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by Tim Roberts 

Taking advantage of the recent holiday lull, I slipped into the company of a deep, thoughtful book. I can’t say whether the book was fiction or non-fiction and I choose not to label it one way or the other. It was riveting and thought-provoking to say the very least. Substantive for sure.

Among many key themes, the book addressed trust. At times it was discussed overtly and at others it was wrapped in “you understood.”

As a selling professional who earns his living by teaching the art of the sale, I have been enamored with the word trust for more than a decade and my experience is that we take our trust quotient for granted. I have often posed this question to my clients, “What's your strategy for developing trust with another human being?” What I hear is top-of-mind babble. Close, but no cigar.

Clearly there is something people don’t know about trust.  You may be developing a rapport, but that critical bond thing ain’t happening.

Trust has much to do with getting rid of yourself. By that I mean getting rid of ego, getting rid of product knowledge, getting rid of your urgent desire to sell as oppose to gain insight. If I may be blunt, it means leaving YOU in the car. Yet there’s a bigger piece missing.

As I mentally surrendered to the direction of my holiday read, a line jumped out at me that smacks at the heart of why trust is not earned, or worse, violated:  “Your perception is never accurate.” Hit me like a ton of bricks. The statement is true and as proof I offer examples of every argument you’ve been in with a loved one, every lost deal you’ve ever moaned about, every judgment you’ve hurled at another person, silently or not. Your perception was not accurate. Why? Because if you’re honest with yourself, I’m betting you were discounting their perspective. And that’s a huge piece to establishing trust. In business development you must get their accurate perception first

The message of this powerful line is instructive for salespeople. And touches on a key Sandler principal – inspect what you expect.

Consider this example on a sales call:  “You know, Mrs. Prospect, I’ve been listening thoughtfully to your challenge and I just might have a solution but I’ve been in selling long enough to know, that my perception is rarely as accurate as it could be. Before we talk about money and how you’ll decide, would you mind shoring up your clearest perspective to make sure I solve correctly.”

I am convinced every sales person should take a course in trust and my uber bucket list would have me as its author and spirited guru. Until then, I plan to practice getting rid of me and being thoughtful about their perspective.

At Sandler Training, Trustpointe we help our clients understand every aspect of trusted relationships. To learn more about deep, thoughtful books, getting rid of top-of-mind babble and leaving egos in the passenger seat, contact Tim Roberts at or call 317.845.0041.

Click here for a short video on gaining others perspective. Enjoy the laugh!

P.S. If you must know the name of the book, email me and I’ll share the read. It’s not for everybody so I kept it discreet. :-) TR


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