There is one word that defines business more than any other. It is not cash flow, EBITDA, or debt. The magic word is Trust.
Trust needs little explanation. Everyone knows what trust means; the problem is establishing and maintaining it.
In the produce industry, trust is defined by someone doing what he/she says. If, indeed, someone performs as he says, you may come to believe/trust that individual. If that trust is violated, but one time, all the trust built up in the past, sometimes over many years, can go right out the window.
Trust is not acquired easily, and it can be lost in the blink of an eye. Can trust be re-earned? Yes, but not always.
You would think that truth is an important component of trust, and it should be, but truth is in the eye of the beholder: if you choose to believe someone or something, you trust what you are being told. When you discover that you have been duped, you stop believing and stop trusting.
Why is telling the truth so difficult? Perhaps, because we want to see the world in ways that make us look good or it is simply wishful thinking. Whatever the reason, truth is something we want but sometimes do not receive.
One’s word has historically been the hallmark of the produce industry. Millions of dollars change hands daily, based on phone conversations. As President Reagan famously said: Trust but verify. Verification is best handled by checking on a firm’s Blue Book rating.
Trust is elusive. Do your part to make the establishment of trust and its maintenance something that you will do daily.