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March 15, 2009

The Snowball Effect of Trust Based Marketing

The good thing about Trust Based Assets is that after a while they begin to have a snowball effect.

I have taken time to develop a number of trust based assets. Ranging from the passive B2B assets like my LinkedIn profile and recommendations, through to actively managed assets such as newsletters and network connections.

At all times the goal is to manage the asset by continuing to validate their judgment that they were right to trust in your character and in your abilities.

In the past two months I people who I have developed a trust based relationship with over the past decade have been responsible for introducing me to Managing Directors, EVP's, CEO's and even the major shareholder of a significant resources operation in Asia.

These are diamond class referrals. That is, they are referrals that are given from one industry leader to another. This means they are willing to trust you to the point where they attach their name and reputation to you.

Believe me - if they think that you cannot deliver, or that you are a person of dubious integrity, then they will either forget your name very quickly - or worse - they will actively work to make sure that you do not find a way into their circle of contacts and colleagues.

Building the Snowball

Everything starts somewhere, and if you are reading this and you haven't worked out that consulting is based almost entirely on managing relationships then stop now!

  1. You gain someones trust enough for them to give you work...
  2. You deliver results that are extra-ordinary. results that confirm their great judgment, and give them bragging right when they speak with their colleagues next.
  3. You ask, or they volunteer, to refer you to others in their circle of influence.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2
  5. Now you have 2 people who trust your word and your work. They are willing to give you repeat work based on that trust, and they are willing to line up to tell others how you can help them.
  6. And on and on it goes...
Does it take a while? Yes.
Does it deliver the value you need to be a viable consulting professional? You betcha!
The trust based assets I have generated over the years I have been consulting are without a doubt the most valuable assets that I have to my name. (And I'm not doing too bad these days)
It turns contacts into friends, a project into a career, and a job into an enjoyable and satisfying way of life. 
Today my trust based assets, coupled with standard business developmental approaches and consulting execution methods, generate income not only for me and those who work with me - but also for friends and colleagues I have made all over the world. 
And the snowball continues to grow...