Idea 042: 5 Ways to Earn Others’ Trust

Recently my company has received a service providers’ email, claiming that there are additional fee for some additional work done in the past 6 months. That additional fee is equal to 180% of the agreed price when we signed the contract. My boss is furious about this claim and wondering if that is just one of their excuses to ask for more money?

Trust is Priceless

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That vendor should have completed the task half year ago. However, due to different kind of delays from both sides, the work has been prolonged.

We had a call 6 months ago on the progress of the work. In that call they mentioned about some additional work done that would have costed some additional fees, but they didn’t mention any rough figures because they said they need some time to do the calculation.

My boss and I thought that it might be around 20%-30% of the original agreed price, which was still within my boss’ budget. Since they extra work required extra files and documents from 3rd party, we didn’t contact each other in that 6-month time.

In other works, the vendor didn’t do anything in the past 6 months until they received the required extra files and documents from us few weeks ago.

The next thing we received was an email saying that they need some time to complete the task, together with a bills with additional fees equal to 180% of the original agreed fee on the additional work done by their side.

Now we are in a debate – while they are trying to prove that they have done a lot of additional work and deserve the additional fee, we are fighting back that they didn’t spending that much time on the work because they were waiting for us for 6 months.

Obviously, there is no trust left in this business relationship. They might think that we are high maintenance customer and want to get rid of us after we pay that unreasonable additional fee. However, we also think that they are not professional at all but just care about the money.

Trust is important in any relationships. It might easily be found in friendship because we and our friends might have experienced something before we become friends, and those experiences might have already built up trust between us.

However, in business world, it is not easy to build trust because most of the time we and our vendors didn’t cooperate before, and benefit is involved in this relationship. Even thought the vendor / customer might be a large company with good reputation, when one of the sides don’t enjoy the benefit one expected before signing the contract, the trust in the relationship will no longer exist.

Now I am going to share 5 ways that I think one can do to earn the trust of others.

Track Records

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I believe this is the foundation of any trust.

It is hard to persuade others to trust us if we didn’t do what others expect us to do before. For example, we don’t hire a University fresh graduate to be a Finance Manager even he / she has studied degree of Accounting and Finance for 3 years. He / she might have some knowledge on the Accounting Standard and Finance concepts, but he / she didn’t have the related work experience before.

Before I got my current job, I have never been in a management role. Even I wanted to look for such role, most of the companies, especial big companies, didn’t trust if I was qualified to be management. As a result, I didn’t get many interview opportunities.

Luckily, I met my current boss and he was willing to give me a trial. He didn’t expect me to take up the role perfectly but he expected me to learn and grow, and become a better management when I got familiar with the business operation. Now I prove to my boss that I am the right person of this management role.

Mine is one of the exceptional cases. Normally people expect others to have track reord, eg, some work experience or some educational background, before they get into a business relationship with them. It is because it requires some foundation to build up any trust.

Since we don’t know whether one is smart or not, ethical or not, or professional or not in the first glance, what we can rely on in the first meet will be from one’s work experience or some educational background.

Therefore, when we are looking for jobs, we need to write a well-written resume; when we are running our own business, we need to list some of the names of our some big customers in the company website as our credential; when we are doing pitching for fundraising, we need to tell them some big customers to earn their trust on our business.

Take Notes, Take Responsibilities

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Sometimes we cannot earn others’ trust if we do not take any actions.

Remember when I worked in my former company, I always had meeting with my former boss and other colleagues. One time, right after a meeting, my boss asked me, “Why I never saw you taking notes?”

My boss always brought along with her notebook (a physical one) to every meeting she attended. She had this practice to write down important notes during the meeting, so that she could be reminded after the meeting, or reviewed something she wrote down afterwards.

Besides, my boss always told the team that she did that because she didn’t have strong memory. She always forgot something and needed to be reminded. This was one of her weaknesses and she tried to overcome this by practically taking notes.

In her mind, she thought that taking notes means taking responsibilities. Most of the people didn’t take any notes when other is saying something important, and they forget everything afterwards. She thought that these kind of people was not trustworthy as they didn’t take the task seriously.

When we are trustworthy, we take things seriously and bear responsibility on those things. It shows our serious attitude that we care every single detail related to those things, and care to write down every single important point. This makes us familiar with those things and earn other’s trust.

