Charlie Green, one of the top experts in the world on trust, co-author of the classic book, The Trusted Advisor, and I try to clear up the confusion surrounding trust in today’s sales world. Listen in as we talk about how trust-building is different in the virtual age and why it’s harder than building trust in person. Plus, we get into how much trust you really need to close an opportunity.
Andy Paul: Charlie Green. Welcome back to the show.
Charlie Green: Thank you so much, Andy. Pleasure to be here.
Andy Paul: Well, it’s a pleasure to have you, so we are recording this in the midst of uncertainty about, about everything in general. So how are you fairing? Where are you?
Charlie Green: I am in Boca, Raton, Florida, which is all in all, not a bad place to be good weather. We have a nice living situation and I’ve been focusing on finishing up a 20th anniversary edition of The Trusted Advisor, so I got nothing else to do anyway, doing fine.
Andy Paul: Well good. So you’re updating a book. That’s fantastic. When’s that going to come out?
Charlie Green: Oddly enough, it’s due to the publisher about April 20 and they won’t publish it until February of next year. I’m not sure why it takes that long, but that’s what they tell me.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you have to get on the, the calendar for the booksellers and all that too. So, is there anybody there to receive the manuscript when you submit it?
Charlie Green: That’s a good question. I’m assuming they will be, but we’ll see.
Andy Paul: Alright. Alright. So this is an appropriate topic. You’re bringing up that you’re updating the book, that Trusted Advisor. And we’re going to talk about trust today because, and not just because we’re in the midst of this huge. You know, working remotely, sort of Exodus that’s happened here in the last month, but just in general, because it’s such an important topic with building a connection with somebody and doing business with them.
Charlie Green: right.
Andy Paul: well, so we’ll talk about trust building and the, in the virtual age, but I, I want to ask you a question first. So yeah, there’s the famous expression people buy from people they know, like and trust and my question is, is that still true in your mind
Charlie Green: I don’t think anything has changed from that. I mean, there are a couple tunings to that with, you know, as the world’s gotten more digital, et cetera, there are certain things that we can buy without all that stuff that we didn’t use to be able to. You know, you used to worry about the interactions with the teller when you went in to cash a check. That’s, you know, I’m dating myself, obviously ATM is blew that away and now ATM is, are getting blown away, you know, who needs it when you do it can, you know, and they’re all kinds of, right. Yeah. Nobody misses that. You know, nobody says that. Yeah. I used to love to go in and talk to the teller, or I used to love to go to the ATM.
So things that can be digitized and automated. Great that’s to everybody’s plus, but what it leaves or all the other kinds of transactions, which. Still require some kind of human connection. B2B sales is still mostly that way. certainly professional services sales, which is what I focus on are that way. So the fact that we’ve removed the mechanized things actually makes the remaining stuff more important. So we may spend less time with clients and customers in the sales process, but the quality and the importance of that time, I don’t think has changed a bit, if anything, it’s gotten higher. So I think we still buy from people. We what’s the phrase, like know and trust, or-
Andy Paul: no, no like Know, like, and trust Though there’s some argument which, which order it goes in. So I think, I think like, know, trust is probably better, but, so I agree with you. I think that whatever we call, consider trust to be in the virtual world is actually becoming more important.
So I guess the question, one thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot and reading a lot about recently is, is do we really understand what this trust is, right? Because is it really trust as we start to think we know it is? Or is it really the quality of being trustworthy? That is really the key thing here.
Charlie Green: Thank you for raising that question. Good setup. trust is one of those things. I analogize it to the old Potter Stewart Supreme court justice definition of obscenity where Stewart famously said, I don’t know how to define it, but I know I want to see it.
And he was absolutely right. What he meant was it is contextual. And I would argue when it comes to trust, we all know what it means and what it is, but we struggle with the language for it and the language has been confusing. So for example, if you just think about it for a second trust is the end result of an interaction between two parties or it’s the, it’s the relationship between two parties, right?
Those parties are asymmetric. There’s a trustor and a trustee. So the defining element of the trustor, it’s the first one to move. It’s the one who takes a risk to initiate a trust relationship. The trustee is the person that we apply the adjective trustworthy to or not trustworthy. So trustor takes the risk trustee shows up and they either are, or they are not trustworthy if they are boom, click, the relationship kicks to the higher level of trust. So when you say, I mean, the important thing is don’t confuse trust with either trusting or being trustworthy. Trust is the end result of an interaction between somebody who’s trusting and another one who is trustworthy. That cuts through a lot of stuff. I mean, most of what we read in the press, Edelman, Trust Barometer, all that stuff is about trust, but it doesn’t tell you where the issue is. You know, if we have low trust, like in banking, is that because banks have become less trustworthy? Well, if you’re thinking about Wells Fargo, yes it is. But if you’re thinking about how people become less trusting of banks, well, that’s an entirely different question.
Andy Paul: But I think it applies to the issue for sellers who are listening to the show is saying, it’s just, just part of, part of the vernacular, right?We’re building trust with this person, but maybe the perspective needs to be instead that, I’m building my own trustworthiness. And it’s never really talked about in that, that perspective, right. Is, is we just assume that we’re going to, if you read a lot of sales training sales books, it’s like, yeah, you just get in there, you talk to the customer, you build trust. It’s like, yeah, that didn’t quite work. That way is-
Charlie Green: Well you’re right. It’s, it’s imprecise. You, you do need to be trustworthy. And that is what comes to most people’s minds first. And that’s critically important, but you also can’t forget. You can be the most trustworthy person in the world. In fact, one of the stories I’m building into the new book is a, a guy, a guy named Mark Haun used to be at Accenture and now he’s a big head of business development at EY. And he talks about this great client that they had. They’d done several great jobs and they really trusted him. And then they bid for a new job and they didn’t get it. And Mark was very upset. He went to the client and he said, I thought you guys trusted us. You know, what gives? And the client said, well, we do trust you. We trust you to be very smart and always have the answer. And you know, you come prepared. And if there’s ever a discussion that debate between your guys and our guys, you guys always win and you know why, and he says, you keep winning and we’re always the one taking the risks. So I’m not sure I trust you after all. And the key point there is you can’t just be trustworthy. Occasionally you have to, you know, be the one that takes a risk. Otherwise it feels unfair and we don’t trust them. So salesmen have to figure out how to take a risk in their own way.
Andy Paul: Right, but for the purpose of showing that they, if I understand your story correctly, is that trust has to be bilateral.
Charlie Green: Good way to put it. And
Andy Paul: So people not only have to feel that they trust you or feel that you’re trustworthy as they also have to feel that you trust them, the buyer has to feel you trust them.
Charlie Green: Exactly correct. It’s gotta be both.
Andy Paul: Yeah. See, and that’s something that doesn’t get talked about at all.
Charlie Green: That’s right. That’s right. And yet it’s sort of obvious when you put it that way. Right?
Andy Paul: Well, sure. And it’s sot of lines up with this whole idea of, Cialdini talked about this in his, his latest book Presuede that, you know, people are more likely to like someone who they feel likes them.
Charlie Green: Well, right. I mean, if you remember, Cialdini’s his original book, he listed six or seven factors that determined influence the first one he talks about, and I, he talks about it more and more lately is reciprocity. It’s a real fundamental dynamic. How long am I going to like you, if you don’t like me, how long am I going to trust you if you don’t trust me? you know, that reciprocity dynamic is really profound when it comes to trust as it is. And in a lot of areas.
Andy Paul: So from a seller’s perspective then is, cause this is, I think it was new probably for 99% of the people are out there. They’re listening to this about, you know, you as a seller, have to trust, demonstrate trust in the buyer. How’s that manifested? And how do you build that?
Charlie Green: That’s the right question. well, let’s break it into sort of the, the quantitative rational, behavioral components of trust and the emotional interpersonal aspects. There are answers in both dimensions. If you want to take a risk in the, in the cognitive behavioral realm. What I suggest is what I call, bring a risky gift.
In other words, when you’re, when you’re getting to know somebody at some point early on, take away risk by it by speculating suggestion. Yeah. Offering up a hypothesis that, you know, really is potentially value adding, but might be wrong. You know, that part is critical. If all you’re doing is throwing them your latest cans, white paper, or your cool nifty product that there’s no risk to you, then it doesn’t count.
But if you’re willing to say in effect, you know what, I haven’t looked at all this and we haven’t explored you guys’ business yet, but you know what? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, I think this may be your big issue. Now, if you do that, right, there’s only two answers and they’re both good.
The first one is you guessed, right? Some may say yes, if you have anything that deals with that. Fabulous. Let’s let’s talk. The other one, paradoxicaly, is even better. That’s when they say, yeah, everybody thinks that’s the problem, but no, it’s this one. In which case you say, Oh my God, the minute you said that, I realized that, of course you’re right. Wow. Tell me about that issue. And more often than not. They’ll be happy to tell you about that issue because you’re paying attention, you’re listening, but also because you were willing to put yourself out there and appear vulnerable with an offer of help, that could have been wrong. And we respect that, that triggers the reciprocity thing. So that’s on the rational side, on the emotional side, even though it’s harder.
Andy Paul: Lets hang on for that for just a second before we go on. Cause I think maybe one way to summarize which you’re talking about in terms of this idea of bringing a risky gift, which is a term you use is, is that you need to have a point of view as a sales person. And this, this is the part that, you know, you can’t be beholden to a script. You can’t be locked into hey, this customer looks just like every other customer we’ve had is you, you need to have a point of view and you have to feel, take the risk, as you said to express it.
Charlie Green: Exactly. Right. And if you can’t figure out how to take that risk, you know, you just, I mean , you might as well be aggressively of waiting for the phone to ring, unless you’re willing to have a point of view and put it out there and, you know, potentially be wrong. If it’s unverifiable, it’s not worth anything. It doesn’t say anything
Andy Paul: Right. Okay. So now let’s go to the second part. So this was the, the, I have a point of view. So that second part is more feelings based. If you will.
Charlie Green: Yeah. And to sum that up very simply the best way to take a risk emotionally is to comment on the other person’s feelings or on your own. You don’t want to overdo your own cause you run the risk of looking self centered and narcissistic, but you know, it doesn’t, it pretty no-fail too. If you can do this intelligently and sensitively, by, by truly caring about the others, comment on what they’re feeling, gee, you know, you looked a little upset when I mentioned that thing.
I mean, let’s put it in, in today’s environment where at the early parts of the pandemic, and if you’re talking on the phone with somebody and you say, how are you doing? And they say, well, I just heard my brother in law, you know, got diagnosed. You don’t say, okay, let’s move along to the subject of the meeting and you don’t say, gee, that’s tough. What you do is you say, Oh my God, that’s gotta be hard for you. Yes. And you shut up at least in silence. You know, you act like a human being. Like if it was your, you know, your brother-in-law, what would you say? And over and over the audiences I deal with in particular, which are professional services, so we’re talking lawyers, accountants management, consultants, actuaries architects. They’re not good at this. And they’re scared to death of talking about anything emotional, partly because that’s who they are probably cause they don’t want to look unprofessional and they don’t do that. So the admonition is, that’s exactly what you have to do. In fact times like this, you need to do it even more. So take emotional risks. Be more vulnerable because everybody’s feeling vulnerable right now. Right. And oddly enough, you’d looked at again for people listening to this later, this is the context of early in the pandemic. We’re seeing TV show, hosts, cable news guy, you know, we’re in their bedrooms. We’re looking at the books. They read where we’re watching, you know, kids and dogs go by the camera.
And, you know, suddenly everybody’s doing that. and we, we want that because now’s a time of big vulnerability stops. That’s how you take a risk.
