Join Jeff Bloomfield for an in-depth discussion in this video The trust matrix, part of The Science of Sales.
- I want to introduce you to a tool that will allow you to effectively measure just how well, you create both personal and professional trust. Personal Trust is all about your ability to be likable through creating a genuine connection. The characteristics that make up connection are Humility, Authenticity, Honesty and appropriate Vulnerability. Professional Trust is about your ability to create respect by demonstrating you and your company's credibility. That credibility is made up of Knowledge, Skills and Capability.
Here's the thing, it doesn't really matter what you think. It only matters how your customers or potential customers view you. Let's take a look at the matrix and then we'll talk in more detail about each section. The Sales Trust matrix takes into account a combination of both personal and professional trust. Connection makes up the x-axis and Credibility makes up the y-axis. Each letter represents a different type of sales person. Let's first look at sales person A. As you can see, sales person A scores very low on the Personal Trust axis in the mind of the customer, and thinking through the characteristics of Connection, they likely aren't very good at coming across as humble, authentic, and or honest and appropriately vulnerable.
As a result, the customer feels uneasy around them and doesn't trust them. On top of that, they also score low on Credibility. Somewhere along the line, they were unable to come across as knowledgeable and capable. Sales person A is in the bottom left quadrant of the Trust Matrix, which is the worst possible place you can be. The likelihood of the customer buying from them is extremely low. So let's move on to sales person B. What you should notice about this person is that the customer perceives them as very connecting.
They score quite high on the Personal Trust axis, however, they don't seem to have the highest marks for their knowledge, skill or capability. At least as far as the customer can tell, so they don't perceive them as all that credible. Would you buy from sales person B? Maybe. I call this the Girl Scout Cookie effect. I like the Girl Scout who comes to my door. She's sweet and she's trying really hard even though, she has no idea what the ingredients of a box of Do-si-dos are. I'll help her out and buy. But unless you're a girl scout, or selling something that you don't need to know much about, you can do better.
Sales person C is an interesting character. They are the exact opposite of B. They know all the answers, they know the industry quite well and they're quick to demonstrate credibility through capability but they're not very likable. They make little effort to connect and they tend to come across as all about them, no connection. Would you buy from C? Again, the answer is maybe. If the person or brand is the only game in town, or if the technical expertise is so specific that they are the only ones who understands it, you may be forced to buy from them.
But you won't like it, and you'll switch the minute someone with the same capability with whom you have a connection, comes to town. Finally, you've got sales person D. Obviously, they're the complete package. They do a great job of connecting to build personal trust, they demonstrate great humility and authenticity, while at the same time, coming across very knowledgeable, skillful and capable. They continually balance personal connection with professional credibility and earn the customer's ultimate perspective, Personal and Professional Trust.
Remember, this isn't what you think, it's how the customer perceives you. You're also not just one dot on the matrix. You can be all over the map, based on the customer, the day you're having and how intentional you're being at both aspects. The point is to continue to work hard at improving both personal and professional trust, and spending as much time as possible in that upper right-hand quadrant of the Trust Matrix. The sales people who live in that quadrant tend to also live in very nice houses, thanks to their commission checks.
- Understanding the trust continuum and the trust matrix
- The three-layered brain and five neuro-elements
- Creating connections
- Establishing credibility
- Handling objections