The other day, people in the training center were discussing how they go about building trust. The group shared lots of ideas, and every idea they shared would probably do the trick. When all was said and done, we had a list of about twenty things people could do to build trust.
Over time, doing what you said you would do builds trust. When someone concludes that you are more interested in their well being than your own, they might begin to trust you. Following Steven Covey's rule--seek to understand before you seek to be understood--is certainly a way of building trust, as is always telling the truth.
But when we compiled our list, we discovered two things. First, all the things we listed would take lots of time and would build trust over days and weeks and even months in some cases. We also discovered that a long list is not a system. I know we have all heard that building trust takes time. We know from innumerable networking seminars and workshops that it is a long-term commitment.
We are often warned not to expect lots from our networking efforts because it takes time. I wonder how many business development people believe this. I wonder if you are hearing this from your people when you ask them about their behaviors and try to understand reasons for the lack of results.
Would it be valuable if business development or sales people had a simple system for building trust with another human being that worked every time? Of course, the most difficult part of this experiment is not the development of the system or even teaching it. The real difficulty is getting people to use the system every time. I know that bankers, lawyers, CPAs, financial planners, consultants and even distribution companies believe their businesses are different. Maybe they are. The question remains: What system do you and your people consistently use to develop trust with another human being?
If you can't answer that (and most people don't have an answer) would it make any sense to look at what a successful system looks like? Would it help your people develop more business faster if they had a system that worked?