Trust and the business of being Flaky

20 years ago, I took an NVQ level 4 in retail management.

It was an evidence based qualification, and so you needed your staff and colleagues to provide witness to you doing your job at a good standard. One of the modules said something like "provide evidence that you don't make promises to staff and suppliers that you are unable to keep"

it made me think very hard this module, and provided me with lots of introspection. We do make glib promises in life that are hard to keep, or that we havn't really bought in to. "I'll finish in 5 minutes" "i'll be home soon" "Yes of course i'd remembered we were going out"  

Spring orange bouquet.jpg

So when i started my business i tried extremely hard to make sure that i "underpromised and overdelivered"

If I say i'll provide flowers, I do....

If I say i'll be at an appointment at a certain time, i'll be there, - or if traffic or issue gets in my way i'll let you know at the earliest possible opportunity.....

If i say i'm writing a book, It will get published.....

Over the last few months, i've had dealings with a lot of "Flaky" people. That's the name i give to people who don't do what they say. Who book appointments and don't turn up, who require you to send extra emails as they've lost your details, who turn up late with no explanation, who change their minds about orders 3 times, then cancel, who promise they can provide you with something, then don't. 

I want suppliers and collaborators that I can trust. 

Customers definitely want suppliers that they can trust.

When i trust someone, i'll be worried because they're late, because i'll know that's not like them, rather than annoyed that someone is wasting my time - again...

When I trust someone, I can let my customers know with certainty that i can supply, because i know that my supplier has said they can, so they will.....

Are you trustworthy? Can your customers and suppliers trust you? Do you make promises that you can't keep?