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Trust is key to all relationships, whether personal or professional. Getting someone to trust you is essential before asking for a sale and, to a greater degree, marriage.

Earning a prospect's trust is a critical first step in the sales interaction. The more trust, the more commitment you can obtain. Earning it requires a cocktail of openness, consistency, and credibility.

  • Openness: If you're guarded, you appear to be hiding something. People aren't willing to trust someone who's hiding something.
  • Consistency: By providing consistent follow-through on your commitments, you prove to others that your word is strong.
  • Credibility: There are two kinds of credibility. First is "extrinsic credibility." It comes from things like the degrees, memberships, or designations, you've earned. The second is "intrinsic credibility." It's really related to other people's willingness to take a risk by trusting you.

After reading many books about trust and asking even more people for their insights, I've come to realize one thing:

Trust is one of the most complicated aspects of human relationships.

In order to learn more about this important topic, I would like to enlist your help. I think "intrinsic credibility" is what's most interesting. So, in order to understand why someone will take a risk on someone else, even a stranger, I'm turning to you.

Please let me know your thoughts on trust in the "comments" section below. Anything you contribute will be very much appreciated. I'm interested in learning about what you think about trust. Pick a question-or-two and give me your ideas...

  • Why do you trust one person more than another?
  • How does someone earn your trust?
  • What do you do to earn someone else's trust?
  • What causes you to lose trust?
  • Above all, what do you think trust is?