RULE # 2 – Create a Climate of Trust (Phil 2:5-8)
It’s been said that in business, trust is the highest form of human motivation. You might love someone who wants to sell you something, but if you don’t trust them, you probably won’t buy. You might really respect their skill or knowledge, but if you don’t trust them, you probably won’t do business with them.
That being the case, how do you deliberately and consciously create a climate of trust?
Well, God asks us to trust His Son, Jesus. So how did He live and model His life in such a way as to engender trust to such an extent that we would be held accountable for our decision to trust Him or not?
Paul answers that question in Philippians 2:5-8 when he sums up the life of Christ in 7 powerful points with, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God…
(1) did not consider it robbery to be equal with God – Total confidence in who He was and His relationship with the Father. Confidence builds trust like little else.
(2) but made Himself of no reputation – One translation says, He stripped Himself of rank and privilege. That’s vulnerability. When you make yourself vulnerable, trust increases. You can be confident and vulnerable at the same time.
(3) taking the form of a bondservant – This is the idea of excelling in service. Jesus went so far as to wash the feet of His disciples and spent his life teaching, healing and helping people in need.
(4) coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man – Identify with the buyer. Find common ground and relate on that level.
(5) He humbled Himself – Be humble. It’s far easier to trust a humble person than an arrogant person. Humility is a strong trust builder.
(6) became obedient to the point of death – Possess personal integrity, even when it’s costly. When you go the extra mile for a customer, even when it costs you, it builds trust in a way that nothing else can.
(7) even the death of the cross – Trade places. Put yourself in their shoes. Be empathetic. Do what you would want done for you.
I began to learn the importance of trust early in my sales career as a 20-year old copier sales rep, when an accountant called me after signing with a competitor and then regretted it. He canceled his order with Xerox and told me that he trusted me because he didn’t think I was even capable of lying, and he wanted to buy from me.
When he told me that, I knew I could make it in sales, because even though I felt I had no skills or finesse, I knew I was truthful and trustworthy and that carried a lot of weight in the marketplace and contributed to the positive “spirit of the sale” substance I mentioned in yesterday’s blog.
Case Study: In 1987, I had just become the new sales manager for a prominent copier dealer in Nashville, TN. On my first day, I was asked to spend one day with each of the five reps on the team I was assigned, and report back my evaluation.
I was pre-warned about one young man, David Gentry, who had been with the company 90 days and had yet to make his first sale. In fact, he had turned in his resignation because of his self-admitted dismal performance. However, upper management really liked him and didn’t want to let him go so close to Christmas.
At the end of my week of evaluation, when asked for my ranking of the five team members I was given, I reported that David was the best guy on the team! Management was stunned at my evaluation and clearly regretted ever promoting me, thinking I really didn’t have good judgment.
The reason why I said he was the best on the team was because I felt he had a remarkably strong level of integrity based on some life stories he shared with me. I was very impressed. The problem was that he was trying to conform to the traditional sales stereotype while maintaining his integrity and the dissonance it created in the spirit of the sale, torpedoed his efforts.
It took very little guidance to course correct, and the man whose resignation they were seriously considering became the number 1 or 2 sales rep company wide for each of the next 25 years!
Watch for tomorrow’s blog right here as I continue this series with an incredibly effective strategy anyone can use.
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