5 Ways to Inspire Trust in New Relationships

Posted by nancymueller
Posted on July 5, 2011
Tagged in , , , , , ,

We all know the adage that people do business with people they know, like and trust. While most people believe that building trust takes time, here’s how you can start the process, even before meeting in person:

Referral or Introduction

A third party introduction from a trustworthy person gives you instant credibility. Your introducer can create a bridge between you and the person with whom you hope to establish a relationship. He or she can vouch for your character, competence, and integrity based on their own experience from knowing or working with you.

Your Photo

For the last several weeks, there has been a spirited exchange in one of my on-line groups, asking participants whether or not they would do business with someone who didn’t post their photo in their profile. The question has generated over 1,500 comments so far! Despite the variety of opinions shared, it’s safe to say that if you do post your photo, be sure it conveys the message you intend.

Try this exercise: choose three adjectives or attributes that describe how you want to come across, such as “friendly,” “approachable,” or “professional.” Now look at your photo. Does your photo mirror that message? Even better, show your photo to a close friend or associate and ask for their impression.

Be certain that your photo is current, within the last two years, depending on how much you have changed in the interim.

Email Communications

If your email communications are confusing, too informal, or ungrammatical, it creates a negative impression. Instead, show your professionalism through the written word. Take time to organize your thoughts, use proper salutations, and check your grammar. “Professional” doesn’t mean you can’t show your sense of humor, but be certain it’s appropriate to your recipient.

Voicemail Communications

The quality of your voice sends a message to your listener, intended or not. Is your voice upbeat? Or tired, lacking energy? According to research conducted by UCLA Professor Emeritus, Dr. Albert Mehrabian:

In a phone conversation, where there is any inconsistency between words and the tone of the voice, a listener trusts the tone over the actual words 85% of the time.

What is the message you want your voice to convey?

Social Media Presence

Leverage your on-line presence. Would you want to do business with you based on how you come across on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media sites?

Remember, your goal is to find effective ways to connect, not disconnect.

Put these tips into practice to get your new relationships off to a promising start.

What tips do you have for inspiring trust in a new relationship? Leave a comment here.




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12 responses to “5 Ways to Inspire Trust in New Relationships”

  1. Rob says:

    Also, active authentic listening ensures you get the communicated idea accurately and focuses undivided attention on the sender. As a result, the sender is likely to take greater disclosure risks (showing their hidden self).

    • nancymueller says:

      That’s a great point, Rob. In creating a safe, comfortable environment through “active, authentic listening,” the other person is apt to be less guarded. Thanks for stopping by ~

  2. Neil Baker says:

    Nancy: Thanks for this helpful series of articles–I will save it and add it to three resources I have read recently about trust. Your article is on trust in new relationships and these resources are about trust in coaching, helping in general and teams but I find the themes that are consistent across them all helpful to gain a good feeling for what trust is about. The tree resources are the book Blended Coaching (written for coaching principals in Education but, as noted, universally applicable), the book Helping by Edgar Schein ( the renowned OD expert), and the book Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

  3. Sandee Hemphill says:

    The instant credibility of a third-party introduction is invaluable!

  4. Actually doing what you said you would do, follow-through, also builds trust.
    It demonstrates that “your word is your bond” and that you value reliability.
    I find this especially important in volunteer projects (a great networking venue).
    Thanks for a great topic, Nancy!

    • nancymueller says:

      Excellent point, Liesbet – and one that you can demonstrate before a first meeting. For example, if you say that you will send information, send it. If you say you will call at a certain time, be sure you do. Thanks for your comments ~

  5. Chris Lona says:

    In terms of business relationships, the bottom line for me is the credibility of what they do AND what I do (in concert with the trust, like-ability and professionalism mentioned above) . If it is clear from their work that they provide value, then I am more receptive. I fully expect them to assess my work from the same perspective.

    • nancymueller says:

      Great point, Chris. I agree. Establishing credibility and providing value are essential ingredients in building equally rewarding relationships . Thanks for your comments ~

  6. dominic says:

    Giving the person a referral. It shows you were interested in them and are looking to support their success. It also invokes the Law of Reciprocity (cialdini) and builds a bridge for a strong relationship with both parties.

    Remember to follow up with both parties in the referral hub.
    Thanks for a great discussion Nancy.

    • nancymueller says:

      That’s a stellar suggestion, Dominic. I agree – and the Law of Reciprocity is one that can be extended before a first meeting with a new prospect. Thanks for commenting!

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