When Jules calls Marsellus Wallace after he and Vincent killed that dude in the back of their car, Marsellus Wallace is “contemplating the ifs”. Jules replies with something along the lines of – I do not really care about any “ifs” I just want to know you are taking care of it. And Marsellus Wallace, with the coolest, smoothest voice and distinct swagger ever replies – “I’m on the Mother F&%$er”. Basically saying – trust me. I got this.
Now, he also tells Jules he is sending The Wolf which is when Jules completely calms down and KNOWS that everything is going to be fine. And why - because he had some past experiences with The Wolf, who set a level of expectation and established that trust. Jules now has nothing to worry about. He is worry free! He TRUSTS his vendor/partner/supplier – in this case Marcellus Wallace and The Wolf.
They say that to build trust takes time. You probably heard it before. Have you ever wondered why it takes some time? What needs to happen during this time? Well, the most important elements that need to take place during this period are simply experiences. Better yet….Emotional Experiences. If during that time (say 2 months) you are showing up to every touchpoint on time, prepared, knowledgeable about the matter at hand, it is an experience. An experience that will build trust.
But let’s unpack it a bit further – you started a new consulting gig or you are in a sales cycle. During these first 2 months’ time period you are going to have to quickly establish the level of expectations. You just finished a phone call with them where you are cordial yet personable, professional yet flexible and are sending them a really well written and organized follow up email, you are setting a level of expectation. They will expect the same after the next call.
If you show up a few minutes late to the demo, your microphone is not properly set up and you are not fully prepared you are also setting an expectation. A more negative one but still an expectation. If I call my blog Two Weeks Notice and write one every two weeks for the first few then I am setting an expectation.
And then….then is when the magic of trust happens. You see, whatever level of expectation you set, it is up to you to maintain it. So after the first couple of calls where your customer receives your nice follow up write up with clear next steps etc., they TRUST you to continue at that level and when they TRUST you they simply don’t worry about it because they know you are! They are worry free! Do you have any idea how much people are willing to pay to be worry free???
However, if you don’t send that email or if you show up unprepared to the 4th touch point with them, you are going to have to start building that trust from scratch. We humans are simply referring to our previous experience with whoever we are interacting with and once we are getting used to that level of communication, delivery, whatever, we simply TRUST that it will continue at the same level. The biggest challenge for us sales people of course is to maintain that level on an ongoing basis. Consistently. Nurture that trust you worked so hard to establish and strengthen it.
A key example during your relationship with the customer for strengthening the level of trust is to deliver on your word. If you say you are going to do something – send an email on a certain day, fix that excel sheet you both worked on, say hi to your mutual acquainted, get them the phone number of that restaurant you talked about, Anything! Make sure you deliver. Make sure you follow through. The alternative, if you do not deliver, is simply going to create such a disappointment that will completely shatter whatever trust level you worked so hard on establishing. And since disappointment is….correct…an Emotional Experience, it will remain in their minds for a long time.
For us in the travel world, everything is personal. Travel is personal after all. Trust is simply a must. Everyone talks about technology, data, AI and more and tend to forget the basics.
Whether it's friendship or relationship, all bonds are built on trust. Without it, you have nothing.
A women’s athletic team of one of our University customers was traveling for a match on a Saturday afternoon. Including the coaches, trainers etc., all together, 43 people. 2.5 hours flight that landed around 5:30pm. Everyone experienced a great booking experience through great technology tools, they all received mobile notifications and had a very positive experience. Got off the plane, through the airport halls and picking up their over-sized bags with the equipment. It is around 7pm local time. Practice starts in an hour about 30 minutes’ drive away. Everything goes smoothly as they walk out to the curb. And then……………….the bus doesn’t show up!
At this point, no one cares about any “ifs” being contemplated or any technology with AI or BI or No I. All they want and need at this moment is to pick up the phone to their trusted travel adviser (in this case, the 24/7 support line) who should tell them very simply – I got this, I am on it. And for a bus to show up 15 minutes later.
Be The Wolf for your customers, for your colleagues, for your prospects. Deliver! Follow through. Stick to your word. Establish that level of expectation and create that trust. So next time they need something from you, all you have to say to them is…..
”I’m on the Mother F&%$er” and they will know you got this.