Guest Author: Charles Green
Consider these statements: Haste makes waste .... or .... He who hesitates is lost.
Which is right?
Action without vision is a nightmare ... or ... Vision without action is a daydream.
Which is right?
In the same vein, consider "trust takes time," and "trust your gut." Which is right?
In all the above cases, it depends. Each of the apparently contradictory aphorism pairs makes perfect sense in a particular situation. The trick, of course, is to know which situation faces us. In the case of trust, 75% of the time, you can establish trust in no time at all, and you can do it in the sales process.
In Part I of this article, I covered the first four of nine ways you can rapidly create trust without compromising the validity or deservedness of that trust. Those ways include:
- Give up spin control: Speak the truth -- simply, plainly, without embellishment.
- Admit your limits: If you don't know something, say so.
- Offer other approaches: If the only recommendation you ever have for a client is "me/us," then no client can ever trust your recommendation.
- Take an emotional risk: If you're feeling something, say it.
Here now are the remaining five:
5. Address the other two agendas
State your own agenda for a meeting. But realize that's only one agenda. There is also the client's agenda. Ask for it. Finally, there is a third agenda - the agenda for the relationship itself.
Not every meeting needs a specific relationship agenda item, but the question ought to at least be raised-"do we have a chance in this meeting to improve our relationship?" Raising the other two agendas lowers your self-orientation, i.e., your tendency to focus more on yourself than others.
6. Give up control in the meeting
Of course you want the sale. Of course you can't give away work for free. And of course you should define objectives and agendas for each meeting.
But once in the meeting - let it go. Give up control. Simply help advance the best long-term interest of the client and the relationship. That demonstrates your willingness to collaborate, and your lowered sense of self-orientation.
7. Deliver on more promises
This one has to do with reliability. Reliability is the one factor that by definition takes time, but there are ways to shorten it. Make more promises; then keep them. Say you'll end the meeting at 11:00 - then end at 10:59. Say you'll deliver the package by tomorrow, then have it there at 9:00 a.m. Promise short-term follow-ups, and then deliver.
(And don't make a habit of over-delivering. That just undercuts your credibility. The occasional over-delivery helps since reliability is enhanced by a history of dependability, not by surprises.)
8. Always context transactions within relationships
Don't approach sales, or negotiations, or even meetings, as if they were stand-alone events. Link them to future sales, other negotiations, future meetings. Doing so demonstrates collaboration and a commitment to client focus-all of which helps raise credibility and lower self-orientation.
9. Trust your gut
Much research on the establishment of personal trust suggests it happens very rapidly - often instantaneously. Sometimes this can be dangerous for the one doing the trusting-that's why con artists make a living.
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(This article was originally published in RainToday.com)
Charles H. Green is an author, speaker and executive educator. The author of Trust-based Selling and co-author of The Trusted Advisor, Charles focuses on the role of trusted relationships in selling to and managing relationships with complex organizations. He is the founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates.