The term “trusted advisor” has become a hot topic in the sales world. Being a trusted advisor is seen as the ultimate role for a salesperson, and thus, people strive to be labeled this coveted term. However, many salespeople don’t entirely know what that means or don’t know how to qualify when you have actually become a trusted advisor.
How Respect is Created:
Respect and trust are not logical, cognitive processes. They don’t come from a rational part of our brain. Rather, they come from a much deeper, more primal part of the brain called the reptilian brain. For example, say person A and person B are interacting for the first time. If person A’s reptilian brain gets a signal from person B that is positive, this starts to create oxytocin and creates a bond. Person A will start to see person B as respectful, honest, and trustworthy. There’s nothing in the rational brain that suggests, “oh, this person is treating me in a respectful way, trusting manner, therefore I trust him.” It’s much more of a gut, primitive feeling. If you treat people in a generally respectful way, in a way that others want to be treated, you can begin to demonstrate that you value the other person and you are willing to hear what their needs are, it starts the process of developing trust.
The Authentic Self Trap:
The term “being authentic” is a trap, because we have many different self-states, all of which are authentic. The self that you are with your significant other is not the same kind of self that you are with your boss, or co-workers, or friends, yet all are very much authentic. When people say, “just be yourself,” as advice for creating relationships and developing trust, you have to be very careful. You can’t just be any old self, you have to be your best self, which means treating people in a way that they deem as respectful.
There are specific techniques that you can use to develop a bond and start the process of getting your clients to see you as a trusted advisor. The first thing that you can do is to ask the potential client what they want to be called. Do they prefer to be addressed by their first name? Their last name? A nickname? Doing this shows that you are considerate of their preferences and that you respect them and their identity. The other technique is to try and get a feel for how comfortable the client is with you being in their space. Do they need more physical space? Are they okay with you being there? This involves a certain level of emotional intelligence that all salespeople should have. Turn on the sixth sense and the radar and try to get a sense of what’s going on with who is in the room with you.