TRUST plays a key role in all meaningful relationships – whether personal or business – and it’s definitely a factor in sales. We consciously recognize trust more as an important element when the stakes are deemed high – i.e. thinking very little about trust for a routine transaction like buying a coffee or a chocolate bar, but definitely thinking about the need for trust when considering an expensive used car or for that matter when getting strapped in for your very first bungee jump. Yes, when the stakes are high, we look for trust to guide our actions. With all the unknown and uncharted waters of our lives TRUST is a bond that provides a perceived “bridge” on which we can walk confidently towards our goals. The people – or companies or specific items – in which we place our trust beckon us to walk along those bridges with the promise of favorable outcomes. The more discernible the trust, the more likely we are to proceed toward them. As we know, a total lack of trust can cause us to flee or avoid the situation at all costs. If you’re earning an income by closing sales, you need to proactively build this bridge of trust as much and as often as possible – bringing forth and nurturing a positive balance (i.e. a positive trust factor) in the eyes of prospects and clients alike. Don’t discount the importance of your prospects and customers ultimately trusting YOU – not just feeling “neutral or unsure” if asked but to actually have so much trust in you that they regard you as a key member in their circle of connections. They want to see a strong bridge they can rely on time and time again. So how do you build the bridge of trust? Like any bridge – piece by piece. But here the building blocks are installments of TRUTH. Each time you provide the truth it improves your credibility – and trust gets built further. For those in short-cycle selling, this might need to happen quickly and frequently just within the first few minutes. A lot of B2B selling naturally involves a longer sales cycle which provides more opportunity for building trust incrementally on numerous occasions. And this process can be very rewarding for everyone. Remember, all of us prefer to deal with people we can trust. Assuming we can trust someone to a degree should be the hopeful outset of any relationship, but we all like to see positive reinforcement of that trust as quickly and often as possible. Your prospects and clients will naturally know your bridge of trust is solid as you continue to provide proven, truthful claims or gestures that over time establish you as an entirely credible source. Make sure you consciously present with this in mind – it can set you apart from all your competition. Paul Stuckey Contributing Author for Scott’s Sales, Face-to-Face and Performance KnowHow™ categories.