Trust—probably the most important foundation you can build when you’re in business.
Everyone has heard how the best sales-people are those that build trust first and foremost. But how often have you purchased software and felt that the element of “trust” was actually nothing more than an illusion? With false promises and a slick sales-person that knows what to say at the right time, an illusion like this one is crafted all too often.
It’s at this point that it can seem too late to back out, right? You’ve signed an agreement, committed yourself and your organization to a product, and now you’re not so certain it’s the “promised land” it was sold to be. On top of that, you’ve paid money—money locked in by their contract. Of course you may get by, making it work even though everyone is underwhelmed by a product that over-promised and under-delivered. In a scenario like this, you should naturally feel cheated—you trusted the person who made the promises about that product.
I’m not saying every sales-person out there is determined to fool you—far from it. Often in software discussions, a vendor may answer “yes” to a question of yours and be 100% truthful. However, upon implementation you may realize it doesn’t work exactly how you thought it would.
Assumptions can be made on both sides about features which turn out different in practice.
I recall selling a tech solution years ago and the client asked, “Can your system produce name badges?” to which I replied “Yes, of course.” My response was correct and in no way aimed at being deceptive, but when the client later attempted it, the process wasn’t even close to the workflow they had in mind.
So what can you do to ensure the trust you invest in a software supplier isn’t exploited for a dollar? Especially if the end result isn’t what you perceived it would be?
I can’t speak for all software companies, but when EventBooking discussed this issue internally, we concluded that gaining trust and reliability is of paramount importance to us. In an industry that has traditionally been more focused on the old-school way of doing business—the old “caveat emptor” approach—let the buyer beware. This attitude doesn’t engender much trust in me, how about you?
In an effort to be refreshingly worthy of trust, we implemented a “Love Your Software” Money Back Guarantee—something completely unheard of in the event software world.
Our reason for this goes back to our core values—believing in our software, yes—but more importantly, respecting the trust our clients have gifted to us. This means we will never hide behind a signed agreement. If during implementation a client doesn’t believe the software is fit for the purpose they bought it for, we will happily refund their investment. To us, that’s what a client-vendor partnership is all about: mutual trust and respect.
Do you trust your software provider now as much as you did during the sales process?
Steve Mackenzie is President at EventBooking, a cloud-based software company that provides venue management solutions to over 1,000 venues around the world, and maintains a 99% customer satisfaction level—based on regular polling of its client base.