Of course taking notes is just the first step. We need to regularly review those notes and apply those information. Otherwise, it is just a waste of time.


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We always ask for feedback from others to test if others are trustworthy; after we decide we can trust them, we will ask for more feedback.

When I joined my current company, my boss always asked for my opinions on Accounting work. I didn’t think too much and gave my opinions to him. He always kept silent on my opinion and asked even more next time.

I didn’t know what he was doing until I figured that I got more sophisticated work than before. I then realized that I have already earned my boss’ trust by that time.

He trusted me not only because I could finish the work he gave me, but he also listened to my opinions and found them reasonable. He believed that I had the knowledge and experience that could take over some of his work and free him to work on something much more important.

We can always show our capability when we give feedback on something. It is because we cannot give any feedback if we don’t have the knowledge and experience. For example, if I don’t know ho to cook, I cannot comment on the cooking procedures and give enhancement. Therefore, giving feedback is one of the best tool to earn other’s trust.

Share knowledge For Free

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Sometime we might need more than just some track records to trust others.

Few months ago my company was looking for a professional firm to conduct a valuation work. Since we have small budget on it, we wanted to find a firm which can offer reasonable quotation and professional service.

We made a few quotations from different firms, but most of the contact points of those firms were sales and gave us impression that they just wanted to close the deal. We understand that, because of the pandemic, everyone would be aggressive to get any deal, but we just wanted a trustworthy firm who could really listen to our requirements and get the work done.

Finally we reached out to this guy from a middle size valuation firm who shared a lot of knowledge on how to do valuation, the Do’s and Don’ts, the work they could do under that small budget, and the information they required for the work, etc.

My boss worked in one of the big international ibanks before and was familiar with the valuation methods. Therefore, he could tell that this guy was professional and trusted that he could perfectly get the job done. AS a result, we decided to hire that firm.

Most of the time the track records only shows little information. For example, if I studied in Accounting and Finance at University, I couldn’t prove anything except I might have some knowledge in Accounting and Finance. Another guy who were not University graduate but had few year practical experience might have better performance than me.

When it comes to work, people tend to see some practical experience and achievement that one have, and some suggestions and opinions on certain problems they are now facing. If ones can share knowledge for free, they can show that they are the right people for that job.

Walk the Talk

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People are only trustworthy when they can walk the talk.

We find a lot of “Gurus” claiming that they are rich and can help us become rich by purchasing some of the online courses they have created. However, most of the courses are just some basic knowledge of success and could be found on the Internet. Obviously, those “Gurus” just try to earn our trust and get money our of our pocket.

I once saw a guy on Youtube who claimed to earn millions on option trading, and he has summarized all he knew in an e-book. That book was free of charge and could help the subscribers to make money in the option market. He then persuaded people to purchase his courses and earn big money together.

I could see him walking in a big mansion, flying in a private jet or driving a beautiful yacht in his Youtube videos. It seemed that he was rich and successful in his option trading business. However, after I watched his videos, I learnt that all he taught was some basis knowledge of options which I could find elsewhere on the Internet. I doubted if he could earn big money just based on that basis knowledge.

One might say that I might learn some secret information from his online courses because he could never disclose any real technique for free, right? It might be true, and I bet he wanted others to think that as well. Even if most of the courses in America has 90 days return policies, I doubted if that could be done so easily.

So if we want to earn the trust, how can we walk the talk? If we want others to trust us, we need to show them exactly how we achieved what we obtained.

For example, if we said we made millions from copy-writing, we need to show to others that we are really good at copy-writing. We might share some samples of copy-writing that we help previous clients make noise in the marketing and people loved that idea. Also, we might try to rewrite some bad copy-writing examples to show the technique.


To conclude, earning other’s trust is not easy. We are facing different issues in different time and are looking for help from different people that we don’t know with different qualification and experience. We cannot trust someone unless we can persuade ourselves that someone can help resolve the problems perfectly. These five points can help us identify who are the suitable people.

  1. Track Records
  2. Take Notes, Take Responsibilities
  3. Feedback
  4. Share knowledge For Free
  5. Talk the Talk Walk the Walk


If you have any questions or have anything things to share, you can reach out to me via email

Besides, if you want to know more about what I have learnt from other successful people, you can click the below link. This could the one of the life-changing articles for you:

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