Trust is the foundation upon which ALL business success is built. Without trust, nothing else matters. Price doesn’t matter. Customer service doesn’t matter. Marketing sure as hell doesn’t matter. Trying to succeed in business without trust is like trying to drink coffee without a cup.
One of the very best ways to gain and keep trust is to be disproportionately open and honest. Authenticity and humanity shock customers and potential customers into wanting to do business with you, because they have been conditioned to believe that nearly all companies are either lying or hiding something.
It’s been documented over and over in multiple books that forthrightness and transparency (or at least translucency) creates trust, which creates kinship, which creates customers, which creates profits. Yet, it’s still a rarity in business. Why?
Most companies simply do not have the courage to be plain-spoken, because doing so flies in the face of the shaded double-speak that passes for business communication these days.2 (Read Josh Bernoff’s amazing blog, Without Bullshit, for a huge dose of truth on communication today).
A Truth-Teller is Found!
Recently, I was introduced to Ryver, a team productivity tool founded by Pat Sullivan, a legendary entrepreneur who also started ACT and Saleslogix. (Disclaimer: ACT is a sponsor of the Business of Story podcast, produced by Convince & Convert.)
When you read “team productivity tool” what do you think of first? Most likely, you think “Slack” the productivity tool that is the darling of the tech set, and has been adopted by a LOT of organizations. Slack is the Uber of productivity. Or Uber is the Slack of transportation. Whatever. Both are trying to own an entire category, and have the hype and the funding needed to even consider such a thing.
But Ryver figures they have a better mousetrap (and they may, I haven’t demoed it yet). But, if Ryver’s product is anything like their marketing, I’m in. Ryver communicates with clarity, authenticity, truth, and aren’t afraid to address the questions that they KNOW potential customers have (i.e. “how does this compare to Slack?”).
Is This the Best Web Page Ever?
Here are a few excerpts from a Q&A page on the Ryver site called “Ryver vs. Slack” that adheres to Marcus Sheridan’s principle of “versus” being a linchpin in authentic communication, and content marketing success.
(Again, this is a small excerpt. I encourage you to click over and browse the whole page.)
Q. How is Ryver Better?
A. There is the obvious – Ryver is completely FREE.
Free is nice, but it means more than saving money…
IT MEANS YOU USE Ryver very DIFFERENTLY than Slack. You never have to hesitate about building a new team with additional new users….
Q. How does Ryver manage to be free?
A. We currently offer one version. It’s free (and ad-free). It’s un-crippled and offers unlimited users, teams, guests, search, storage, and integrations. Our mission is to allow every company to compete in a complex world using modern Team Communications. We have learned Team Communications simply HAS to be free.
To make sure Ryver is able to be a profitable, long term player, we have the Ryver Task Manager – Seamlessly integrated with Ryver Team Communications coming soon. Then we will ship Ryver Enterprise for big companies. These will be priced very creatively and competitively.
Q. Is Ryver trying to be the Slack killer?
A. No! Slack has a really good product and $300M in the bank. No one is going to kill them. But Team Communications is a massive new software category with room for a few major winners. We expect to be one of them!
We think what Slack charges you $8/user/month for simply HAS to be free. Every modern company needs Team Communication to be competitive. Our mission is to give a real Team Communication tool to everyone, so we’ve made it free, like email.
We believe our free product is better than their paid product. But we are the underdog. Slack has a 24-month head start and a large user base, but sometimes David beats Goliath!
Q. Why should I trust Ryver? I’ve never heard of you!
A. This isn’t our first rodeo. Ryver was founded by Pat Sullivan, co-creator of the Contact Management software category and ACT!, the best-selling product that dominated that category for over 20 years. After selling ACT!, Pat created SalesLogix, the leading mid-market CRM solution, which he also sold.
In 2012, Pat recruited a team of great developers to solve the major problem with email. Email had become too slow for modern Team Communication. Buried inside the Inbox is a Team’s most important communication. Ryver is the best way to allow widely dispersed, decentralized Team Communication. Companies HAVE to become decentralized in the sharing of information in order to compete in a more complex and fast moving business environment.
It’s not impossible for you to do this! It just requires commitment and courage and belief that customers will respond to being straightforward.
Think about what you would write if you could communicate to your customers with this much clarity and authenticity. What would be your version of Ryver vs. Slack? If you’ve got some great examples, leave them in the comments below and I’ll write a follow-up post.