Andy Paul: Well, the question is, is what do we go back to then, right? I mean, if this creates sort of an interesting, an interesting moment in time for people to become more vulnerable and is do we become more guarded afterwards. I mean, these is this. Would you see what happens? People will become more guarded or I’m personally, I may miss maybe having the audience in the background, but I’m watching Stephen Colbert at night from his home I watch it much more closely because you know, it’s more personal.
Charlie Green: Right. I think we’re going to see some of it. Yeah. It’s going to carry over. It’s the new normal, I don’t think you go through an experience like this and have levels of vulnerability and then pretend it didn’t happen. So I think you’re going to see people staying on zoom, you know, not nearly as much.
We’ll all be glad to get off it, but I think some of it’s going to stay. We’re getting more comfortable with these forms of interactions where exercising our muscles for expressing social solidarity when we can’t touch people or be within six feet of them. We’re getting better at verbalizing, you know, body language, all that stuff.
Some of that I think will stay. Although I reading something about the 1917 flu epidemic, apparently people just wrote it out of history. It was a bad experience. Nobody wanted to remember. And in fact, historians say it’s very lightly treated in the history books.
Andy Paul: Oh, it is absolutely.
Charlie Green: yeah, so maybe some of this and some of that.
Andy Paul: I mean, sort of right in the midst of, you know, toward the end of world war one, I mean, there’s lots of things going on, but yeah, it was, it was, yeah, you don’t study it and part of your history class and so on. I suspect this will be different but I mean, it’s really, I just want to go back to a point before, and I think for people who are in remote selling situations perhaps they hadn’t been in before is, is this idea of being human, which is something I write and talk about a lot as do you, this becomes more important because you have to feel that you have the license to have these kinds of talk about your feelings, to comment on someone else’s feelings,
Charlie Green: Right.
Andy Paul: Connect in a way that, that you won’t otherwise allow yourself to connect.
Charlie Green: That’s true. And you know, we’re talking about it, everybody’s talking about it. You know, your lives have changed. That’s what’s going on and to not talk about it, you know, increases the falsity of whatever sales dialogue you’re having. You kind of talk about it,
Andy Paul: Yeah. Talk about authentically. I mean, a lot of the lot of what’s on LinkedIn these days is macho keep calling and keep on now. And you, and I both know people that are writing about this and now and it’s just like, yeah is that really the point? I mean, the point is, yeah, business continues, but that’s unmindful of the disruption that your customers are feeling and the vulnerability they’re feeling at this point in time, and everybody’s got this sense of anxiety. About this virus is maybe your approach is I understand that things are gonna be tough for you. And maybe now’s not the right time. I mean, this is to say that, if you’re reading some stuff online, it’s like, Oh, what a bunch of whistles, right. If you start going path, it’s like acknowledge realty. And with the buyer and say, look, there’s a way that I can stay connected and engaged with you as you go through this process on your end, where compared to other people, when you get to the end of this, you’re going to think, you know, Andy really did a great job of supporting us and he was there for us
Charlie Green: Well, to that point, you know, this is a time of crisis who gets remembered after times of crisis, who behaves heroically, who do we recall as having been an exemplar? And who do we not recall at all or worse yet recall was a jerk. And, you know, you see that among the governors right now, there’s a perception coming out of, who’s been, you know, on point and who’s tone deaf, and I knew this is a chance to write future history and how you behave right now is how people will remember you when all, when all this is done and,
Andy Paul: And I think an opportunity for people to really understand this. This is not a way to learn how to act now, just now, but it’s a way to learn how to act that will stick with you the rest of your life.
Charlie Green: It is, and it should be absolutely. And it’s an opportunity to sort of flex those muscles, at a very forgiving time. People are very accepting and even desirous of a little authenticity and reality and, and basic one on one level empathy. You know, people should be availing themselves of it.
