“In many ways, a business partnership is similar to a marriage. At minimum, you need absolute trust in your partner.” Forbes and Capital One Spark forum in 2012.

If you ask anyone to name the most important thing in any relationship, personal or business-based, trust is very likely to be at, or near, the top of the list.

As business professionals, building trust with our clients, employees and business associates is a crucial requirement in sustaining any productive relationship. As many of us know from our experiences, trust can take a long time to build, yet only a moment to weaken or be totally lost through a non-mindful act.

The ability to quickly establish and build trust is becoming even more important in today’s business environment, driven by the increasing need for speed, innovation, shared knowledge and investment coming from various sources. Partnerships and strategic alliances are becoming common practice and essential for organizations to flourish as it increases chances of success.

So one key question : How do we establish trust? Here are 5 tips to build a trust relationship between you and the person you wish to do business with:

1. Get to Know Your Future Partner

If you have a prospective partner in mind, just get to know him or her a little bit. Ask to talk on the phone. If you’re interested in the item they’re selling or the skill they’re offering, ask a few questions about it. Doing so might encourage the person to give personal information that can help you identify them and make sure they are not trying to scam you.

2. Don’t Hesitate To Check Information

Take time to ask as many questions necessary to clear all doubts about a potential partner, may it be for a simple purchase or a long-lasting partnership. Being patient gives you a great advantage over the majority of people in the world, in many situations.

3. Trust Your Gut And Pay Attention To Red Flags

Most scams you’ll find when selling online all have one thing in common: they’re too good to be true. If you’re selling, it usually comes in the form of a potential buyer promising to pay your asking price after you grant some of his/her wishes like shipping it to a faraway land where your need to pay extra money for every move.

If you’re a buyer however, it can be hard to tell the difference between a good deal and a scam deal, so you need to be cautious when approaching a great deal. Keep an eye out for red flags, which often come in the form of unusual meeting places and payment requests. Other red flags can be a longer-than-necessary time between two communications, inconsistent information or a lack of questions or concerns about the transaction.

4. Don’t Disclose/Publish More Personal Information Than Necessary

Publishing too much information could attract ill-intentioned people or detract your profile from its original purpose. Since you are using our network for business purposes, avoid talking about your family and hobbies or sharing personal information. Keep your information professional and short.

Do not forget people are always in a hurry, the shorter and clearer the better. If people are interested in your profile, they will contact you for more information.

5. Be Honest And Go Straight To The Point

“It’s extremely important that you let people know where you stand — what motivates you, how you operate, what your expectations are, et cetera” says Conant, the CEO of Campbell Soup Company.

Transparency is key to a thriving business relationship. Being honest creates a more productive partnership and contributes to your reputation. Don’t forget your relationship with one business partner might determine your future collaborations.

Trusting each other is the number one condition to a balanced business relationship. Anyone who’s been in a partnership can tell you that they aren’t easy, but they can also be extremely rewarding, and perhaps even essential to the success of your venture.

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