In any business interaction, gaining trust is not just your desired outcome – it is your only initial outcome. If you can succeed in building trust with a potential prospect, the odds are heavy in your favor that you will achieve a result that meets their needs, and thus your financial and business needs.
Are You Trustworthy?
Having a trust-building mindset enables you to naturally and seamlessly treat initial interactions with potential clients and business associates as an enjoyable and positive process. Do you come across as trustworthy or can you improve on some levels of trust building? Use these questions to build lasting trust from the opening moments of any meeting or conversation.
- Do I approach each new interaction with openness and no preconceptions?
- Am I willing to spend at least two-thirds of an initial interaction listening rather than talking?
- Am I coming off as treating the other person as an individual and not as a checklist?
- Am I constantly monitoring how I am coming across to the other side in my initial interaction?
- Am I displaying quiet confidence throughout my interactions?
- Am I putting the other person first through my tone and language?
- Am I displaying an educational mindset in my discussions with the other person?
How to Build Trust in 5-Minutes
Trust and trusting reputations are built through hard work and interpersonal interactions. One-on-one trust can take one minute, five minutes, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, or even longer to develop.
In an initial meeting, the other person cannot observe your integrity. The reality is, once you start a conversation all they really have to go on in making a trust assessment is how you conduct yourself during the initial call, email exchange or video chat.
Insta-Trust is a process where strong trust is developed in a virtual or in-person setting within one hour of the start of the interaction. There are four key elements to Insta-Trust:
- Relationship building
- Meeting setting
- Establishing a quietly confident persona
The relationship-building process is designed to achieve a few goals. First, to show the other party that you truly care about them as a person. Second, to show that you acknowledge their
concerns, whether factual, emotional or situational. Third, to show via questioning and empathy that you truly have the technical expertise to help them. Finally, and most importantly,
that you have a collaborative approach toward problem solving and you are in it together to get their needs addressed in a successful manner.
In today’s busy business climate, many initial meetings take place by phone or video conferencing, rather than in person. In other words, the other party often either cannot see you, or if they can, they are not getting the full display of visual cues to see that you are empathetic. In those settings, it is even more vital to pay attention to tone of voice in your questioning and dialogue to show you are genuinely concerned about them and their needs.
Even if you cannot be physically seen, I cannot emphasize more strongly how vital your presence is in making a quick impression on a prospective business contact. This starts with having a quiet confidence persona, indicating that you are the right person for the job. And frankly, if you are not the right person, your best option is to tell the other person you are not the right person to work with and to offer some referrals as to who can best help them.
Taking your time to respond is an often overlooked asset when it comes to building trust, especially when dealing with someone who wants quick answers. The Insta-Trust professional needs to slow down the process and be firm about their information gathering and data
analysis. Of course, you can speed up the conversation if you are quickly understanding what you need to come up with an excellent idea generation. But that decision should be made by you, not the other party. You can reassure them during the conversation that you are working expeditiously to find out the issues and develop tentative solutions. By asking them for some level of patience and then telling them you are respecting their patience level, you can develop a higher level of trust.
Don’t Sell: Build Trust
Rarely will your desired business result arise where trust is not built first.
Trust never occurs when a potential customer or client feels they’re being sold. Trust in new relationship situations does not begin with a sales pitch. Trust begins with an educational process on the part of both sides. Trust builds slowly and can be lost quickly. Trust gathers steam when the client begins to let their guard down and talks freely about their real concerns. When trusting relationships build, it is like a snowball rolling downhill with speed. In other words, great momentum leads to a powerful result.
Written by Larry Jacobson.
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