Auto Service World
News   March 28, 2023   by Adam Malik

The two types of trust you need in your shop

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Without trust, it’s nearly impossible to have a functional team in your shop. And good luck making sales under those circumstances, said a shop coach.

In Rick White’s world, everything starts with trust. “If you don’t have trust, you don’t make sales. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have a team. So it makes it harder to work with people,” said the founder and president of 180Biz.

There are two types of trust shop owners need to have, White told attendees during his session Trust is the Real Currency at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo 2023.

One is practical trust. That’s earned by meeting your commitments. “Doing what you say you’re going to do, exceeding expectations, in my opinion, being dependable, competent and consistent,” White said.

Rick White from 180Biz speaks at MWACA Vision 2023

The other is emotional trust. That’s on a higher level and harder to achieve. “This is where people see you on their side; where you’re going to treat them with dignity and respect, and there’s no judgment,” White explained. “We always expect the best from people.”

The biggest difference between practical and emotional trust is that emotional trust is the feeling of being safe. “Emotional trust is safe,” according to White. “Your goal is emotional trust. It’s also the hardest trust to build.”

But don’t confuse a trusting workplace with a ‘yes-man’ environment. White told the story of a past session attendee who told him he knew he had a high-trust environment because all his people told him what a great job he was doing all the time.

“That’s not a high-trust environment. That’s an ass-kissing environment,” White said.

He told the attendee that he will only have a high-trust environment when his staff felt safe enough to hold him accountable. That’s what every shop owner should strive for, White said. Everyone in a shop is accountable to each other and, ultimately, the customer.

Trust is also something that can’t be taken or demanded. But oftentimes, a shop owner or someone in authority will adopt the attitude of “just trust me.” They’re demanding someone trust them. Technicians will generally roll their eyes when this happens. Just about anyone who has worked in any job will say they’ve been lied to by their employer. So why should they trust you, White asked.

“We sit down to talk with somebody and we expect trust,” he said. “But we don’t understand the experiences they’ve gone through. And we don’t understand why they’re skeptical. It also isn’t something you earn.”

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