How To Build, Create, Maintain, Enjoy
& Prosper From Well Earned and Lasting Trust Part 1 of 4
“TRUST: Noun – The firm belief in the reliability,
truth, ability, effectiveness or strength of someone or something.”
Let me ask you two quick questions: How would your business (or professional practice) be different, or better, if you could establish a deep mutual trust more often, more quickly and easily and in a way that made it last?
What about your personal life? Better or worse? My guess? If you can build and maintain trust it becomes waaaaay better. In multiple and important ways.
You know it…“Trust” is vital in both business and personal relationships.
Having it makes business work better and faster and makes personal and human relationships more enjoyable and less prone to disaster. Negotiations are faster…because there is trust. We do more deals because there is trust. We have more fun and do more things that we’ve always wanted to do because….you guessed it…there is a high level of trust.
We want it, we need it, and we profit from it. It’s hard to earn (maybe not as hard as you think), it’s easily lost and often very hard to regain (but not impossible).
So knowing what to do to build it more quickly, to improve the quality of it, and to keep trust for longer…if not forever, is vital and worth the time to learn. It’s high ROI in every sense of that expression. And it makes us better people while improving the quality of life for those around us and doing business with us.
But, in each and every relationship (and in each type of relationship – business and personal) there are many different ways in which we each define our “tests” for trust. We also all have different ways of deciding that trust has been broken or diminished and whether or not to allow someone to rebuild our trust.
In a personal relationship there may be different “tests” or essentials for creating and preserving trust than in a collaborative team (your relationship with your staff) or business relationship (your relationship with the clients and prospects).
You don’t have to believe me. SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR A LIST OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND ARTICLES FROM OTHER RELIABLE SOURCES
As we go on this journey together, I’ll tell you some stories to illustrate each point and you can decide for yourself. You can think it out…recall some of your own experiences, test the lessons, and then decide for yourself whether or not these ideas and strategies will make your life better.
For example, I know some married couples who broke trust with one another, got divorced but later resolved the issue and remarried only to experience a long life of happiness and trust.
Not common…but it’s possible. And their ideas about trust and tests for trust are different from people who have hideously contested and never ending divorce disputes, or who break up relationships over what you or I might think are trivialities.
Would it be useful to understand how they won back trust? What secrets they used (intentionally or by accident) and to understand how you can use them too?
And on the business side of things, you might allow for a co-worker or team member to “betray” you at a meeting by taking credit for an idea you both hatched but still decide to go have a drink or to continue to work together…..or that might be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
It’s over…Fini…The end.
If you’re their boss, you fire them or if you’re not in control of their destiny, you start looking for a new job or a new team.
There are ways to know what to do, to both build trust, to avoid the breach of trust that ends relationships, and, when it does occur, to rebuild that trust.
As humans we may weight these factors (of strength, reliability, truth, and ability/competence) differently from context to context. And worse yet, if we’re looking for patterns and a single answer to how do we build and keep trust, we all have unique experiences from our past that affect how and when we decide to trust someone (or not).
In other words, each person has a different way of creating and maintaining the strong belief in the reliability of another. Trust is very individual in nature.
So that sounds like understanding and building trust will be hard – since everyone “does it” differently.
But here’s the good news…
Behavioral economists, psychologists, and neuroscientists have all begun to identify certain elements of and prerequisites to trust (that are common to almost all humans). They have also examined how, once established, trust is maintained and/or lost.
And it turns out that there are a few good rules to follow to establish and to maintain trust with most people. And many of these techniques and skills are counter intuitive.
For example, we believe, that keeping our prior mistakes and flaws secret or at least not highlighting them probable helps us to build trust with people who do not know us. We’re afraid that before they do know us well, that disclosure of such flaws may inhibit trust. But the reality is quite different. If, early on, but at the right time, we disclose a flaunt or flaw we are really saying..”see. I am being honest with you.” When we do this in the right way it doesn’t scare people or delay trust…it enhances and accelerates it.
Understanding these elements of trust and roads to trust and how to amplify/accelerate them can make you more persuasive and can lead to a very high, and effective level of long lasting and well deserved trust.
Then, once trust is built you can move from being merely persuasive (getting people to see things and to act differently – which is hard work), to being truly influential – where people don’t need to be convinced or persuaded because they already trust you and look to you as a trusted source of advice and information (which is much easier).
The bottom line?
Trust speeds up transactions and simplifies decisions because we know and trust the other person. We are willing to accept more of what they say to us without independent analysis and due diligence.
