Trust Me. I’m in Sales.

Those five words used to sit at the bottom of my e-mails. They got so much mention from people that I thought to myself, That would make a great T-shirt! I eventually printed and sold several hundred.

Selling a T-shirt is easy. Selling trust is not.

How do you get someone to trust you? You can tell them that you are trustworthy but until they get to know you, they have only your word to go by and since they do not yet trust you, it’s likely they won’t take the risk.

Speaking to a prospect is a similar challenge. You are using words of trust but they are just words. The prospect has no actions to look at or go by. You won’t be trusted until you prove yourself to be trustworthy.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

Integrity. Character. Trust. These characteristics are earned through actions. Sure, we would love it if a prospect gave us a chance to prove ourselves, but that’s not going to happen. Instead, we need to take every opportunity to demonstrate the trust that we claim to have.

Be on time.

Make and keep promises.

Be professional.

Never speak ill of the competition or, for that matter, of anyone.

It is said that Henry Ford had a trick he used on new executives to test their trustworthiness. He would give them a sealed envelope with strict instructions not to give it to anyone. Two weeks later, one of his more intimidating Associates would call on the executive demanding the envelope, adding that Mr. Ford had sent him with word that the envelope be returned immediately. If the executive complied, he was terminated on the spot.

You cannot sell trust. You cannot feel it or touch it and in some cases, you can’t even describe it. You can only earn it.

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