When you’re a small business owner, one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is trust. Think about it: consumers have no idea who owns Wal-Mart, in fact, they probably don’t know a single person who works at their local branch of the brand. Yet, they do know the individuals who run their local small businesses – they may even live on the same street as them!

That breeds an invaluable quality that business owners – both large and small – often spend decades trying to instill in their customer base: goodwill. When your customers know you, they trust you, and when they trust you, they get a positive charge from doing business with you. Everyone loves going to a restaurant where the server knows their name, and where the owner goes from table-to-table checking in. That’s the benefit of consumer trust, and the goodwill that it breeds.

A recent report from Edelman proved this theory. The study found “family owned, small- and medium-sized businesses outperformed big businesses [in regards to consumer trust] in all regions … private companies are seen as more entrepreneurial and innovative than public companies.”

So next time you’re dealing with a customer, remember to keep this in mind. You can stay in the back running numbers all day – but if you make yourself the face of your business, get to know your consumers, and earn their trust, it’ll be paid off in the end. There’s nothing that’ll make your customers likely to buy your products more often like letting them get to know – and trust – you.

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