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The Fast Track to Building Real Trust

4 tips that have helped me to build trusting relationships (March 27, 2013)

  1. Be Your Versatile Self – Not every customer is the same. Don't just repeat the same rapport-building game for every interaction; rather think about the customer, his or her style, and the interest points that will resonate with him or her.
  2. Get the Personal and Business Mix Right – Often salespeople focus on building a personal connection with a customer, but then take it too far and fall into the “friend zone” where they are uncomfortable talking business. Rapport should be built on both a personal level and a business level. The important point is to establish the right mix of personal and business rapport for each customer.
  3. Establish Credibility – Do you have any contacts or projects in common that you can reference upfront to raise your credibility? Plan and call out the personal value that you bring to the interaction.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice! – Talk to the person in the office you don’t know or pick up the phone and talk to someone whom you haven’t spoken with in a while. Focus on the tips above; listen for points in the conversation where the other person is most/least interested, recognise when to change subjects, and also when to move on from the conversation.

These tips are critical in building strong rapport and trust with potential customers and preventing bumps and roadblocks.

(Return to Shane Wilson's blog entry here.)

About the Author
Shane Wilson

Shane Wilson

For over 5 years Shane has consulted with a wide range of businesses to provide people and performance development solutions, with a strong focus on developing leadership and sales effectiveness. Shane is driven to deliver sustainable outcomes in high priority areas for his customers and their business. It is this customer-centric intent, combined with a proven ability to attain results, that has seen Shane become a "valued member of the team" for many of the organisations he works with.

Previously Shane has held sales leadership responsibilities, and managed local and global client relationships across a broad spectrum of industries. Shane holds a commerce degree from the University of Wollongong, majoring in human resources.

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