The Nine Habits of Trust in Action: Choosing to Evangelise at NAHL plc

Thank you to Simon Trott, CEO, PI Division, NAHL plc for this guest blog from someone who is ‘walking the talk’ with the Nine Habits of Trust:-

At National Accident Helpline, it was time spent thinking and reflecting, following a team conference event, which led us to the concept of ‘evangelism’. It’s a word which you’re unlikely to use much in day-to-day life, but it’s an idea which is simple yet brilliant.

Our introduction to ‘The Trusted Executive’

Evangelism was brought onto the radar for me by John Blakey, founder of The Trusted Executive Foundation. John’s excellent programme helps to guide and inspire senior leaders to create a new standard of leadership which is underpinned by trust and challenge. As part of The Trusted Executive, John advocates nine leadership habits which inspire trust:

Of all nine habits, it was #7, a one-word prompt, which caught my attention.

What does ‘evangelising’ mean in business?

In the world of business, the concept of evangelism is refreshingly straightforward: take the latest news from your business and tell people about it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The first part of the puzzle is having some news to share – and at National Accident Helpline, we’re proud to have plenty. We recently celebrated our 25th anniversary and in that time, we’ve helped make it right for more than two million people injured in an accident which wasn’t their fault. We recently received our Gold award from Investors in People and we’ve achieved an excellent rating from more than 12,500 reviewers on TrustPilot. Looking to the future, work continues apace on our third Alternative Business Structure (ABS), a new law firm named National Accident Law, which will help us to meet the challenges of forthcoming industry reform head-on. But while news of these advances and achievements is spread throughout the teams at our headquarters, have we been a bit shy about telling the world at large?

New habits – how we are evangelising

And so, we began 2019 with our new year’s resolution – to develop the habit of evangelising. The focus of our evangelism was immediately clear to us. Historically, the personal injury claims industry in which we operate has suffered from a poor reputation – and we know that a lot of people continue to view the industry with distaste. The term ‘ambulance chasers’ is bandied about often, and cold calling from unscrupulous firms continues to blight our sector. At National Accident Helpline, we are staunchly ethical in our approaches to claims handling and marketing. We’ve never placed a single cold call, and yet we regularly receive messages from people who have been cold called by companies purporting to be us.

Likewise, the pressure-selling implication of the ‘ambulance chasers’ tag is not one which we recognise. We don’t apply pressure on people to make a claim; we offer free, impartial advice to help them move forward after suffering an accidental injury because our business model is set up first and foremost to help people. Evangelising is our way of publicly setting the record straight. It’s only by working hard to make it known that we believe in doing things the right way and treating people with dignity and respect, that we can do our bit to help improve the sector’s reputation.

Myself and the wider Leadership Team at National Accident Helpline, are enthusiastic about taking up every relevant and appropriate opportunity available to speak about this publicly. We want to do more to show people what we do, what we know and what we think. As the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, we have always been committed to setting the agenda in the personal injury sector, making our views known, and leading the way with our practices.

Behind the scenes, we have led the way for years on campaigning against unethical marketing practices like cold calling. We strongly believe that rogue players within the sector continue to damage its reputation as a whole. This leads to diminished customer trust and ultimately creates another unnecessary barrier to justice for people with a genuine claim. That’s why we founded the Ethical Marketing Charter in 2015 to set the standard for marketing in our sector. The Charter has more than 60 signatories and has been discussed widely by MPs, regulators, law firms and claims management companies.

Moving forward, we see evangelism as an essential part of this type of activity. It is only by making our stance on issues known more widely that we can contribute to, and impact on, the ongoing conversation around personal injury claims. Our brand’s mission is to help people who have been injured in an accident which feels wrong to make it right; it is only by making our work around this public that people will know what we – and our industry – stand for.

For more information on the Trusted Executive Foundation please refer to this short introductory video. As a first step on the journey of trust, individual and organisational trust surveys based on the nine habits are available. Please contact the Trusted Executive Foundation for further information.

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