You walk into a Starbucks and hand the barista a crisp five-dollar bill. They take it and hand you that Venti Frappuccino you’ve been craving all day long. How does this work? One word: trust.
Because they trusted that the paper you were handing them would profit their company, they took that five-dollar bill. This happens every day in many different types of transactions, all around the world.
And it all had to do with trust. Physical money has no value unless people assign it value.
Growing up, I always viewed money as something concrete that was spent and obtained by calculated transactions. It was more of a science than an art. I’m starting to change my view on this, as I’ve found that the only standard by which people trade items (for example, a five-dollar bill for a coffee) is that of mutual trust. Nobody ultimately determines the price at which items are traded, the market determines that. And if somebody stubbornly decides not to lower their price, or somebody decides the price is too high, nothing happens.
It all boils down to the art of negotiation. All transactions are completed only because both parties agree to it. Of course, there are pressures on our psyche to buy or not buy that can’t always be measured. There are a number of variables that take place during times of immanent transactions.
I’m convinced that as a merchant, you must gain significant mindshare in order to be successful. It all has to do with the number of contacts you make and the quality of those contacts. Build trust with your clients and ensure they are taken care of. Don’t leave them hanging!
Many times people find a company or person that they trust and stay loyal to the brand. For example, look at the tremendous following Apple Inc. has right now. They developed a methodology to build fantastic products and a marketing machine to get their message to the masses. There are many other companies growing quickly, and they all know the value of paying close attention to the detail of their products and services. People aren’t afraid to pay a little bit more if they know that they’ll be getting a quality product.
People buy things because they believe those things represent who they are and what they stand for. It’s all about lifestyle design. Even for the frugal at heart, they choose not to buy certain things because not doing so represents a piece of who they are or are not.
We also buy because we trust that what we are getting is worth what we are paying. I believe there is also a loose correlation between how much money we make and how valuable we feel our money is. For example, wealthy people might be more willing to pay top dollar for services because more money was earned by them in a less amount of time.
All of these concepts I’m discussing are trends I’ve found to be generally true. But sometimes the “human” variable takes over, and people prove just how unpredictable they are. Have you ever worked as a salesperson and were dumbfounded how your customer could simply walk away from a transaction in a quick second without warning (maybe they had a budget you were not aware of)? Were you surprised by how the next customer would buy more than you were trying to sell them?
There is a “human” variable to commerce that can’t always be predicted or understood. Financial bubbles occur because people sometimes assign value to things they shouldn’t. Sometimes people don’t put enough value on the essentials. What are some human variables you have discovered? Moreover, what does the Bible say about money and commerce?
What are some observations you’ve made about money and commerce? There’s so much to discuss here. Let’s meet you in the comments!
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