Building Trust with Clients
Who should listen: This episode is for salespeople who are curious about what neuroscience can teach them about influencing behavior and building trust with their clients.
Key idea: The only thing that makes providers of the same service different from one another is the unique customer experience they can provide and how quickly they can build trust between themselves and their clients.
René Rodriguez is the CEO of Volentum, a company that helps organizations create cultures that promotes engaged workforces that thinks for themselves, seek creative solutions, and have a customer-focused mindset.
As a neuroscientist, René has trained more than 100,000 people in applying behavioral psychology and neuroleadership methodologies to solve some of the toughest challenges in leadership, sales, and change management. And a lot of what he does involves teaching businesspeople to craft and tell their stories.
In this episode of Stay Paid, René works with Luke and Josh to demonstrate how to build trust with clients through the telling of a very specific story—and the results are nothing short of incredible.
Paving the path of least resistance
Building trust with clients requires that you help them overcome the natural human instinct to resist change. As René explains, change represents an unpredictable risk, and when your clients first meet you, you are that unpredictable risk. If you’re going to win over a client, you’re going to need a way to reduce that risk, lower their defenses, and replace their wariness with trust.
The key is to tell a story that offers your clients the most important information they need to no longer see you as a threat. It needs to be an authentic story—one that reveals who you are, what you do, and why you do it. When properly crafted and told, your story will reveal what is unique about you and how that uniqueness gives your business purpose and clarity.
Coming up with your story may seem like a difficult task, but, as René demonstrates, it’s remarkably easy once you get the hang of following the process he recommends and trains others to use. And, as mentioned above, you can listen to René work with Luke and Josh to develop their stories within a matter of just a few minutes.
Crafting your story
We’ve already discussed how human beings instinctively resist change. Keeping things as they are and being able to predict what will happen next are prehistoric biases that have served to keep us alive. Introducing change into a situation disrupts the status quo and is perceived as a risk we can’t predict.
When your clients identify you as the source of that risk, the best way to lessen their natural defenses and have them quickly trust you is to 1) tell a story that lets them know things about you that make your behavior more predictable and 2) behave in ways consistent with that story.
Doing so helps your clients feel, as René puts it, “psychologically safe,” and, if you think about it, it’s being able to consistently deliver a predictable experience that makes a trusted brand.
You need to listen to the episode to truly appreciate the finesse that René so skillfully uses to guide Luke and Josh as they develop their stories. Here we share with you some of the principles (derived from his knowledge of how the brain works) that steer the process.
First, René explains that how we define what is unique about our businesses is almost always a reflection of our values. So René has Luke answer several questions that eventually reveal a set of values Luke holds dear. You can answer the same questions to develop your own list of values.
Second, once Luke has a clear sense of the values that drive his commitment to his clients and ReminderMedia, René introduces a bit of neuroscience into the conversation.
He explains that our values are formed sometime between the ages of 9 and 13. He asks Luke what was going on and who was a strong influence during those years in his life. Luke talks about his father, and, with a few follow-up questions, we easily understand why Luke has the values he does.
Then comes the part you need to hear to believe.
René tells a story woven from the details Luke has shared about his values, his father, and what drives him to do what he does. The tale makes a crystal-clear connection between who Luke is as an authentic, thinking, feeling human being; what he does in his role at ReminderMedia; and the purpose and clarity he brings to his business and clients.
Then René repeats the process with Josh, and the resulting story is just as astonishing.
We learn about Josh’s love of comic books, drawing, and music. We hear about how he worked to make his grandmother smile and the significant impact she had on his sense of self when she asked him to autograph one of his drawings. And we hear about Josh’s father, who was committed to serving and bringing joy to others.
The story that René crafts from the details Josh shares brings amazing clarity and purpose to Josh’s commitment to the Stay Paid podcast.
These stories work to create trust because they resonate with the broad feelings, motives, needs, and desires to which the majority of us can relate. Clients can’t help but trust someone who seems so grounded, forthcoming, and authentic about why they want to help them. And as long as your actions reinforce the expectations set by your story (that is, you don’t say one thing but do another), you’ll have clients lining up to do business with you.
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Connect | Resources
- René’s website: meetrene.com
- René’s podcast on Apple Podcasts: The Neuro Side of Influence and Leadership
- Book to be released on April 26, 2022: Amplify Your Influence: Transform How You Communicate and Lead