Some people say you can’t see trust. I say you can.
How can you tell if you’re making headway with your persuasion target in such areas as trust and credibility? By consistently observing your target’s actions — or inactions — to determine the degree to which you’re winning over the other person.
Here are seven pieces of evidence of things unseen:
1. Your target volunteers information that is not requested. “You’ll also need this, which is a study done a year ago. Not many people are familiar with it, but it’s exactly what you’ll need.” If your target didn’t trust you, you’d never see that report.
2. Your target shares humor. “Just to show you how my day is going: I had a lunch meeting and went to the wrong restaurant. And I was the guy who made the reservation!” A comment like that reveals that the target is willing to let down his guard with you.
3. Your target accepts pushback and contrary views. “I see your point. I hadn’t thought of the impact on our European operations. I’ll have to consider that.” This means your target is willing to consider different perspectives. On the other hand, when someone says, “I’ll keep that in mind,” he’s blowing you off.
4. Your target requests advice. “What’s your take on the new sales promotion?” If the target didn’t trust you or find you credible, she wouldn’t ask for your opinion.
5. Your target shares confidentiality. “The news hasn’t been released yet, but the head of R&D has been selected.” This individual knows you can be trusted. Don’t prove him wrong.
6. Your target meets deadlines and respects financial limitations. When someone comes in on time and under budget, that means he respects you. Remember, once is an event, twice might be a coincidence, and three times is a trend.
7. Your target provides friendly follow up and continuing contact. Trusted colleagues stay in touch. Can you hear me now?
The next time you’re not sure someone trusts you, think again.