Andy Paul: Well, I think as people now are going through, again, this, this remote work from home, remote selling sort of transition, is I thought it’d be really useful to go back through. I love Stephen MR Covey’s description of the four pillars of trust in his book, The Speed of Trust, which I, you and I have spoken about before. And he talks about motivations, integrity, credibility, and reliability. I just want sort of, run through those with you, because this is, this is so important is when he talks about motivations being a pillar of trust building, it means are you completely transparent in your motivations,
Charlie Green: Right.
Andy Paul: In your communications with, with your buyer? And this is a problem in the best of times so it becomes even more critical. And yeah, I know we all have numbers to make and goals to hit, but if you try to sort of lead with Hey we’re being really empathetic with this customer at the situation they’re in, and then you get the last week, a month, they put pressure on to close the deal. Your motivations are revealed.
Charlie Green: Absolutely. Revealed for what they are, which is not client focused customer centric or any of that stuff. It was always about you, which means the change has to be fundamental. You know, and I forget, what are you and I have talked about this before, but one of the things I’ve been trying to articulate recently is an unconscious myth out there that the best road to short term performance is through short term behavior. The fact is the best road to short term performance, and certainly longterm performance is longterm behavior. I mean, it’s kind of self evident to all of us. If you consistently over time, behave in a customer focused, you know, you not me, a kind of a generous manner. It will pay off in the long run.
What we forget is the long run is made up of a series of weeks and quarters and so forth. It pays off. And if you reveal the bad intentions, you know, and it immediately shows, Oh, you’re just looking for the quarterly numbers. Well guess what? You just ruined trust. So Covey’s absolutely right.
Andy Paul: Yeah. One of the things that I think companies and sellers miss is that sometimes you get to the end of a quarter and you make this astounding offer to somebody
Charlie Green: Yeah.
Andy Paul: see through it. But they still,
Charlie Green: they do
Andy Paul: they still take it.
Charlie Green: Well, but at what price.
Andy Paul: Right the price is that you’re going to get high churn and those accounts are going to leave as soon as they have the opportunity because they’re opportunistic. And so I think
Charlie Green: And you just fed the opportunism.
Andy Paul: That’s right. People are really confused us. I think. Well, of course they must trust us because, you know, they bought and it’s like, no.
Charlie Green: Not the same thing they bought because they had no other alternative better. And the minute somebody knocks 2 cents off your offer, you know, they’re going to be gone as fast as they bought your quarterly stiff.
Andy Paul: Yeah. And I have that conversation with sales leaders, and someone was like, have you ever calculated the ROI of doing this? Last day of the month offer, which, you know, you might, you would have gotten the order of the next week anyway,
Charlie Green: Right. Right. And it’s, I mean, you know, a lot of people criticize short term focus, but not enough. I mean, I see all kinds of sellers and marketers out there who were just blindly turning through a potential leads as if they were infinite. They pay no attention to the turnoff that it creates. It’s, you know, the, the what’s left behind when Sherman Marched through Georgia, that kind of thing. You leave devastation behind you and they don’t care because what’s the marginal cost of another, you know, reach out.
Andy Paul: People remember. People have long, long memories.
Charlie Green: Very long memories, right.
Andy Paul: So the next one is integrity, which is sort of alligned with the others that your actions have to match your words.
Charlie Green: Yeah. Yeah, this is one, I mean, Covey’s model is very similar to mine, which is the trust equation, credible plus reliable plus intimate divided by self-orientation. The intentions is kind of like self orientation. Credibility and confidence were pretty aligned with, I have stayed away from the word integrity myself, just because I’ve never found a good definition of it. I think of it as kind of a meta level that says does everything line up? I mean, that’s actually the word of that integrity comes from integral whole one part of a whole cloth. So I don’t have anything to add on that word. It makes sense.
Andy Paul: I think the thing that, that, again, people aren’t mindful, it gets back a little bit to the motivations thing is, if you say one thing and do another. Then you lack integrity. Now, most people hear the word integrity and think it means honesty, right. And you can be above board and still lack integrity.
