The subject of “trust in business” comes up a lot. Recently I had a conversation with Ric Dragon (Author of Social Marketology, speaker, artist, drummer, CEO of DragonSearch & Kred Top50 Marketing Blogger) about this (he’ll be speaking about the subject at SOBCon in Chicago this June). During our conversation a few key points came up that I’d like to share. Starting with…
A LESSON IN TRUST: WOULD YOU GET ENGAGED ON THE FIRST DATE?
Consider the dating world – whether you’re remember years ago or last Friday. How do you feel on a first date? What are you looking for? What if…
The guy you’re on a date with asks for you name, orders a drink and after one drink suggests you go back to his place?
(If this has happened to you I’m sorry if I brought back an “ugh” memory…)
You probably were uncomfortable which made him uncomfortable which… You get the idea.
What about a date that goes perfect? Then they guy asks you to marry him at the end of the night?
Uncomfortable again, right?
What’s the point here?
Ric and I had a few discussions (and laughs) along these lines. The point is business relationships are built on trust and trust comes in stages; there are steps to building it. The days of the sales funnel from the 1900’s are gone; you can’t break the process or just follow the 7 steps to success in sales and expect people to give you money. What you ask for (business deals) has to match the level of trust you’ve built with the person (the step you’re at in your professional relationship).
Where should you start?
UNCOVER THE REAL MOTIVATION
What is your real motivation for doing things? What is theirs?
According to Simon Sinek trust in business is the “physical response that you have my best interests at heart.”
To have someone’s best motivations at heart you have to first create trust levels that match invitations. This goes back to the most animal level of human existence. The tribe was built for food, shelter and protection from the weather and the wild environment our ancestors lived in. You needed to trust members of your tribe to protect you when you slept and provide food for families. Without that trust you couldn’t function and the tribe would fall apart. The motivation of each member of the tribe had to be transparent and supported by their actions.
Today we’re not fending off saber tooth tigers and spending weeks hunting for food. We still have the need for trust and we still have those age-old instincts ready to protect us. Have you ever sat down for a business meeting and quickly felt pressure from the other person? You knew they just wanted a sale and didn’t care about building a relationship over time; their relationship process is go in for the kill and get the money.
If you push people and go into business situations with the motivation of “get the money” as your primary motivation that’s how other people will feel about you. What can you do instead?
Change your motivation. You can go into that same business situation with the primary goal of discovering what their biggest challenge is and finding a solution for that (which may be your product or service). Part of that discovery might mean a few more meetings. They’ll respect you more and begin to trust you.
Getting on the same page with clear motivations is what most people miss… Once you do that you’re on your way to….
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF TRUST
There are a lot of team building exercises out there. Ric brought up the example of one trust exercise: You’re blindfolded on a platform with a group of people below. You cross your arms over your chest and fall backwards trusting that the group is going to catch you. If you don’t believe they will catch you your arms shoot back to protect yourself and break your fall.
How can you be sensitive to this process and build trust faster? When it comes to other people it’s most important to pay attention to what they do; not just what they say. The same can be said for you – every action you take says something to people. Think about how you act in meetings. When you’re talking to someone show them you have their best interests at heart.
What are you saying to the people in your life every day?
One example (of what not to do) is telling your kids you trust them but then monitoring everything they do on Facebook; checking their text messages and insisting on having their email and other passwords (which, of course you log into regularly). In that scenario your children won’t learn or feel trust in you no matter what you say – your actions are saying something else. Loudly.
When you show trust you will create trust. With that in mind let’s look at a few…
QUESTIONS TO ASK TO CREATE ENVIRONMENTS OF TRUST IN YOUR LIFE
If you want to create amazing connections and an environment of trust in YOUR life here are a few questions from Ric summing up what you should be looking for:
- Do they have your best interests at heart?
- Think about the entire experience: Are you acting as if you have their best interests at heart or are you here for yourself?
- What’s your motivation for engaging with people? Take another look at that through the lens of trust as we’ve discussed.
With this in mind what will you do differently TODAY to build trust in your relationships?
What other ways would you suggest to build trust in the business world?
Ric Dragon is the author of Social Marketology and the DragonSearch Online Marketing Manual, both published by McGraw-Hill. He is the CEO and co-founder of DragonSearch, with more than 20 years of extensive experience in graphic design, information architecture, web development and digital marketing
About The Author: Mark J. Carter is the founder of ONE80; his mission is bringing conversations & storytelling back to business… through mentoring (programs, events & marketing). He currently serves as Vice President of Communications for the Chicago Area Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI).