Doing Business Through the Know, Like, and Trust Process

February 3, 2015

by Teresa Riccobuono

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We have all heard the phrase, “People like doing business with people they know, like and trust.” But how does one get to the point of trust in a relationship?

I am going to use a baseball analogy introduced by Robert Middleton, a marketing consultant.  In his work, Middleton discusses the “marketing ball.”

I have combined his thoughts on the subject with my own to illustrate the steps one should take to deepen a relationship with a prospect and build trust.

You will not be successful with every prospective client.  You will meet some folks who will not engage with you at all.  One might call this a strike out.  Don’t waste any time worrying about these folks.  Even the best baseball players are successful at bat approximately 30% of the time.

Sometimes a prospect may hit a triple and get to the point of trust very quickly.  You have likely experienced this with a prospect or two.  For whatever reason, the two of you hit it off and feel comfortable with one another right away.  It’s great when this happens.  It is often much easier to get this person to home plate, where business is conducted.

There are also times when you and the prospect may both want to do business together, but you don’t get very far very fast.  This might be considered a walk.  You take your time getting to know each other.  Once you decide that you like each other, you move to second base.  This may occur slowly or it may happen at a faster pace than when you went from home plate to first base.  At this point, the relationship may stall.  You may have tried to get to third base before the prospect was ready and thus put doubt in their mind about your intentions in this relationship.  They may begin to feel like you are just trying to sell them something. You have not yet gained their trust.

Friction in a relationship develops when the two sides are on differing bases.  We often assume the prospect is feeling the same way we are – ready to move to the next base.  This is not always the case.

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