Charlie Green: Yes. True.
Andy Paul: And this is, this is a disconnect for many sellers to hear this. It’s like, Whoa, what are you talking about?
Charlie Green: That’s right. Yeah. agree with you. It’s more than just honesty. It’s the whole thing has to fit together.
Andy Paul: Yeah. And if it’s, if, and people sense that very quickly, I was like, Oh, you just told me X, but now you’re doing this. It’s like, well, wait a second.
Charlie Green: Yeah, exactly.
Andy Paul: Sort of lacking something doesn’t quite add up here. And then the barriers go up.
Charlie Green: Right, exactly. Right.
Andy Paul: So, I mean, credibility obviously is important and then reliability, actually, I think is very important these days.
Charlie Green: Absolutely. Yeah. Track record consistently. You know, I think, one of the easiest ways I always tell people to create trust is make a lot of promises and then keep them. That falls on reliability is also the only component of another truism of trust, trust takes time. We hear that all the time. Mostly it does not take time, but one exception is reliability because that does require by definition, the passage of time over which multiple events happen. So that works.
Andy Paul: But the perception of trustworthiness as part of this first impression people have of you, I mean, this, this comes across pretty quickly. I mean,
Charlie Green: It really does. Yeah. In all the other dimensions is when people assess your credibility very quickly, your intimacy very quickly, your self-orientation, not quite so fast, but we’re always looking for it.
Andy Paul: Well, I mean, it all adds up to character to some degree.
Charlie Green: Okay. Yes, I think
Andy Paul: mean, I think people, I think people perceive what your character is. I mean, someone sort of dispute mantle once I said, well, how often have you bought something from somebody whose fundamental character you didn’t trust?
Charlie Green: Right. Not often I eat it. It reminds me now we’re throwing quotes around. I think it was George Burns said the most important thing in life. There’s sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. I think of that with the, with trust too, you really can’t fake trustworthiness for very long. It’s going to fall apart. Somebody going to sense it, you know, you, you, you have to be unless character.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, it’s an act that you have to maintain. It’s hard to maintain that, that act. So here’s, here’s a question that you know, in this day and age where we want to measure everything is, you know, when you’re in process, you know, say in a sales situation is how do you, how do you assess or measure the level of trust that you’ve built?
Charlie Green: Right. I would argue three points. Number one, it doesn’t matter that much. Number two, there are ways to measure the rational sides of trustworthiness. Number three, there are not particularly good ways to measure the non-rational parts. Let me start with. Why it doesn’t matter. Why do you, first of all, you know it in your bones and, and I think we need to get in touch a little bit more with our instincts, with our commonsensical feelings, the passion to measure trust comes from nothing to do with trust.
It comes from a passion for measuring everything. you know, we’re all living in a world where people mindlessly quote, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. That’s not true on the face of it. There are a hundred ways to manage without measurements and, anyway, that’s I find that it’s vastly overrated with a couple exceptions.
I know when work we do, in helping big companies deal with trust. I say you should measure revenue. If you can’t see an impact on the top line within six months, then it’s not working. But beyond that, I think we get lost in, in metrics. Some of it is measurable. You can easily quantify and measure and track credibility.
Yeah. You know, references, credentials, past work. That’s fine. Reliability, even easier. It’s straight up behavioral stuff. Know how many times did you meet your promise? What was your track record? That’s not hard to do and there’s nothing wrong with doing it, but how do you measure intimacy and how do you measure self-orientation?
Some of it’s even self-contradictory because what we want to do with measurements is then use them to incentive people. Well, how do you incentivize people to become unselfish? It falls apart, you know, when you even think about it. So, I mean, we do want to be able to help people learn to be better. Intimate lower self orientation, but it doesn’t come about from their usual technique of, of management and so forth.
It comes about by clearly articulating principles and providing role modeling of how to execute on those principles. which is, you know, the way we think of much softer stuff, but you know, what are you trying to do? And, and I think the term values is appropriate here. The term principles is appropriate here, and the point is not to memorize your corporate, you know, value statement.
