Home > Approach > Recommendations for establishing trust and respect

Recommendations for establishing trust and respect

What are your recommendations for establishing or building trust and respect with prospects you're meeting for the first time or cold calling for the first time? - by Thomas
Building trust is a process, it's not something that happens in just one call or contact, it happens over time. That said, on your cold call speak with confidence, be succinct and to-the-point and make sure that you focus on the value you give to your customers.

Make sure to mention any credentials you or your company have that support your statements about your products/services. Reference a customer who has encountered challenges that are similar to those of your prospect. Be specific and give details. This can give you enormous credibility and be quite powerful.

Do what you say you're going to do. If a prospect asks you to call back at a specific time, do so. If you tell a prospect you're going to send something, do so.

Act with integrity and keep your word. That is how you build trust. - by Wendy Weiss
Thomas, you've mixed respect and trust together. The purpose of the cold call is to get an appointment, and as Wendy says, "Building trust is a process."

Three things are important for building rapport - compassion, connection, credibility. Have you done your homework before calling the person. This is one form of compassion, they're a human being as well. Can you connect with them, in other words do you have a compelling business reason for them to be interested in what you're offering. And finally do you have credibility. Credibility can be borrowed (the company you work for is an example), a referral from a current client is another.
- by gstebbins
Building trust is a process, it's not something that happens in just one call or contact, it happens over time.
Does this mean that trust is going to be pretty limited when cold calling? - by Thomas
Thomas, you've mixed respect and trust together. The purpose of the cold call is to get an appointment, and as Wendy says, "Building trust is a process."
Couldn't a salesperson get more appointments when cold calling if there was more trust and respect between the agent and the prospect? - by Thomas
Hi Thomas,

As others have commented, trust can't be built quickly. But there are ways it can be accelerated.

Back in my early days as a consultant we used to use a "trust formula" as a rough guide to areas to focus on to build trust:

T= (I x C) / R

Trust = (Intimacy times Credibility) divided by Risk

So in other words, to increase Trust you need to increase your Intimacy and Credibility with your customer, and decrease their (perceived) risk.

Actions to increase Intimacy can include building knowledge of one another, frequent contact, sharing, openness and acceptance.

Actions to increase credbility can include being reliable, truthful, thorough, knowledgeable and responsible - and always following through on commitments.

Actions to decrease risk for customers include providing guarantees, working in partnership together, and clarifying/implementing methods to ensure the clients goals are met.

All these can help, but nowadays I tend to focus more on intent than on technique. If I am genuinely working in the clients interest rather than just my own, then it will shine through in my actions and my communications ith them.

Hope this helps,

Ian - by ianbrodie
I agree with many of the other experts' posts.

It is unrealistic to think of trust as something that is built in a sentence or two, or even in a few minutes. Trust is something that the prospect or customer honor us with. We have no control over it. However, we can foster trust by being believable, likable, genuine, and attentive with our prospects.

Respect is something that we have for our prospects, and also something that we will hopefully earn, in time, from our customers.

My recommendation is to focus on being believable, likable, genuine, and attentive, and if you are, prospects will give you a fair listen. If they give you a fair shot, then trust can be built over time. And if you do your job well and handle yourself well, you have a good chance of earning your customer's respect. - by Skip Anderson
The advice of the others really captures the essence of your question. My expertise focuses more on the women's market. Since I don't know what your product or service is and who it is aimed at, it is a little harder to reply.

However, a few things to remember. Women frequently ask more questions, do their homework, and frequently consult with their friends and colleagues prior to making a buying decision, especially on big ticket items. It is important for you to realize that she is usually the decision maker and take the time she needs. Be upfront, honest, knowledgeable and professional. If she asks a question you don't know the answer to, tell her that and get back to her quickly with the answer.

Don't ask her to bring her husband if you schedule a meeting.

The best news is that once you build the trust, respect and rapport with women, they will provide you with qualified referrals from their networks. They are also more loyal than their male counterparts.

Hope this helps. Good luck. - by GerryMyers
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.