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Chris Brogan on Building Trust And Its Impact on Business

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“I use trust to move revenue,” said Chris Brogan at an event held at the Harvard Club in New York this morning. Brogan was joined by his Trust Agents co-author Julien Smith, alongside David Maister and Charlie Green, authors of The Trusted Advisor.

The panel discussion examined how trust, one of the basic human qualities, can be earned and developed within communities not just for marketing or business purposes, but because, “people trust people, people don’t trust companies,” said panelist Charlie Green.

Smith added that the concept of trust hasn’t changed, but “the megaphone has changed,” referring to new media. Brogan took things one step further when he asked, “What if you made your most disgruntled customer your CMO? What effect would that have on your business?”

However, Brogan isn’t one to be vague when it comes to the end goal of building trust. He kept getting back to revenue and concrete business goals when asked how he measures his work with clients. “Yield over time” and “driving awareness into the sales funnel,” were two specifics he mentioned. Does this sound shallow? Perhaps, but Brogan and the panelists all insisted that businesses must move profitability from simply an “objective” to a “sideways outcome.” Meaning: make good stuff, treat people right, and the profits will follow.

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