- By Richard Brooke
In today’s world of over-selling, hype and fraud at the highest levels of our society, nothing could be more important to a sales person and business owner than building trust, admiration and respect with prospects, customers and associates. Most of us are in a highly suspect business to begin with. Network Marketing, to some people, does not spell value, honor and integrity. Yet to us, it does. So how do we bridge the gap and shine some light on what we see in our chosen profession?
Trust is obviously not given automatically. It must be earned. Too often, we take it for granted — either because we trust ourselves, trust others or fail to recognize in the moment how others may see our offer of financial gain. Trust is earned through what we say and what we do. In these actions we must become predictable and believable to others.
Predictable means that others must learn, based on what we say and do, and that we are consistent. For example, doing what we say we will do. Early in a relationship this can be as simple as showing up or calling on time; or following through completely on getting an answer to a question. Later, as people feel they know who we are and what we stand for, they expect to see us act according to that identity.
This is called having integrity and it creates trust.
When you have the courage show people glimpses of your humanity, then what they get is you.
Believable means that people tend to believe what we say. In this sense, it is sometimes not the best idea to tell the whole truth. Perhaps you truly do earn $20,000 a month part time. Maybe it would continue to flow whether you worked it or not, making it worth $4 to $5 million. If who you are telling this truth to cannot fathom it, then you may be gaining in ego, but losing in trust. People need to be able to believe what you say — both in its content and, most importantly, how you say it. Sincerity can be faked. Authenticity cannot.
Authenticity is the real you. All of you — the good, bad and the ugly. When you have the courage to tell people not just all of your wonderfulness, but also show them glimpses of your humanity; then what they get is you. And even though you will not be perfect, people believe in the authenticity and humanity of others. Perhaps you do have an extraordinary income opportunity or product to sell and perhaps you have failed to execute it yourself at times or perhaps you sometimes feel your product is expensive. Give them the whole you and nothing but you. People trust that.
As you might expect, a lot of admiration can be created from building trust. So the path gets shorter after building trust. Obviously, people admire others for what they have accomplished. You may or may not have that going for you at the moment. Accomplishments take time. What you can do right now to be admired will depend on who you are for others. What we mean by this is what you contribute to the people who might admire you. Here, the greatest tool at your disposal is listening.
Listening is an extraordinary gift that can be practiced by all of us, all the time. It is such a unique and extraordinary gift to others that when we give it they can be blown away by its impact on them, yet not know exactly what we did to have such an impact. Listening at this level has little to do with understanding the content of what someone says — although their name is worth remembering the first time they say it. Listening here is about hearing the source of their comments; hearing the emotion behind their conversation and the intent behind what they are telling you. More than anything in the world, human beings want and need to be heard, known, accepted and loved. When we are telling someone a story important to us, about us or just our opinion about something, we very much need for the listener to get it, to really understand what we are saying and why. This is often not found in the words being spoken, but rather in the energy of the speaker. A powerful listener will put their own desire and need to be heard, known and accepted on hold while they are fully focused and accepting of who is speaking and what is being said. This level of what we call Therapeutic Listening does actually heal people, as it is perhaps the first time since true love that someone listened to them in this way.
Respect flows with gaining trust and admiration. And the value of respect in this business is that people tend to follow those whom they respect. Trust alone is often not enough, nor is admiration. But with respect, people will often buy what you are selling and go where you are going.
On top of trust and admiration, you can gain respect with two powerful tools. One is your character. Having character in the eyes of others means they are clear about what your highest values are and understand that you honor those values. This is to know someone. If you know someone well enough to know that family, integrity, fun and leadership are the most important things to them — and you experience them living a life honoring those values — then they are seen as having character. Even people whose values we do not share have character. We may (if we embrace diversity) respect them, but choose not to follow them.
Courage is simply to see danger and act anyway (assuming it is in your best interest). Courage is sourced in your motivation and therefore is in such short supply that anyone seen as having courage is highly respected. To the degree you are self-motivated, you will demonstrate extraordinary courage. Courage, for example, to tell the truth responsibly; to talk to people you would not ordinarily talk to; to speak to groups; to make and honor commitments; and to ask others to hold you accountable. We tend to respect people who have the courage to do the things we are afraid to do. Courage builds respect.
In the Network Marketing profession, we are charged with the opportunity to sell products through a channel that is not always the norm for customers and to sell them on an income opportunity using a concept most are not looking for. It is not easy and it will not be done on your behalf without you having the trust, admiration and respect of those whom you need to build it with. Success comes in our business not to you but through you, based on who you can become for yourself — and for others. For a more direct, detailed message on how to follow your path to personal freedom, listen to my audio book Mach II With Your Hair On Fire