As I said in my last blog post, people buy (or promote, or invite to their party) from those who they like and trust. Without trust, there can be no sales – how prepared would you be to fork over your hard-earned cash to someone you didn’t trust?


Like and Trust

Like – because you want to feel good about making that purchase and it’s considerably easier, as well as much more satisfying, to buy from someone you like. Your ego (the voice in your head) is on board when dealing with someone you like. The entire experience is much more pleasant; all other things being equal, people tend to go with the solution that is more enjoyable. “Good! I have a 10 AM with Mary – she really ‘gets’ me and understands my needs, as well as my financial constraints. She’s going to work with me to find the solution that best fits my requirements.”

Someone that is disliked engenders an entirely different narrative in one’s mind, something along the lines of, “Oh geez. 10 AM with that guy Leonard, what a jerk. He treats me badly; he has no respect for me. I can’t ever understand what he is saying, I’m not a doctor! But he’s the only vendor I can get this device from, so I’m stuck. I have no choice. I sure wish Mary’s company carried this device. Hey! I’ll leave myself a note to call her – maybe there is some way she could get me one.”

See? Even when there is only one single vendor for your device, you are still trying to figure out how NOT to buy from them. You still want to go with the salesperson you like!

Trust – Merriam-Webster defines Trust as “Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” You are relying on someone else to perform a function, and if you know you can’t rely on them, this means you’re going to come on the short end of the stick.

Because you have worked hard to earn your money, you understand the inherent value it represents: I worked SO many hours to earn this; I starved while I built this company to the point where I could afford this purchase; all those hours I sacrificed away from my friends and family, etc. That means a lot to you, and you don’t want to see it wasted – especially because a loss would necessarily cause you to repeat all that effort.

Your labor and effort have value that you certainly don’t wish to see wasted; they represent hard work that you do not wish to repeat. The thought of doing it all over again is extremely distasteful, since you already spent the time to do it once, and you likely don’t have the time (or resources) to do it again.

Financial losses, customer ill-will, public loss of face. The Harvard Business Review reported that “69% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘I just don’t know who to trust anymore.” They go on to say that “The most frequent [low trust] responses include ‘stressful’, ‘threatening’, ‘divisive’, ‘unproductive’, and ‘tense.’ When asked how a high-trust work environment feels, the participants most frequently say ‘fun,’ ‘supportive,’ ‘motivating,’ ‘productive,’ and ‘comfortable.’”

Who wouldn’t desire to trade in low trust for high trust?


In Conclusion…

People buy from and promote those they like and trust. If you want to succeed in sales or business, it helps immeasurably if folks like and trust you.

There are, of course, exceptions – Gordon Ramsay comes to mind – but although you may not like him, you probably trust him. I know I do. Sheer ability can overcome dislike, but distrust is difficult to overcome – just ask Tylenol: in 1982, 7 people died from cyanide-laced Tylenol. Tylenol subsequently lost 87 percent of its market share. Not impossible to overcome, but EIGHTY SEVEN PERCENT OF MARKET SHARE? Wow! That’s a heck of a deficit to overcome.

Volkswagen is struggling to overcome the emissions scandal that has cost them $18 billion so far, experts predict that more is coming. Bill Cosby is currently learning all about trust issues.

Can loss of trust be overcome? Of course, it can – just look at Tylenol. But to think of what the loss of almost 9/10 of gross sales represents: the jobs lost, factories closed, lives shattered. I’m sure any Tylenol salesman would agree: It’s much easier if people like and trust you, and the sales numbers bear that out.

Here’s to great communications!
– Carson

Carson Shaffer
Technology Communicator
Professional Speaker and Coach
Distinguished Toastmaster
Over 50 Speaking Awards
Certified NLP Practitioner