Gates of Trust

It’s a proven principle that before the prospect will even think about buying anything, they have to know you and trust you.

There is no scarcity of books that talk about lack of trust being one of the primary obstacles to any sale, and they are all correct. But it’s one thing to identify the problem, and another to show you the correct way to handle it. Continue reading and all will be revealed.

Most people use a graduated gate system to sort out the trustworthy from the unworthy. Each gate represents a test, which narrows the pool of applicants and acts as a sort of virus protection for our lives. I have identified five gates that have to be opened to have any chance of getting the prospect to trust you.

Gate One
The first gate is obvious. You must establish agreement. 

This means having something in common with the people you are talking to. Having values and interests that are similarly aligned with your client is an easy way to open this gate. People tend to trust people who agree with them and with whom they agree.

Agreement is the natural law that underlies all successful personal relationships, especially in the field of selling.

Gate Two
The next gate evolves directly from the first: Can they identify with you?

Do you both “speak the same language, literally and figuratively? This is important, as we tend to identify with people we like and who are like us.

Any talented or charismatic person can adjust their communication style to match the personality of whomever they are trying to persuade. That can mean being more businesslike with someone who likes to cut to the chase, or avoiding too much shoptalk with a more gregarious person.

Charisma doesn’t have to be “in your face” – in fact, mostly it’s not. A soft-spoken or mild-mannered personality can be considered charismatic, as long as people identify with it.

Personal magnetism and a quiet confidence or an understated aura of capability will both put the client at ease. Effortless competence radiates and attracts people to you far more than the “hail fellow, well met” who seems desperate to make the next sale.

Gate Three
The third gate is obvious. Are you are interested in them more than you are yourself?

People have a special sense that can detect the presence or absence of this quality. And they can do it instantly. The gate either opens or it remains closed depending more on what they feel than what you say. Being genuinely interested is the key to opening this gate.

 Gate Four
The fourth gate is performance. Can you deliver what you promise? Once established, this not only maintains trust, but it can also lead to referrals. If you or your company has the reputation of being able to deliver what you promise, clients come to you without resistance.

Okay, hold your hat. This one may surprise you. I have saved it for last, but perhaps it should have been first, as it is the most important gate. And, it must be in place before you start to work on any of the other gates.

Here it is.

You must trust yourself first.

Once you have one this firmly under your belt, you’ve hit the jackpot.

If you are worthy of trust, people will tend to trust you.

If you trust yourself, they will follow your lead. There is no greater way to engender the trust of others than to start with the ability to trust yourself first.

Learn these five points well and you’ll be happy you did. So will your customers.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2009-2030, all rights reserved


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