“TODAY, WE HAVE WALKED SO FAR and for so many years with so many aspirations for the future. I believe, it is trust that has made us walk this far… Today’s China has trust and belief. Everyday, there are 24 million transactions on Taobao signifying China’s trust.” These were just some of the words that Alibaba founder, Ma Yun (aka Jack), as he gave a farewell speech to 20,000 employees at the firm’s 10th anniversary. Ma used the word ‘trust’ 12 times. This was not coincidence. Trust was the foundation of Alibaba’s success.
Twelve years ago, when I started my career in China, trust was rarely used. Instead, business people touted ‘price’, more specifically ‘low price’, as the unique selling proposition (USP). Unsurprisingly, these disciples of undercutting never found the riches they sought. In their place, high-end and luxury brands have more than blossomed, they’ve boomed!
Take, for example, Louis Vuitton and Porsche. Both are seen in abundance on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen – even with a luxury tax of 45 to 47 percent. What’s more, according to Frank Yao, chief executive of SmithStreetSolutions, a Shanghai consultancy. roughly a third of Louis Vuitton purchases in Europe are made by Chinese tourists. The reason for their success, is the brands’ association with quality, or in other words, trust.
Trust, as a USP, has been taught as a core element of ClarkMorgan’s sales training program for over 10 years. The second half of our ‘Target Acquisition Equation’ stipulates that ‘Goodwill + Reputation = Trust’. Trust is built by the individual actions of employees and by marketing departments alike. And with trust, says Ma Yun, you can make the journey of doing business in China “easy”.