CHICAGO - We all know trust is an important foundation in all relationships. Stephen M.R. Covey considers it perhaps the most important aspect for salespeople.
"Trust is the one thing that changes everything," Covey said during an August interview with InsuranceNewsNet Publisher Paul Feldman. "The more credible you are as a person, as a leader, as an advisor, the faster you can build trust with other people. The less credible you seem, the harder it is to do that."
Covey is the son of the legendary Stephen R. Covey, who wrote The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, the groundbreaking book that became essential reading for anybody wanting a more productive life.
Stephen M.R. Covey became CEO of his father’s company, Covey Leadership Center, and he doubled its sales within three years. He then orchestrated the merger to create FranklinCovey.
Covey parlayed his leadership experience into the book The Speed Of Trust, which explains how trust makes success possible. He founded and now heads CoveyLink Worldwide and speaks internationally about leadership and trust.
He is speaking today at the InsuranceNewsNet 2018 Superconference outside Chicago.
'It's A Challenge'
The importance of trust in sales was highlighted by a Gallup poll showing salespeople rank last in assumed trust. In other words, potential customers are generally wary from the start.
"If you as an insurance salesperson, as an insurance advisor, as a trusted advisor can get a reputation, a brand for being credible, for being trusted, what an advantage that is in a low-trust world where the trust is going down all around us," Covey said.
"It’s a challenge, but it’s also an extraordinary opportunity to differentiate yourself on the basis of trust. That’s the opportunity."
There are a few ways Covey recommends establishing trust. For starters, show character and competence. There are ways to build the two Cs very quickly and Covey covers those in his book.
"The first step is to declare your intent. Tell them not only what you want to do, tell them why," Covey explained.
"Always give the why behind the what. Sometimes people give the what but they often don’t give the why. The why gives meaning. The why gives context. The why can change everything. So give the why."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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