Ten years ago, in 2006, Peter Roper and Andy Lopata published the first edition of ‘…and Death Came Third! The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public’ on Bookshaker. The book was a big success with over 2,000 copies sold in the first 48 hours alone.Panoma Press published the second edition in 2011 and negotiated a separate edition published in Malaysia and Singapore.
We have consistently been amazed by the affection held for ‘…and Death Came Third!’ by many readers, reflected by the emails and comments we have received from people from a range of backgrounds. The book focuses on the basics of networking and presentation skills, giving readers simple approaches to working the room at networking events or giving their first talk.
To celebrate this, we have got together with our network to provide a series of short ‘Basics’ blogs. Over the month of September Andy, Peter and Panoma Press owner Mindy Gibbins-Klein will share a guest blog every day exploring the basics of business, from the basics of confidence and attitude to negotiation and strategy. We have also made the Kindle edition of this excellent book just £1.99 or $2.99 throughout September, so if you haven’t read it yet, get your copy now!
Today’s blog comes from Sean Weafer and looks at The Basics of BuildingHigh-Trust Relationships
Trust is the key to successful business relationships. ‘High’ trust means that a person becomes absolutely open and willing to engage with you. It’s one of the ways in which an expert becomes an influencer.
There are things that people do unconsciously to build trust – but by understanding what we do and when to do them, we can choose to use them in situations where we have to think consciously about affecting a professional relationship.
Here I have included just three of the things that can help with building trust rapidly.
We immediately start to judge a person by what we see and here is where we can score major bonus points immediately.
Firstly, our appearance is important. Suitable dress (appropriate to the circumstance), general hygiene, style of hair etc. will all help with the initial impact we make.
More subtly, eye contact (or the lack of it) plays a part in judgement.
Poor eye contact creates a negative feeling in the other person. It communicates a lack of) interest in the other person and nobody likes to be ‘overlooked’ and so they in turn will reflect that back to us and exhibit a similar low level of interest in us – hardly the best way to start an influential relationship.
We should always give good eye contact when we meet someone new. The eyes are the ‘windows of the soul’ and we can communicate very powerfully with just our eyes – when we flirt with someone for example or look skywards to portray exasperation.
For some of us however it is difficult to maintain eye contact without staring. This can be awkward as staring can often portray aggression or potential confrontation and most definitely will not assist us with developing good rapport!
In general, we create safe, neutral and yet effective eye-contact when we keep our gaze anywhere within an inverted triangle, with the apex ending at the point of the chin and the base of the triangle between the person’s eyes.
Keeping our gaze anywhere within this imaginary triangle will help us maintain good eye contact of a non-confrontational nature while keeping the person’s interest and attention on us.
A handshake is a powerful way to install feelings in someone as soon as ‘first contact’ is made. As most client decisions are emotionally based, we need to ensure that first feelings are good feelings.
For example, imagine how you feel when we get that loose, limp, “wet fish”, hand shake? Or what about the “earthquake” where the hand is seized and squeezed in a vice-like grip?
Sometimes clients may attempt to dominate the handshake (and hence the relationship) and their hand will be very prominently placed, palm downwards, on top of ours, deliberately (although probably unconsciously) placing us in a submissive position. They may even extend their hand with theirs pointing downwards, forcing us to place our hand underneath theirs.
To counteract this, all we have to do is cover the top of their hand by grasping it briefly with our other hand, so that we end up enclosing their original handshake in our two hands.
Now who’s in charge…and we have given a clear sign that we intend to conduct our business and relationship as equals.
However, we can also use this in our favour.
By being the first to engage someone by extending our hand palm upwards in the ‘submissive’ position – we immediately place our client in a ‘dominant’ (and therefore a safer) position.
Their immediate feelings are therefore of being in control, safe and as a result their initial anxiety is lessened – as is their potential resistance to us
To be a powerful influencer it’s important to remember that the person who controls the questions is the person who controls the conversation.
It’s also important to remember that, in general, people love to talk about themselves. They are their favourite subject – so let them.
It’s not often that we get an attentive audience and we tend to love the opportunity to talk about ourselves. We also tend to think very favourably about the people who listen attentively to our stories.
So, ask questions, be curious. It’s a powerful trust-building tool. It enhances the person’s feeling of safety with you, as the person they are hearing talking most is themselves – and who do they feel the safest and most comfortable with?
Sean Weafer is an executive coach and international keynote speaker who specialises ’in helping experts become influencers’ and invoking more Feminine energy into leadership in business and society. See more at http://www.SeanWeafer.com
Don’t forget: the Kindle edition of ‘…and Death Came Third!’ is available for just £1.99 or $2.99 throughout September. Get your copy now!