More importantly, once we build and deserve trust, it can grow and transform into influence…that happy state when people turn to us for advice, guidance and results…without the need for persuasion and all that entails.
So if we want that special happy and profitable state of trust and influence, then where do we begin?
First, let’s look at it from a selfish perspective. We have to be sure that the person we are going to trust has our best interests at heart AND that they really understand our personal goals and needs. Likewise, when we go to earn the trust of another we know that they have to believe that we both really understand their needs and wants AND that we will put those needs first and foremost (or that we will at least balance those needs with our own in a reasonable and expected way).
That’s why both our marketing and face to face language should be to tell prospects when and why they are a good match of us and when they are not. When we tell them how and why they are less than a perfect match, it reminds them that we are looking out for their interests as well as our own.
Example? If I say to a prospective client, who wants to meet with me alone, that I must meet with both spouses and I explain why (there are about 8 really good reasons) and they still refuse, then I simply explain that they are not a good fit for us. That we do very exhaustive estate planning that requires both spouses to listen and to work together. We might explain that our answers often trigger more questions for both spouses that they need to work out.
In this way, the prospect comes to understand that the process will be better and less expensive if they both come to all the meetings. If he or she doesn’t want to play by the rules that’s ok. We save everyone stress, tension, time and money.
But, if they accept the rules because they see that I’m looking out for them based on my long experience, than I have established trust.
That’s a business example based on truthfulness, perceived skill and ability (based on experience) are valued here.
In a personal relationship, for example, compassion and understanding may be the most important attributes of trust.
While in a business relationship, competence may be at the top of the list of must-haves in order to create a trusting relationship. The trust (and the benefit of trust) is the same, but the precipitating factors or elements can be vastly different.
The only way to know how prospects, customers, team members, and others in businesses and our lives decide to trust, is to cultivate a keen attention to and interest in each client or team member’s needs and how they express them. Notice and understand, at a profound level what they want and need and be clear about whether or not you can provide it in a way that they will understand and appreciate.
And once you discover how your very best clients (or others, like kids, spouses, partners, and team members) come to know and trust you, your product development, sales, marketing, management, and client services will all be much better and more effective.
You’ll build products and services they want and recognize that they need.
They will see value and want to pay. You will attract more and better clients/customers. And they’ll buy from you….because they trust you. And when you exceed their expectations they will trust you even more and a cycle of trust to influence is created.
Your public and private communications, as well as your marketing will also gently deter prospects who are not a good match and who are less likely to trust you and to value your services.
Finally, you will benefit from more and better referrals as your own clients and customers have the faith and trust in you to risk making that referral to a good friend or family member.
And make no mistake…referring to you is perceived as a risk by a client/customer until they really trust you.
So, you get it. To build and to maintain real trust, we have to start asking questions and really paying attention to the answers and the language that they use to describe their concerns, anxieties, needs and wants.
We have to do this constantly, and systematically and with our very best clients, customers, prospects and relationships.
Join us for soon to be published Parts II – IV Of Building and Maintaining Trust – coming soon! For specifics see below…
Keep your eye’s peeled. And, let’s get a conversation going. If you have a story of a trust building success or failure use the comments below and we can look for patterns and share things that really work and help others to avoid the mistakes we’ve all made.
Part II Tests Clients/Customers and Patients Use and How To Establish Trust In Business Relationships
Part III [RESOURCES] Building Trust As A Leader And Using That Power For Good Not Evil
Part IV [Bonus Resources] More tools and experiences from my practice and life as well as from authors: Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, Ken Blanchard and Scott Adams
Thanks for spending time here with me. Here’s to exciting results for you as you become better at persuasion, influence, and trust.
P.S. Ready for more, right now, on the tools of persuasion and how to learn enhanced communication…the tools and foundation of trust and influence? Click here for a special offer of my Persuasion2Profit course and get access to over 25 hour long coaching calls on topics including trust, marketing, persuasion, influence, mindset and more. Plus, I’ll pay for your next full year of Business Black Ops coaching calls filled with actionable marketing, management, executive level strategies and hack and more.
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Trust and Trust Building | Beyond Intractability
Trust Theory in Natural Resource Management – Triple Pundit
Building Trust Inside Your Team – Management Skills From MindTools
Great article, Thank you. I will be sharing this with our sales team.
Thanks Brian! Glad you liked it. Let us know any feedback from their review and the training.