Trust is inversely proportionate to self-interest. That’s a line that we heard recently as Dr. Scott Downey from Purdue spoke to the Beck Ag Company meeting.

When you put your interest aside and focus on the other party in a transaction, be it personal or business, you have the ability to build trust. And Downey also suggested that self-interest is displayed by talking and not listening.

It makes me think of the presidential election and the serious lack of trust that’s going on. There’s so much talking and so little listening. Rewind some of the debates in your head and remember how miserable it was to watch them because they became a giant non-listening, all talking session.

A big part of the way things are flowing this election season also has to do with general mistrust in Washington.

Dr. Downey is a behaviorist. That’s his background. And if it weren’t far too late in the game, the candidates might be wise to consider his concept of more listening and less talking.

Trust is so important in politics. It’s also important in our personal lives. And it’s important in business. The reason Downey was talking about trust at our meeting was that he was helping Beck Ag to understand our important role in the industry.

This is what he said. “I think Beck Ag is unique because of the trust it builds with its clients and helps its clients build with the farmers that they serve. We know that trust is inversely proportionate to self-interest and self-interest comes from talking and not listening. One of the things Beck Ag does very well is help its clients LISTEN to farmers.”

As agriculture changes at an ever-increasing pace, it’s important to stay connected to farmers and livestock producers, to see where they’re coming from and why they do what they do. Downey says agribusiness needs to understand how producers make decisions in order to do a good job of communicating their products into the ag market.

As you’re working on your plan for the upcoming marketing year, look at it closely. I’d challenge you to think about how your strategies are building trust. How are your strategies helping you to get closer to the customer and listen? And how are you building that relationship with the customer and finding other prospects like your current customers?

What are you doing to talk less, and listen more? 

We can help with that.



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