I have a question for you. And yes this is one of this dumb black-or-white questions which don’t take into consideration the world is just gray.
If you had to choose a vendor among the one which you trust more and the one which can be paid less what would be your choice?
I pretty much expect most of us would say we would choose the trusted one. However what I see everyday people do the opposite. They tend to base on a price heavily.
Of course the question is flawed since it assumes that everything else is equal which is never true. However the message I’m trying to send here is that, despite what we say, we tend to make our decision basing on things we are able to measure. We can easily say this offer is $10000 cheaper than the other; we can easily say that this schedule is a month shorter than that etc.
Unfortunately we can’t say that our trust for the company A is at 5 and for the company B is at 7 (whatever 5 and 7 means). Personally I would probably be able to state that I trust one vendor somewhat more than another but it would be totally personal and your opinion about these companies will likely to differ much. And even if we both agreed we would have hard time trying to describe what exactly “somewhat more trust” means and why it is worth ten thousands more to our decision-makers.
And that’s why I’m not really surprised we tend to act differently than we use to say we’d do. The reason is simple.
Trust isn’t measurable.
Every time we face the task to compare few things we tend to base on aspects we can measure and that’s where trust falls short.
Luckily enough sometimes we are able to forget about this whole comparison thing and decide we just want to do business with a trusted partner. Even if they would be more expensive if we took an effort to compare their offer to others, which we don’t do anyway because, well, we decided to go with these trusted folks in the first place.
With trust in place business relationships tend to be significantly better. And yes, I can explain it. More trust means more transparency. More transparency means more information shared. More information shared means better knowledge about the situation. Better knowledge about the situation means better planning. Better planning means better outcomes. And better outcomes usually strengthen business relationship.
I would choose trust over price. If I stated I’d do it every single time I would lie (I did actually) but when it’s my own call or I’m strong enough to defend the decision trust trumps the price.