crisis, some enterprises and entire sectors are in pain and are bleeding red blood, while others find new opportunities for growth and can be considered “winners.” There is opportunities in every condition – remember this but the key is being creative and thinking outside the square. I always say this to all my users of my model – Islamic Social Entrepreneurship.
As the founder of Trade Not Riba dot Com and the inventor of the Islamic Social Entrepreneurship model and also an keen sports person, I recognize many similarities between the trust people who are sports enthusiasts build with our inner selves and the trust one must build with new business partners. So my views are based on my own experience when training , because training sometimes can be a torture and hostile. Many enterprises are also facing the same situation – a very hostile business environment and many unfortunately will not survive.
Under conditions that seem incredibly hostile, it is often difficult to take a step back and look at the core values upon which long-term relationships and strong partnerships are built. However, here I list briefly what I have learn by analyzing enterprises and from mentors globally :
Two Aspects Of Trust
Firstly, trust yourself. This is why trust in yourself as a social entrepreneur is the key and a strong belief that your skills, training and preparation will take you in the right direction are essential. This is another reason why I say social entrepreneurs need to have the mindset of continuous learning. Knowledge is power!!!
Secondly, it is crucial to build this sense of mutual trust with new business partners. It takes a very similar approach — it requires dedication, focus and leaning into the experience. A strong foundation ensures that unexpected challenges will lead to generating new solutions, not problems.
How can we do that?
Providing Relevant And Unbiased Value, First And Foremost
Listen and build rapport from the very beginning. It’s not about “selling” anymore. Do not be in a rush to sell, as many customers are not in a rush to buy, especially during volatile times. At times, you have to look at your offer as an objective outsider to assess the situation correctly and help your partners succeed as the No. 1 priority.
Providing value is the key. Until you know the other party and their needs well enough, you will not be able to provide value. Your judgment may be biased and grounded in previous business experiences. Instead, you have to provide a totally objective and emotionally uninvolved perspective. Only then are you qualified to discuss their business needs and pain points and show them how your solution can enhance their performance. Even with a remote contact, make sure your partner knows you are there for them. Be respectful, focused and empathetic — and at the same time, be pragmatic and objective in your feedback. This is where you need to be very people oriented and build a trusting relationship.
Adaptable: Another aspect connected to being present is being ready to adapt your approach and ultimate solution. To build trust and credibility, you have to see every single partnership you engage with as unique. Your willingness to approach every new contact as a completely new experience worthy of tailoring your pitch and approach will definitely be felt (and appreciated) by the person on the other side of the table.
Honesty, Authenticity And Credibility
A surefire way to burn bridges in any relationship is by losing your credibility. Making your partners feel like prey and keeping your eyes on the prize brings nothing more than just a short-term benefit — if you get any benefit at all. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It may seem obvious, but people too often forget it.
Be authentic, honest and open about your intentions. If you’ve already uncovered your partner’s pain points but tailoring a relevant solution will take some time, be open about it. This is always part art and part science, but full transparency is a necessary ingredient in business, regardless of the situation.
Such an approach will give both parties confidence in the ultimate solution’s effectiveness and generate a sense of trust that can outlast challenging times.
Last but not least, never overpromise. Think of the “Win/Win or No Deal” principle. Show that you know your own products and the value they can bring and make sure that there is indeed a mutual benefit for both parties. That is what will make your approach and potential future partnership unique and future-oriented.
Being A Rock
To close this with just one thought, the value of taking the time to build a strong foundation cannot be overestimated. There is no skill worth learning that you can gain overnight —to build a successful business partnership.
In times of crisis, when we’re seeing major drops in sales for some and layoffs or completely new directions for others, it is crucial to be a rock-solid source of support for your business partners. These days, people are often worried, but it is your job to lead by example — by staying calm and providing reliable service and support.
The above principles are a true foundation for leadership. They’re not just useful but also necessary in times of uncertainty. Our role as business professionals is to appreciate and nurture business relationships. Times like these are good tests of what it really takes to not only stand out, but also to thrive at solving our clients’ needs.
Founder – Trade Not Riba dot Com