Surprise! Who doesn’t trust you?

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imageI’ve been debating with my husband
whether we should adopt a cat or a dog.

He likes the mystery and idiosyncratic
affection of a cat. (We’ve had two.)

I’m ready for Dog Energy – passionate
excitement every time I open the door.

Either way, we’re ready for a new soul
to love and trust.

Which leads me to you, and trust.

You know you can be trusted.

But guess what? Research shows that your
prospects see you as over 25%
less trustworthy than you see yourself.


Jennifer was.

She was an expert at relationships.
She could lead a lonely client past their
blocks to a committed relationship in 12-15 months.

But Jen wasn’t getting many clients.
Her prospects vaporized when it
came time to work with her.

She could feel their intense interest, at first.

And she could hear them “disappear.”
Right on the phone.
It was a subtle but unmistakable shift in tone

And Jen was scared, struggling, and
at the end of her rope.

What was she doing wrong?

Jennifer was breaking two major rules
in dealing with her prospects.

She was matching their energy,
and she was comforting them.


What? Jen was shocked. How can
you be comfortable without comforting other people?

And why should you behave this way?
Because they need to feel comfortable with
you, but if you comfort them, you are
dissolving their need to work with you.

So first, YOU be comfortable.
We all need our prospective clients to trust us.
You need to close that 25% gap and have them trust you.

You have to “up” your trust factor
when you offer your services.

There are 100 subtle ways to do this.

Here are the most important.

In person or on the phone:


1. Be honest. In fact, be politely blunt.
2. Don’t sell.
3. Give away something of high value.

Radically shift the energy of the conversation:

4. Act as your prospect’s “personal shopper.”
5. Behave (politely) as if they are interviewing you for the job (they are.)
6. Figure out who you hate to work with, and keep that top of mind
while you talk to your prospects. This way you are interviewing
them as well, and it will instantly change the energy of the conversation.

Jennifer was scared, but desperate.

So she became much more honest in her
prospect conversations (the dreaded “sales” call).

Jen was shocked that the more candid she got
about what she felt were her prospect’s real
issues, the more they trusted her.

One of them later said, “I signed with you because
you were so honest with me.”

Jen gave away at least 30 minutes of actual coaching
to each prospect, demonstrating her style, her insights,
and how she worked. The response?

“Jen, this is amazing. Thank you for this time.
I know I want to work with you.”

Jennifer told her prospects that, like a personal shopper,
she was there to help them make the best decision, whether
or not it was to work with her. Immediately, the whole
conversation shifted to a friendly, neutral, engaged tone.

The result? “Jennifer, I feel so comfortable with you.
I feel like you can get me over this problem.”

Before each call, Jen reframed herself as interviewing her
prospects for the “client” position. She imagined turning
down clients she didn’t like – and soon, she began to do it.
She felt calm, powerful, and in control.

The response? “I can tell you’re an expert at this.
I feel like you know me.”

Jen stopped selling. She hated it. Instead, she began to
consult, educate, and ask deep questions. Casually,
she mentioned the amazing results she’d had with other clients.

But that was it. She concentrated instead on showing
her prospect that she had a deep, penetrating vision of
1) their problem, 2) the cause, and 3) what they needed to do about it.

The result? In 60 days, Jennifer began signing
1 in 4 of her prospects.

Jen just raised her rates, and has a full client load.

Stay tuned for Part Two – “Don’t Comfort Your Prospects.”

It’s the best way to lose them.

And you can turn it around overnight.


  1. As usual – thoughtful, intelligent, pithy, and correct. Ann, thank you for all the good work you do.

  2. When you show prospects that you are an accessible expert who is there to provide significant benefits and values to help them solve their problems, you show that it is all about them, and not about you. Yes, it is about being an educator, a Socratic questioner, and giving prospects all the relevant, necessary info they need on which to make their trusting informed decisions about working with you. As always, Ann, you summarize it so concretely and succinctly. You’re not selling, you’re sharing and creating trusting relationships. In this way you are not betraying yourself as a professional with a professional’s integrity. You are not acting like the stereotyped car salesperson.

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