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Where are you on the Trust Ladder with your clients?

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The Trust Ladder is a concept I learnt from the company Xant Labs and the founder of Insidesales.com, Ken Krogue. I really wanted to share it as I think it is some amazing insights.

The Trust Ladder explains the different levels of trust you can have in the mind of a prospect. The higher up you go the more trust you start off with. As we all know gaining trust is the best way to driving long term business with a client so understanding the trust ladder will give you a big advantage and show you ways to position yourself to gain more trust.

So here it is in summary, in order from highest to lowest.

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Industry Expert

4. Industry Peer

5. Celebrity

6. Common Experience

7. Earned Right

8. Peer

9. Acquaintance.

10. CEO of your company

11. Your Boss

12. You

Family – Of course if you know a prospects brother, mother, father etc this is going to bring the highest level of trust immediately. Perhaps you did business with their father. Or you dated their sister (maybe don’t mention this). But you get the idea. Family is the highest level of trust.

Friends – Do you know any of their friends. Are you friends with them already. Look into who is in their circle and see if there is any cross over.

Industry Expert – If you are a well known expert within your industry that is invited to speak at events and everyone knows you will have a really high level of trust. This is an area we can all be working on in order to reach this expert level.

Industry Peer – Let them know you are from the same industry as them. This builds trust as you are both from the same background and will have a lot of knowledge cross over.

Celebrity – This is why companies pay the big bucks – if a celebrity is endorsing your company then you are going higher up the trust ladder.

Common experience – Did you go to the same events? Did you go to the same school? the same uni? Do you come from the same city / country? Do you go for the same football team?

Earned right – This is where you take time to earn the right to contact someone. Perhaps you have reviewed their website and come up with 10 steps they can take to increase conversion rates and you put this into a document. You certainly have earned the right to contact them. It doesn’t have to be so detailed it could simply be that you took 5 mins to read up about the prospect and now you have earned the right by being more personal.

Peer – They are a CEO you are a CEO, they are in sales you are in sales.

Acquaintance – You met them once at a previous event

CEO – The CEO because of the senior role always has increased trust. (Perhaps if you are not getting anywhere with your sales cadence build in a personal email from the CEO)

Your boss – Like above your boss has more credibility by status than you so use this when you need to build trust. Get them to come in on a meeting and introduce themselves. Jump on a call briefly etc.

You – we all have to start somewhere but by using the trust ladder, reviewing peoples backgrounds and profiles there is no reason you can’t find some cross over for shared experience or to earn the right.

I hope this helps in your prospecting endeavours.

www.vouchworks.com can help you with your sales prospecting requirements.

I learnt the trust ladder from Ken Krogue at Insidesales.com before they rebranded Xant. It explains how you can scan what you have in common with a prospect to gain their trust. Highest point on the ladder is family. What is at the bottom? #salesprospecting hashtag#sales #demandgeneration