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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Trust, Trust, Trust

“Trust is the cornerstone of Tobacconist credibility. Trust is earned through honest and diligent efforts, not once, but consistently, over long periods of time. In general, consumers are wary of advice, opinions, and salespeople. Tobacconists earn the Trust of consumers one cigar or pipe recommendation at a time. Eventually, Trust will emerge and be the irrevocable glue that bonds a customer to their Tobacconist.”TU Code of Ethics & Standards
Trust is the foundation of every relationship….
If you take the bands off of the cigars in your humidor, or the labels off of your pipe tobaccos, pretty much everything looks like generic or commodity products. In fact, without smoking the products, our senses tell us relatively little about the true qualities of luxury tobacco. Consumers are influenced by aesthetics (cigar band & box attractiveness), their peers, and most surprisingly, consumers often believe advertising and internet copy. But the best advice in a retail humidor comes from a retail Tobacconist.
Retail Tobacconists are the only members of our industry who must be accountable to our customers in a face-to-face environment. In fact, retail Tobacconist survival depends on building and maintaining Trust. Just like you trust your attorney and accountant when they give you advice, your butcher to not sell you rotten meat, you Trust your Tobacconist to understand your needs and respect your time and money.
Building Trust takes time, commitment, and consistency. This is not a fly by night, get rich quick business. It takes many years to become a good Tobacconist, and decades to become the best. In that journey a retail Tobacconist cannot be afraid to say “I don’t know” or sell a less expensive product when it suits their customers’ needs. Retail Tobacconists must do the right thing every time to keep our customers coming back.
Build Trust, and everything else will follow.

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