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Step 1: Be sure I know who you are, who you represent and who you expect to benefit from the time I spend with you.
The first step has three important parts. First, I am more likely to trust you if I know who you are. It may seem not to matter but it always does. At a minimum, unless you are sure I already know, tell me your name. Add more information about who you are if you think it will help me to better know who you are or if I ask.
Second, tell me who you represent. It may seem obvious given the context, but don’t just assume. This is most important when you are representing more than yourself and your own interests.
Third, make it clear who you think will benefit if I spend this time with you. Do you think I will personally benefit? Do you think my company or business will benefit? Do you think some third party or organization will benefit? Do you think specific people will benefit or perhaps the community more generally? Who benefits?
Step 2: Give me a way to verify that you are who you say you are.
As we all know, this is the core problem with robocalls and door-to-door sales people and others who show up uninvited. We usually have no way of verifying that they are who they say they are or that they represent who they say they represent.
If you have legitimate credentials, show them to me, even if I don’t ask. If that is not an option, tell me how I can verify who you are and that you represent who you say you do.
The point is to give me a way to verify that you are legitimate.
Step 3: Be sure that I understand what you hope to get from the time you spend with me. What is the payoff for you or for whoever you represent?
This may be the real key to trust. I want to know if you are interested in anything or anyone beyond your own interests and profit. If I think you are in it for nothing beyond what you get out of the time I spend with you, I may still spend the time, but I will be cautious and certainly won’t trust you. I will take anything you say or suggest with a healthy grain of salt. Everything you say will have to pass through my BS filter. You are giving me ample reason not to trust you and no good reason to trust you.