Why should I trust you?Article added by Paul Mallett on November 7, 2012
Joined: September 27, 2012
Ranked: #19 (2,365 pts)
If you want to achieve true success, focus on generating meaningful value for your clients. If you want to generate meaningful value for your clients, focus on becoming someone they can trust.
You’re really just a salesman. The more you sell, the more money you make. When push comes to shove, you are going to recommend what is best for you, not me. I have no one that I can really count on for sound financial and risk management advice. I need help. I am making critical financial decisions that could affect me for the rest of my life. I need advice from someone I can trust. How do I know that’s you?
Sound familiar? If not, it should. Whether they actually say it or not, this is what clients are thinking when they stare across the table at you.
If I have offended you, I apologize. But it’s a fact: Our business is all about trust. If people trust you, your business will not only survive, but will likely thrive. If people don’t trust you, you won’t be around for long.
Trust is fragile. It can take years to build, but only seconds to destroy. With so much on the line, what can we do to increase the level of trust our current and potential clients have for us?
Start with a better understanding of trust itself
In his best-selling book, "The Speed of Trust," author Stephen M. R. Covey explains there are four key elements of trust. If we fully understand those elements and work to proactively improve in all four areas, we can increase our credibility with people quickly and effectively. Covey calls these four areas the “core four." The first two cores deal with character, and the second two with competence.
Fundamentally, integrity means honesty. Can people actually believe what you say? Tell the truth. Be open. If you say you are going to meet at a given time and place, be there. Keep your commitments. Do what you say you are going to do.
Are you giving clients a reason to question your motives? Are you currently focused on selling rather than helping? Do the right thing. Even if it means losing a sale today, always put your clients’ needs ahead of your own. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the future. Covey suggests we make it a point to regularly examine our motives, and that we openly share our intentions with clients from the outset. Just remember, don’t say it if you don’t really mean it.
Do you have the knowledge and skills to serve your clients as well or better than the other guy? If you don’t, your clients will figure it out. You can fool them for a while, but not for long. If your motives are pure, you already want to be as knowledgeable and skillful as possible because that is what’s best for your client. Know your strengths and leverage them. Bolster your weaknesses through additional training, or by hiring support staff with complementary talents and skills.
Results are essential to your credibility. Perhaps more than any other factor, your clients will have more confidence in you if they can be shown how you have helped others. It’s no secret that referrals are like gold. Treat them that way. First, ask for them. Then, highlight them every chance you get. Broadcast your successes. It’s not bragging; it’s marketing.
People are desperately searching for someone to trust. Take a look around and it’s not hard to understand why. We all feel like we are being lied to and taken advantage of by everyone from our political candidates to our local auto mechanic.
If you want to achieve true success, focus on generating meaningful value for your clients. If you want to generate meaningful value for your clients, focus on becoming someone they can trust. You can do that by proactively seeking improvement in all “four cores” of trust: integrity, intent, capabilities and results.
One word of caution: Start your journey with a good dose of self trust. In "The Speed of Trust," Covey also observes, “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.” Be honest with yourself. Don’t assume people will trust you because you think you are trustworthy.
A commitment to building trust will lead to better days for your business, and our industry as a whole. Who knows, I may actually consider buying something from you some day.
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