Join Jeff Bloomfield for an in-depth discussion in this video The trust continuum, part of The Science of Sales.
- When you look at this sentence, what comes to mind? People buy from people they... Fill in the blank. When I ask this question in a live workshop, the answers I get often range from "like" to "know" to "find credible," etcetera. Now you may already know the answer to this one. People buy from people they trust. So with that being said, who do people trust? Who do you trust? As human beings, we tend to trust people we like. This may sound like the world's biggest no-brainer, but it's actually quite profound if you stop and think about it for just a second.
Think of someone in your life, it can be personal or professional, that you like. Do you have them in your mind? Great, now tell me this, do you trust them? Of course you do. Now think of someone that you're not too sure about, or maybe you just flat-out don't like for whatever reason. Do you trust them? No, you do not. Interesting, huh? Now that we know people buy from people they trust, and they trust people they like, how do you determine if you like someone? People like people they connect with.
No, I don't mean a Facebook friend request or a LinkedIn connection. I'm talking about a full-fledged, "I get you and you get me and we seem "to genuinely care about each other "and what the other person thinks and feels." The Characteristics of Connection are simple, but not easy. People who demonstrate humility, authenticity, honesty, and the appropriate amount of vulnerability create deep and meaningful connections with other human beings. How would your customers score you on those four characteristics? As salespeople, we don't tend to focus on these very often, do we? Yet we know that the quickest path to trust is through connection and our abilities to demonstrate these characteristics.
The first continuum, the Connect - Like - Trust continuum, leads to personal trust. The second continuum for you to be aware of leads to professional trust. This continuum goes like this: Credibility leads to Respect, and that Respect leads to Trust. In order to be trusted as a professional, you need to demonstrate this continuum as well. The Characteristics of Credibility are knowledge, skill, and capability. If you have the right knowledge, be it industry knowledge, product knowledge, customer knowledge, etcetera, and can demonstrate that you can put that knowledge into action by having the skill to solve problems, and have shown evidence that you and your company can do that through proof of your capabilities, you will generate professional trust.
Personal trust without professional trust leads to new friendships, but doesn't lead to increased sales. Professional trust without personal trust lengthens sales cycles, inserts more competition, and generally decreases customer loyalty, if they buy at all. It's imperative for you to maintain focus on demonstrating both personal trust and professional trust. In my experience, most people and companies focus the vast majority of their time trying to communicate professional capability.
What about you? How would you rate yourself in your ability to demonstrate the characteristics of both? It can be tough, but those who intentionally focus on improving their ability to demonstrate both personal and professional trust are the salespeople who exceed their goals year after year.
- Understanding the trust continuum and the trust matrix
- The three-layered brain and five neuro-elements
- Creating connections
- Establishing credibility
- Handling objections