The point is to live it. And the role of managers is to point out here’s what that principle means in this case. And to be alert to it. That’s how you teach people the softer skills.
Andy Paul: Yeah, I agree. A hundred percent. Back to the first point about, you know, why should people measure it? And I that, the way I’ve always done it is ask somebody, right. If you’re asking a seller, so do we have the trust of the customer or not?
Charlie Green: It’s a simple question.
Andy Paul: If they don’t know-
Charlie Green: right? That’s an answer.
Andy Paul: The answer right there is you have to know as this, all you have to be very conscious of the fact is, have we done, have I done what I need to do?
To demonstrate the trustworthiness and yeah. Part of what you talked about with, Oh, which I think is very important. It’s also to demonstrate some level of trust in the buyer themselves, but you should know that if you’re engaged, if you’re a human being and you’re just not following a process, that’s been laid out by your, your manager saying, Hey, have you migrated to the next stage or not?
It’s like, yeah. Are you aware of what? Yeah, you’ve got the trust of the buyer.
Charlie Green: Yeah, I think, you know, to go way 40,000 foot level, the entire approach of Western education, including business education is towards the analytical, the cognitive, the calculable. And we have given, you know, paid not very much attention to let’s call it broadly, the softer skills, intuition, common sense, those sorts of things.
I was struck years ago in MBA programs, you don’t find a single course in selling as in how do you stand in front of a person and become effective as a sales person? You find tons of courses on sales management, on sales leadership. These are all things that can be reduced to cognitive rules, but you don’t find anything that talks about what it takes to be a real effective salesperson. They just don’t teach it because it doesn’t fit in the curriculum. Well, too bad for the curriculum, you know, it’s, you need to know it in your bones. And if you can’t pick that up, you need some basic reeducation. Go back to kindergarten, know, and relearn.
Andy Paul: Right. Well, back to the first point about there are now some schools that are teaching salesmanship. But I do like your comment because someone asked me on an interview once about, you know, this idea about sales people have a hard time with some of these soft skills we talked about and they want to know what I thought the cause of it. And I said bad parenting.
Charlie Green: Yeah, true. Totally true. Reinforced by an educational system I would add, but yeah, you’re right.
Andy Paul: Yeah. So yeah, some of this is go, go way back. well last last I wanted to get into is, and this is something else. Again, is. Is this trust we talk about, I mean, there’s different types of trust, right? And so I think that part of the reason sellers have a hard time recognizing this and dealing with it is because they can only conceptualize a sort in the term of, I trust my parents. Or I trust my partner. I trust my whatever. And in my mind, this is a substantially different form of trust that we’ve formed. We formed with buyers of forming a business. I mean, you know, I like to say, you know, buyers they trust you enough to buy from you, but they’re not gonna invite you to come babysit their kids.
Charlie Green: Yeah, well here, I think it’s useful. It’s a good, good point you raised. And I find it. I always find it useful to make a certain distinction between what I call the private and what I call a personal. And the private has to do with, would you maybe, maybe has to do with, would you babysit their kids? It certainly has to do with, do you know your customers kids’ birthdays? . Do you both go out to watch the Knicks together? You know, all the private lifestyle. And I think business trust has got nothing to do with that. You can do it. It’s up to you. It’s up to who you are and who the customer is, but the important part of trust is what. happens within business, but is personal because all the personal aspects of, of a full humans life, you know, ups and downs and fears and sorrows and wins and losses and aggravation and resentment and politics, all that stuff, all that happens in the business environment. And if you don’t address the human component of that happening in the business environment, you’re missing out on the trust that I’m talking about. So you can, you can almost know absolutely nothing about a person privately in their private life, but if you forge a strong enough human connection with that person in the realm of business, that’s all that’s needed. And often that’s all that’s appropriate. And that’s not to say you can’t have private relationships with, with many people, but again, that’s up to you and them individually. And doesn’t have to do with business trust per se.
