Last week in Part I, I proposed a simple three-step approach to building trust quickly. I addressed the first two steps, which I suggested are the most important and least practiced (because they seem a little woo woo). Here’s the CliffsNotestm version:
1. Mind your mindset. Take stock of the stories you’re carrying in your head—about trust-building, about the people you’re meeting with, about yourself. Be vigilant. Bust the myths.
2. Set your intentions carefully. Be committed, not attached, to a specific outcome. Give people the psychic freedom to choose. Be someone around from whom they experience freedom, not pressure.
Today brings the next and last step:
3. Prove you’re trustworthy. Take action. Show ‘em who you are, and who you aren’t. This is the step where the pragmatic, concrete, achievement-driven parts of us get to breathe a sigh of relief.
How do you prove it? Here’s a list, based on Chapter 22 of “The Trusted Advisor” which identifies the highest impact and fastest payback things you can do to build trust. I’ve organized it by the four variables of the Trust Equation and zero-ed in on actions that require moments, maybe hours, but certainly not days or months:
· Show you’ve done your homework
· Take a point of view
· Speak the truth, including ‘I don’t know’
· Answer direct questions with direct answers
· Express your passion for your subject
· Combine your words with presence
· Make small promises and consistently follow through
· Be on time
· Use their terminology
· Dress appropriately
· Be willing to name the proverbial elephant in the room
· Listen with empathy
· Tell your client something you appreciate about him or her
· Address your client by name
· “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” — (a quote from “Trust-Based Selling”)
· Build a shared agenda
· Practice ‘thinking out loud’ with your client
· Give away ideas
· Steer clear of “premature solutions” (courtesy of Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling)
· Ask great questions, from a place of curiosity.
Remember that according to our research, trustworthiness requires good ‘scores’ on all four variables in the equation. Choose a combination of actions, based on your audience and your own strengths and weaknesses. And don’t forget Steps 1 and 2—the woo woo before you do do—because the choices you make and the impact you have in the realm of doing are directly tied to your mindsets and intentions.
Think trust takes time? Think again. Unlearning our old ways of being in relationships with others takes time. Trust—not so much.