6 Ways to Build Trust in a Skeptical World

Desiree Rogers said trust is becoming more difficult to establish with customers amid a more divisive political and cultural environment.

Desiree Rogers said trust is becoming more difficult to establish with customers amid a more divisive political and cultural environment.

It’s a difficult environment in which to build trust. The divide is growing between the general masses and the elites, social media has made some relationships less authentic, parents today worry that their children won’t have as many opportunities in life as them, and faith in governments across the globe is at an all-time low. These points of distress in our society are becoming more extreme, making trustworthiness a rarer commodity, said Desiree Rogers, chair of the Chicago Tourism Bureau, during her session, “Innovative Ways to Create Consumer Connections,” at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago on Saturday.

So what can we believe in these days? Rogers said the business world is likely the “next logical avenue to build trust. Businesses that focus on consumer value and the development of a trusted personal relationship that will guide customers to the right decision is what’s most important.” She offered six key components of building a trusting relationship with your clients:

  1. Make it all about them. Do not sell yourself to your customers; that’s where the untrustworthy salesman persona comes from. Listen to their needs and demonstrate your ability to meet those needs through action. When you show your interest and commitment to them, you can more easily earn their trust.
  2. Win their hearts, then their minds. First, identify what your clients are truly interested in—not what you think they are interested in. Once you figure out what’s most important to them, deliver data that reinforces what they’re looking for. In other words, find out what’s in their heart, and then give them tangible options based on that.
  3. Keep it simple. If it’s too complicated for your customer to understand, they won’t trust what you’re telling them. Stick to basic must-know information and deliver it in a way that’s easy for your client to process. This will help them be more confident in their ability to make a decision.
  4. Make it quick. Similar to point number three, don’t waste time explaining things your clients don’t need or want to know.
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. “People are inundated with information, and they may not get what you’re saying the first or even the second time,” Rogers said. Keep reminding them of your value proposition so it becomes ingrained in their mind, and they’ll learn to trust it.

Rogers emphasized two of the most important points: “It’s difficult sometimes not to project your preferences and opinions onto your clients, but remember that they will not trust someone who isn’t really listening to what they want,” she said. “And tailor your message; don’t say the exact same thing to every client. Make it personal.”

Graham Wood

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at gwood@realtors.org.

More Posts - Twitter