Andy Paul: Yeah. And it gets back to this nature of what is the relationship in business that you’re forming with a buyer between buyer and a seller is, is cause there’s a-
Charlie Green: It’s both it’s commercial and it’s personal if you do it right.
Andy Paul: Yeah, I think it was, I think it was Aristotle talked about, you know, the relationship of utility, which is fundamentally what you have, right. Or he called friendships that utility. But, but that’s, that’s the type of relationship I believe you have with your, your buyers. The connection you have with your buyers is, is it’s functional. It’s it’s here for this moment, a utility to get something done between us. It’s personal, as you said, there’s trust involved.
Charlie Green: I might, I’d have to think more about the way you put it, but I think it’s a little stronger than that. It’s not like if I leave companies could buy you, I’m going to remember who I dealt with. And when I move to another company, I’m going to want to bring you with me. If I had that kind of personal trust relationship. Again, it has nothing to do with private lives has lot to do with the ability to forge a connection with that other person.
Andy Paul: Which is what the world revolves around.
Charlie Green: Absolutely.
Andy Paul: I mean, as much as we try to script out the human aspect of sales it’s actually become more and more essential as we get more automated, more mechanized.
Charlie Green: Right. Exactly. Now, let me ask you a question if I can . You and I I think have both commented on, the ubiquity of, of emails that come in and are offering, you know, we’ve got this special, you know, deal for you. And they may or may not have done a fabulous job of targeting me. They know exactly my little business. There’s some rational reason why I was picked, but the pitch itself is utterly tone deaf, completely impersonal, drives me nuts because, well, anyway, what do you think of all that? Is that more systemic? Is it just me what’s going on? And are they as clueless as I think they are?
Andy Paul: Well, they’re clueless amd they’re lazy basically, is what it comes down to. Because the tools actually provide the ability to personalize at a scale you’ve never been able to do before, but most
Charlie Green: Totally true.
Andy Paul: Are using the technology to automate bad behaviors. And, and so I get a lot of this because people I get training on the day, I could get up to 10 pitches on a day to be on this program and I can tell you in a heartbeat, who’s actually listened to an
Charlie Green: episode.
Exactly. I’m sure you can.
Andy Paul: And it doesn’t matter if they say they’ve listened to it and they enjoy it. you, you can just tell and
Charlie Green: you really can. I get the same people saying, Oh, we’d love to guest post and link here.
Andy Paul: Yeah. And so for me, it’s, it’s a quick turn off, cause it’s like, yeah, I have a limited resource here. you don’t want people that have been sincere, talk about sincere and their interest that they want to be on it and that they have something they think is unique to share. And if it’s just like, yeah, just don’t be on show to be on a show. It’s like, yeah. Yeah. We’re not interested. And it comes across in the pitch.
Charlie Green: Yes. Exactly. Well, thank you for that.
Andy Paul: Okay. Well, good. Anything else I can do for you?
Charlie Green: Nope, we’re good.
Andy Paul: All right. Well, Charlie, we’ve sort of run out of time, but as always been fantastic to talk
Charlie Green: And as always. Thank you. Thank you, Andy. Really appreciate it. Always.
Andy Paul: If people want to get in touch with you, what should they do?
Charlie Green: The easiest is the website trustedadvisor.com. And you’ll find email phone on everything within there.
Andy Paul: And it’s a great book to read. If you haven’t read it, read it, the Trusted Advisor, but wait for the new version.
Charlie Green: Nope, don’t wait. Buy them both. What can I say?
Andy Paul: you also have, the trusted advisor sales book, right?
Charlie Green: We have the trusted advisor field book, and let’s not forget trust based selling my personal favorite in many ways. Yep.
Andy Paul: Also a good book. I’ve read two of those, so alright. Recommend them, Charlie. Great to see you as always stay
Charlie Green: Thank you, Andy. Likewise, take care.