As the market changes, the ability of the originator to deliver trust to the customer is more critical than ever. Without instilling trust, originators cannot develop relationships needed to facilitate future business.
In Sally Hogshead’s excellent book, Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, she describes trust as the most nuanced, fragile and hardest to earn “triggers” that can fascinate the customer. Fascination of a real estate agent or broker is the capability of the originator to influence the behavior of others.
Hogshead’s argument is that in a world of too many products and so much information, our attention spans are shrinking at a rate inverse to the growing number of distractions. A hundred years ago, our attention span averaged twenty minutes. Things were slower on the farm, with fewer distractions. According to the BBC News “the addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with attention span of 9 seconds—the same as a goldfish.” The bottom line is in this world of constant stimuli, the most trusted options relax and reassure us.
So, how to establish and enhance trust? According to Hogshead, there are four keys to building trust:
1. Become familiar — The more we’re exposed to someone, the more we trust them. Thus, earning trust demands an investment of time and effort. Trusted brands reinforce consistency between the expectations they set and the results they deliver. Top originators have the most contact with their customers because they view their role as an interface. Individuals who will not develop their referral sources have no chance of delivering trust.
2. Repeat and retell — The more a message is repeated, the more likely it will be believed. Top producers take a proactive approach to developing relationships. Order-takers always have reactive relationships with their referral sources. As a result, trust is never established.
3. Be authentic — Customers make decisions based on comparisons to past experiences. The brands that we trust consistently are those that fulfill expectations. Top producers under-promise and over-deliver. The reverse is true for order-takers.
4. Weave existing positive associations — While trust does take time to establish, speeding up the process can be accomplished by weaving existing positive associations with a message that taps into values that are timeless. Top producers convey that the client’s interests come first. Order-takers are always transaction-based and self interest dominates their selling model.
Do you have sales professionals who can deliver trust?