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Gaining, sharpening and promoting your skills is always a must. Often the areas where we are most effective are those that make use of our natural talents. As great as it may be, talent is not the most important thing to cultivate. When running a business or building a brand, Trust trumps Talent. The most skilled professional may never be as successful as the most dependable one. Here’s why.

I’ve recently had conversations with everyone from clients, to mentors, to friends who have recently had to redirect their search for a particular service. A client who needed a photo shoot first reached out to a photographer he’s worked with in the past. This particular photographer is very talented, with a unique artistic view. Unfortunately he failed to answer phone calls and made scheduling impossible within the project’s deadline. Eventually, another photographer was brought in and the photo shoot went off without a hitch. The thing that was most impressive was the fact that the new photographer was not only just as talented, but also provided plenty of information up front and was easy to communicate with. He was trustworthy.

If you provide a service, or work directly with customers, be sure to purposefully build a trustworthy environment. Make policies clear. Respond to calls and emails within the next business day. Be consistent with the level of service you provide (you never know who knows who). Your talent may get a customer in the door. In order to create a lasting relationship you will also have to focus on trust.