Wiktionary, the free online dictionary, defines benefit of the doubt as “a favorable judgement given in the absence of full evidence.”
When we start out doing something new, like marketing our fledgling business, someone giving us the benefit of the doubt (and trying our service) is about all we can hope for. We’re still an unknown. We don’t have a body of work that we can fall back on, offering it up as proof that we know what the hell we’re doing. We’re relying on someone taking a chance on us, trusting that we’re really going to deliver on our promises.
If we stop and think about it, that’s a far leap of faith on that person’s part: to take a chance on someone they have no experience with and very little evidence to use to justify their decision.
Unless we’re a dominant market force, like a Walmart, Toyota, or Visa, known far and wide by every single consumer, almost every one of our customer interactions carries with it some part of getting the benefit of the doubt.
We should be honored that we’re receiving any benefit at all, taking advantage of the goodwill we’ve been shown and making sure that we don’t waste such a valuable opportunity.
Leaps of faith don’t come along too often.
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