The other day, I was talking to a close friend on the phone, and she was sharing with me her fears about the economy. She was close to losing her job and was being pretty frank with me about her financial situation, right down to the penny. Now I’ve known her for a long time, and we’ve been through the good and the bad together, so to speak. But being open about one’s finances, well, that just warrants a trust level that is pretty high. I felt honored that she trusted me enough to share her fears. Who do you trust – and who trusts you? As the economy continues to splinter, customers are going to seek out those people they trust. They want to work with someone who can put to rest (or at least distill a little bit) their fears and worries. They want to know that they can rely on their business partners to help them stay afloat and successful through the tough times. At the root of this trust is loyalty. During tough economic times, those loyal customers will stick with you, because you offer them outstanding customer service, great resources, sound advice, solutions for staying ahead of the competition, and peace of mind. How are you going to continue to build that trust? Now more than ever, it’s important to not just give your customers what they want, but give them more than what they think they need. This will position you as the ultimate solution provider, and keep your business healthy as well.