Pay-off: learn the single most important way to build trust in conversation (beyond simply ‘listening’)
Investment: >2 minutes
Trust is the linchpin to a successful and ongoing business relationship. It’s the conduit to connecting value, creating win:wins and mutually progressing and growing your businesses together.
Caveat emptor and caveat venditor
And it must go both ways; your buyer must trust you. And you must also trust your buyer if you’re to work successfully with them.
(Tip: it pays to have a system that efficiently qualifies the untrustworthy buyer out (tyre kickers, time wasters, decision fakers, those too uncomfortable to be frank, those unwilling or unable to collaborate in the decision, share necessary information or maintain communication etc. You can’t help these people to buy from you, there is no fit here, your efforts should be directed towards trustworthy buyers.)
Both buyers and sellers must earn trust. Buyer beware and seller beware.
The art of creating trust, fast
This “trust” chart has been doing the social media rounds recently. It comes from Stephen Covey’s book “The Speed of Trust”.
The chart is interesting, but I think there’s a hole in it. At least for the purposes of building trust in conversation.
Perhaps the fastest and most powerful way to build a visceral sense of trust in your “buyer” is to help them feel (and be) heard and understood.
They want to know, in their heart, mind and gut, that you “get” them and their situation well enough to be able to successfully lead them forwards.
Start by doing that well, and your buyer will talk their own way into trusting you. It’s an art.
But, unfortunately, doing it well doesn’t come naturally to most people. Most people think it requires just ‘listening’. But that’s just one part of it. You have to do more than just ‘listen’…
This is not just ‘listening’
This is more than just ‘listening’ to what they’re broadcasting. Anyone can listen to a broadcast. You don’t get points for that. No, to build sincere trust, respect and credibility, you must skilfully influence the broadcast.
You must dig for what you need to know in order to best help them. You must steer their thinking. Help them learn more about their situation than they previously did. Help them to understand themselves better. They like that.
Your questioning, curiosity, rapport, manner, empathy, and expertise (all learnable skills) impact how well they feel heard. They are the bricks to build strong conversational trust.
Want to test that you’ve succeeded?
They’ll show signs of emotion. They’ll have an obvious energy about them. Something between relief and excitement. Once you’re there, paraphrase your understanding fully, and ask if you missed anything. If not, they feel heard. Goal achieved. You’re in a position to lead. That’s the art.
Then amplify that trust by offering to add highly relevant value in a way that suits them, and deliver it using the principles in the chart.
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Help is closer than ever before + free new e-course
I have some new resources for you:
- I have a FREE new e-course for non-sales people to help them create a ‘non-sales’ plan of attack here
- I’m now providing consulting to driven individuals or small teams who want my help (here).
- New Ebook – FREE – for leaders of non-sales teams who would like their team to sell (here)
- I’ve started adding some recommended books to my site. More updates soon..
- Free member content library a growing collection of resources – all free (..if I had a pound every time I said that…)
Also published on Medium.