Bad Marketing 101: Trust Me!

Trust me!

Those are perhaps the two most trust-destroying words you can say. But look how often they get said.

Try googling the phrase “to be your trusted advisor.” I got 31,300 results when I checked just now.

Here are a few:

Our commitment to you is to be your trusted advisor and mortgage partner for life. Click here to access our Finance Tools. Click here to get Pre-Approved…

Our experience and depth of knowledge qualifies Telcordia to be your "Trusted Advisor" when you need an expert’s assistance

These florists blend their knowledge of flowers with an understanding of style to be your trusted advisor

And my personal favorite,

We have a unique understanding of your career needs and are uniquely positioned to be your trusted advisor.

Why does saying “trust me” accomplish the opposite? Because it violates social norms, and because it is self-contradictory.

Trust is personal—an outcome, not a come-on. On a first date, asking for either sex or for a very long-term relationship is likely to get you neither. “Trust me” is the business version—socially inappropriate, especially on the “first date” equivalent of the internet.

More importantly, “trusted advisor” is something you want others to say about you, not say it yourself. You can talk about it amongst yourselves, hope for it—but not proclaim it.

Saying you are, or want to be, someone’s trusted advisor, is like saying you are, or want to be, really humble.

But don’t trust me on it…