This winter my house flooded. I woke up at 2.30 am to the sound of the fire alarm. When I left the bedroom I realised that the water tank was leaking, and water was pouring through the ceiling to the first floor.
I went downstairs and saw the water pouring like a river. I needed some help.
I ran outside in my pyjamas. My socks were wet. It was freezing.
Where should I go?
I know some of my neighbours; many of them have small children like me and would relate to my situation. They might know what to do. It made sense to knock on one of their doors. However, I turned left and knocked on Sue’s door at 3:00 am. She is the only one who is retired and has no children.
She opened the door, came straight to my house, looked around and said: “Oh my God, Natalia”, and disappeared. She called George, her 80-year-old father, who lives nearby and used to be in the Navy, and between the two of them they sorted out the situation while I emptied buckets of water non-stop.
They stayed for nearly two hours to make sure that I was OK. The next morning at 9:00 am Sue knocked on my door to invite me and the kids to her place for breakfast, as she knew we didn’t have any heating or hot water.
Why did I choose Sue over the rest of my neighbours? I’d talked to her a couple of times before. She had watered our plants while I was away in the summer, and I’d always regarded her as a very kind person.
I decided that Sue was trustworthy not because of what she had said during our short conversations, but because of how I felt around her. I knew I could trust her.
Trust is a feeling and may not be rational; it’s a game-changer in life and in business.
You don’t build up trust through testimonials and case studies but by how you behave when your customers ask you to go the extra mile, when other people aren’t looking, when you could easily walk away and say no. Testimonials and cases studies are social proof, but how people feel around you is what it really makes the difference.