Winning prospects' trust doesn't begin with building rapport—despite years of expert testimony to the contrary. To kick off solid relationships with prospective customers, you'll need to focus on one thing: positioning yourself as trustworthy. Suppose a couple, after spending an hour in your office, leaves thinking exactly the same way they did when they arrived. Somewhere in that hour, you've fallen short. To win new business and forge solid relationships, you need to change prospects' perspectives, build trust, and demonstrate that you can deliver on your promises. I call this three-step process "head, heart, and feet."
Let's start with "head." During your meeting with a prospect, you want them to undergo a transformation: to add to their knowledge base and change the way they views things. They may come in thinking one way, but they leave with greater knowledge, more information, and a new perspective that challenges them and demands that they respond.
The next step: "heart." Prospects are always on the lookout for evidence of whether or not you're trustworthy. To convey your credibility quickly and effectively, engage each prospect in a dialogue—a give-and-take that demonstrates that you understand them and their particular configuration of needs. Doing so will help you earn their trust and respect.
Finally, "feet"—the stage where the prospect contacts existing clients and learns that you've made a difference in their lives, that you do what you say, that you show up on time, and that your team follows through on what you promise. Now their ready to engage their feet and to build a relationship with you.