Build Trust. Talk About Money

selective focus photo of stacked coins


Transparency is one of the pillars of trust. Trust builds relationships. So, why do so many businesses avoid real talk about money?

  • You see it in job postings. Many times no salary is listed. Can the company provide a salary range? This simple action cuts copious amounts of time from your process. Overqualified candidates know not to apply. Candidates are aware of parameters of the job. And, you do not have to scramble after making an offer to someone who rejects it based on the financial reality of the situation.
  • You experience it in B2B. The web site of a consultant or professional you want to hire for a project has no prices listed. You participate in the initial sales call, and when you ask how much it costs, the answer is, “it depends.” It depends on how many employees you have. It depends, it depends, it depends.
  • Those selling services will often ask a prospective client, “What is your budget?” Many times, the conversation goes back to the example above. “Never mind my budget, what does it cost?”

Why is there so much hedging when business people talk about money? In one word, the reason is TRUST – lack of trust. Trust has not been built in the relationship yet. Each party is afraid that the other party will get the upper hand. So, they both hedge their bets and waste time in a back-and-forth negotiation that can seem never-ending.

In my work both selling my services and supporting clients who are building their businesses, I have found that offering transparence about money saves time, builds trust, and shows people what the working relationship will be like. It is a reflection of the business and the brand of the business.

What does transparency about money look like?

  • In a job posting, the potential employer lists the salary range. When a fantastic client interviews for the position, they say, “I really appreciated that you list the salary range. My salary expectations are near the top of the range, but I applied because I want to work in a place where there is transparency.”
  • In a B2B situation, when asking for the cost of a project, the vendor will say, “Our usual rate for a project like this is $X. That is a starting point for us. If it works within your budget, let’s flesh out the details and I will give you a final number.”
  • For the person selling services, when asking for the company’s budget, it may sound like, “It would be great if you could give me a range for how you budgeted this project. That way, I can tailor my services to your budget.”

In all of these cases, transparency about what things might cost leads to better conversations that are focused on the specific job. The relationship begins in a more trusting space, because someone who is honest about money will be honest about other things. Finally, it saves time, and time is money.

For more information contact Mary Balistreri, The Mindful Business Coach at

Published by Mary Balistreri

Mary Balistreri offers a variety of coaching and professional development services to individuals and organizations focused on harnessing strengths to develop more business. Mary’s approach is goal driven, focusing on measurable results and developing actionable plans to move past obstacles that hold individuals, teams, and organizations back from executing on the plan. Mary offers expertise in business development, team building, and leadership development coupled with strategies to improve conversational and emotional intelligence to support clients moving toward their goals and aspirations.

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