Thursday, October 1, 2009

Standards of Trust

Several years ago we had a new home client that I would call "thorough." As we progressed from initial design to finalized contract, the questions multiplied. Mr. B. needed a detailed explanation of every specification and procedure before he felt comfortable. As much as we thought we were building a good relationship with Mr. B., I never really felt like he believed what we told him. After several months of negotiations and plan revisions, both parties were finally ready to sign the contract. Even though Mr. B. had studied the contract ahead of time, he continued to ask for explanations and clarifications as we reviewed each line. We were more than happy to oblige. The last thing we want is to enter into an agreement with someone who is not ready. Near the end of the closing, I remember Mr. B. specifically asking, "How do I know you will do these things that you're promising?" I answered, "That's where trust comes in."
You hope that throughout the negotiation process, you get closer and closer to meeting the other party in the middle. In spite of efforts from both sides, you may never actually meet. There may be a slight gap that can only be filled by trust.
For the last 21 years, we have been committed to the principals of the Better Business Bureau. Recently the BBB developed a unique, summarized set of eight business "Standards of Trust." The Better Business Bureau Standards are:
1. Build Trust
2. Advertise Honestly
3. Tell the Truth
4. Be Transparent
5. Honor Promises
6. Be Responsive
7. Safeguard Privacy
8. Embody Integrity
We do our best to uphold these standards so that folks like Mr. B. feel comfortable entering into an agreement to remodel or build a home with our company. By the way, Mr. B. ended up totally happy with his new home and remains one of our best references (and friends) to this day.

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