Strategy | What's the Value of Trust?

Trust is the foundation. LARRY WILSON, Stop Selling: Start Partnering
You’ve probably never heard of Schoolhouse Press. I learned about it while I was doing research for a project.

A family run enterprise located in Wisconsin, Schoolhouse Press caters to the knitting consumer. It publishes and sells books, how-to DVDs, materials and supplies.

Schoolhouse Press also holds fee-based workshops and retreats. These events are so popular, attendance is determined by lottery.

Think about that. Customers compete for the opportunity to spend time and money with this company.

Why?

Founder Elizabeth Zimmermann worked hard to establish a foundation of trust and build rapport with her customers from the company's earliest days in 1958.

She provided useful information knitters craved and quality materials they wanted and needed. She dealt with them honestly, forthrightly and openly.

Through the mail, over the phone, in books, articles and videos, she treated customers with respect, responded patiently to their questions, and encouraged them to rely on their own curiosity and intelligence. Over time, many grew to see her as both friend and mentor.

This sense of relationship was so strong, some customers would send in orders accompanied by a signed blank check.

They trusted Zimmermann. They trusted the company. Through the decades, that trust continued and grew to include Zimmermann's daughter and grandson, who run the company today.

What’s the value of trust to you and your business? It’s a question worth considering.

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Related
Business | Ain't Broke? Don't Fix It
Books | The Trust Edge
Tips & Tools | 8 Ways Small Beats Large

Reference
Interweave Knits: Summer 2008 (no link available)
Vogue Knitting: Fall 2008 (no link available)

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