• May 30, 2023
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Required Reading: Business Relationships Need Insta-Trust

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Before you can gain their business, you need to win the confidence of potential clients. You must develop what attorney Larry Jacobson calls insta-trust, something he espouses in his new book, Insta-Trust: The Proven Trust-Building Process to Create Instant Rapport and Long-Term RelationshipsCRM editor Leonard Klie went into this further with him.

CRM: What is insta-trust?

Jacobson: In business, you need to make a great first impression fast. With insta-trust you put relationship building at the forefront of your initial meeting. Your initial goal is to figure out the personalities of the people sitting across from you and develop a sales approach based on them. Adapt to them rather than making them adapt to you.

How do you develop insta-trust?

It takes a lot of trial and error. Active listening and empathy is key. Prospects need to see you as a person before they think about you as a problem solver. All too often professionals start by asking problem-solving questions. Wrong! Your first few questions should focus on what’s on their minds, the pains they are suffering, and the importance of the issues to them.

You say there are 11 personality archetypes that affect sales and marketing relationships. What are they, and how should I deal with them?

One of the key concepts of insta-trust is that you take people as they are. There are 11 personality types that you need to understand:

  1. Close to the Vests.They’re reticent about sharing information and need a long time to open up. Ask them lots of open-ended questions and frequently demonstrate your commitment to them.
  2. Tough Nuts. Skeptics who need lots of convincing that you are competent, empathic, and concerned about them and their problems. Show them quiet competence relatively early in the interaction and be patient with them.
  3. Know-It-Alls.They think they know a lot about the subject being discussed but really know little. Let them rant and then subtly move the conversation to a nonjudgmental discussion where you display your competence and tailor your approach to their needs.
  4. Novices.They know little about the subject and know that they know little about it. Spend a lot of time with them, let them know that you are comfortable with them, and ask lots of questions about their issues since they might not know what their real problems are.
  5. Tire Kickers.They go from provider to provider to try to find the perfect fit. They ask lots of potentially irrelevant questions and don’t appear seriously interested in you. Ask them bluntly if they are serious about doing business with you, and if not, terminate the meeting.
  6. Indecisives.They are interested in your products or services but have a hard time making up their minds. Focus on the relationship above all else because they likely will not make a decision at the initial meeting. Leave them confident that you will get things done to their satisfaction so you can close the deal in the next meeting.
  7. Long-Timers.They take a long time to decide but are analytical and use their time to carefully determine if you can solve their problems. After some brief relationship-building, morph into collaborative
    problem-solving mode.
  8. Schmoozers. They are more interested in shooting the breeze than getting down to business. Allow them to ask irrelevant questions and then gently remind them why you are meeting with them. Take control of the meeting and ask questions that show empathy, understanding of their situations, and quiet competence.
  9. Knowledgables. They know about the matter at hand and have possible solutions. Spend a few minutes relationship-building, and once you determine their knowledge, start engaging in collaborative problem solving.
  10. Quick Draws. They tend to make very fast decisions. They are impatient. Establish a relationship fast and simultaneously morph into problem-solving mode.
  11. Egomaniacs.They care almost exclusively about themselves. They are used to people fawning over them. Impress on them that your job is to make them look good. Be firm and show your competence. Let them see that you are competent and willing to help them.

Why is social media reputation so important to trust?

Before potential clients meet you, they are likely to read Google, Yelp, and other reviews about you. Your reputation precedes you, and social media is how your reputation is spread. Every interaction can damage your reputation; you need to be on your game for every interaction.

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