Fostering Strong Relationships: A Guide to Building and Sustaining Trust Across All Relationships

Image of Casey Strunk sitting on couch.

Fostering Strong Partnerships: A Guide to Building and Sustaining Trust Across All Relationshipsnbsp;

Simply put, trust is developed when your actions match your words.

There are many people and businesses out there that are very good at marketing themselves. They say all the right things. They promise you the world. But they often fall short when it comes to delivering on those promises.

We’ve always been one to under promise and over deliver.

This is an impactful approach that emphasizes exceeding expectations in all situations. Rather than setting unrealistic expectations, it involves making conservative promises that are surpassed in the actual delivery. This strategy not only ensures a higher likelihood of meeting commitments but also leaves room for positive surprises.

By consistently over-delivering, individuals and businesses establish a reputation for reliability while cultivating lasting relationships with clients, partners, and friends. This mindset enhances satisfaction, contributing to long-term success and a positive brand image.

Skip the easy thing. Do the right thing.

Trust is developed through action and through proof of care. Trust is developed when unchecked or unsupervised decisions get made that are in the best interest of employees and the company. Trust is developed through positive outcomes for employees when they are in times of need and require a lot of help regarding personal situations that they’re going through. It’s easy to ignore a situation that does not directly involve you. But it is staggering how often a small act – a phone call, a referral, an email – can have a huge, positive impact on someone’s life.

Shine the light on other people.

Trust is built when you draw attention to the good other people – for example clients – accomplish.

In our field of health benefits, we create appreciation for the investment that employers are making and frame them in a positive light.

We have the benefit of insight into all the effort and care our clients take when choosing health benefit plans for their employees. We know their motivations, their concerns and and their constraints and we endeavor to work with them to bring forth the absolute best options for their teams.

When we work directly with the employees to help them understand the ins and outs of their plan, we are able to showcase that investment, care and attention.

Take the long view on relationships.

In our office, we focus a lot on our carrier relationships. While a lot of brokers view carriers as simply vendors, I view us on a level playing field. We work together and we show a mutual level of respect.

We rely heavily on transparency in our process as we seek to get the best out of them and their underwriters for our clients who would make a really good fit for them.

We know every client is not going to be the right fit for every carrier, depending upon circumstances. But when we need them, for example when we need that special exception to be made for an employee, it’s important to have a high level of trust on the carrier side, so we focus a lot on building those relationships week in and week out.

It’s the little things.

Trust is built through everyday interactions.

We sometimes deal with the scenario of a buyer who has to buy solely on price, or customer service, or network. We will have identified a carrier who is the best fit for the client, but maybe that carrier is not as competitive as we need to be. Because of our solid relationship we are able to go to that carrier and say, “look, I think this is going to be a really great long term client for you. We need you to get more competitive. Here’s why.”

There is something to that.

We develop credibility with these partners by doing right by them – day in and day out –  because ultimately you’re going to need favors. Probably on both sides.

We also place a huge emphasis on a very detailed and thorough approach to collecting information, accurate information, in a timely manner, because a few business days on each side of that interaction can equate to a couple of weeks behind proposed timelines.

Nothing will derail building trust faster than a missed deadline.

Communication starts at home.

Our staff knows how much we value partnership and that building those relationships starts in our own house.

People are going to be willing to give more to you based on how much you give to them, how responsive you are, and how well you treat them. We spend a lot of time with our partners outside of business settings, showing interest in who they are and what’s important to them so we can better understand how they’re operating and serving their clients.

Building these relationships is worthwhile because we know how closely we will be working together on a day-to-day basis and hopefully, the relationship will last for years.

We believe in having the hard conversation. We also believe the conversation doesn’t have to be hard if you start it far enough in advance.

Whether it is conversation around strategy with a carrier about how to land a company’s business, or a conversation with a struggling employee about how to improve their experience and performance, much success can be achieved, and much pain can be avoided, by starting a discussion early and often.

Better is always possible.

Building trust and holding a commitment to continuous improvement creates a positive feedback loop. It is never a one and done interaction.

Trust allows for open dialogue – about what’s working and what isn’t – and the commitment to improvement reinforces the reliability that builds trust.

This loop contributes to a culture of excellence, where individuals and organizations are motivated to strive for continuous betterment while fostering strong, lasting connections based on trust – and everyone benefits.

See how supportive employee benefits services can be.

Have questions? We’re excited to learn more about your business. We’ll answer your questions and provide a complimentary quote for all your benefits and HR needs.