There is a never-ending sequence of tasks, milestones, steps, and processes that represent the day in the life of any job or project, regardless of your role.
And while businesses have different sales cycles, lifecycles and audiences, in all cases, whatever the role, it all comes down to creating and maintaining the trust that your audience has in YOU.
But why is their trust in you so important?
Answer: Generally, based on human nature, most people are risk adverse. They will often choose to buy from (even pay more), work with & befriend those they “feel” and perceive will meet their needs with the lowest amount of risk. This is true whether you are selling software, servicing life insurance, fixing computers or mowing lawns.
Example I: Look at the trust people have in a Mercedes Benz. We all rave about the quality & engineering yet very few of us truly know that mechanically or structurally a Mercedes Benz is better than a Kia. But, for many of us, our perception or belief is so strong, thanks to their marketing efforts, that we not only prefer to buy a Mercedes, we do so at a significant cost premium.
Is that premium warranted? Few of us actually know, but we will defend our expensive brand-name purchases as being better than the alternative because we want to believe to justify our decision.
Example II: An even more relevant example would be a Real Estate agent or Financial/Insurance broker. How is it that some agents make millions each year, while others barely make a living? Is it because one knows more about insurance, mortgages or stocks than the other OR is it because one has a greater ability to create confidence and trust in others?
- Are you assured your financial portfolio will deliver a higher return if you choose the planner who looks professional, arrives on time and comes prepared?
- Will your Real Estate Agent’s great attitude, warm personality & great organizational skills really increase your odds of finding the home of your dreams and at the right price?
- Does your Project Manager’s amazing ability to keep you in the loop and well managed mean they are strong at project management?
- Does your Dentist’s modern office, friendly hygienists & great jokes mean they are good Dentists?
Answer: Maybe or may be not! Simply put, there is no correlation. BUT… humans believe there is. They associate trusting people as knowledgeable people. They associate trusting brands with high quality. They associate kindness with smartness.
Since most of us will never really be able to measure the true quality of those we recommend to others, what are we basing our trusting opinion on? The answer is simple: how that person makes us feel. And how they make you feel can be a learned skill & strategy when one understands what makes people tick.
So how do you create and influence their perception of you?
The first step is to understand that there are 3 levels of trust. The higher the trust, the greater your odds of winning the sale.
Company Trust: Trust that your customer has in the company you represent. The larger and more well-known the company is, the easier it is.
Product/Service Brand Trust: Trust that your customer has in the brand you represent. Example … many people will pay 50% more for Betty Crocker cake mix vs. private label cake mix even if both have the same ingredients listed.
Personal Trust: Trust that your customer has in you as a person.
Now that you understand the different levels of trust, let’s focus on the trust each of us have the most direct influence and have control over … Personal Trust.
Ask yourself: What do I want my audience to think of me? What feeling and perception must I create for them to want to trust me? How can I get them to believe I am:
- Trustworthy and reliable?
- A good listener?
- Fair and honest?
- Friendly and warm?
The most important part of this module is to realize that you, alone, directly influence people’s perception of you. Once you realize that, you will take great care, detail, and responsibility to act and execute accordingly.
This realization is what this entire module is about. This realization is power; it takes the onus away from factors you cannot control and puts them firmly on your shoulders. Certainly, good marketing material, great products and a strong brand will help but, those strong at building & maintaining trust know that these tools are only there as support. Ultimately, success rests squarely in their own actions.