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January 9, 2009

A willingness to trust

I find myself suddenly in a role where I have to do a lot of lead generation and sales. For a number of reasons that I can't go into here, the focus on this element of the work is enormous right now.

And I am loving it....

In 5 days (only) I have secured 5 on-site visits with people who are already talking to me positively about engaging with us. (Who says cold calls don't work in our industry?)

This is the willingness to trust.

No man, since the second world war at least, has ever been elected president with proven experience running the worlds largest economy or most powerful military. Not one.

promotions generally happen to people who are untested in the duties and responsibilities of the role they have been promoted to. Heck even CEO's have to have a first role sometime.

After decades of asterisks next to sales lines, bait and switch and contractual double talk, people have become pretty cynical in general. But they are still willing to trust you - if you prove you are worth it.

And that parts takes far longer than it used to!

These people are willing to talk to me for a range of reasons.

1) They know my employers company, they trust the brand, and they believe we might be able to assist them with what they are doing.

2) They know me, and they are willing to speak with me based on the trust that we have generated in our relationships.

3) They have relationships built on trust with one of my team. meaning they are willing to speak to us further on their colleagues recommendations.

You can make it easier to get them to be willing to trust you.

- Your articles, papers, reports, blogs, interviews etcetera. All of these show you as someone who has expertise, a strong understanding of their area. And a practical and pragmatic approach. (remember - they don't care about your methodology!)

- Your track record achieving great value for your clients has created the situation where people will line up to provide you a reference.

- Your brand, record, relationship management skills and ability to deliver rapid value has become the stuff that people talk about.

The more things you have referring your work to others, like magazines, interviews, blogs, professionals in their network or people they respect; the more they will be willing to trust you. Maybe even before they have even made contact with you.

But you had better deliver value real fast.

When Gordon brown took over from Tony Blair the people of Britain were willing to trust him based on his track record as the treasurer of that nation, but he had to deliver. he didn't; and it has been fatal for him.

Another principle of trust based marketing,, if they used to trust you and now they don't - they will actively work against you!