Do Prospects Trust You?

Do Prospects Trust You?

by: Rob Reed

In a recent study, graduate students were asked questions about their advisors, and the advisors were asked questions about the students. The questions fell in three general categories:

  1. How trustworthy have you been with the other person?
  2. How trustworthy has the other person been with you?
  3. Does the other person view you as trustworthy?

As you might guess, advisors thought they were more trustworthy than the students. And students thought they were more trustworthy than the advisors. That was the reality,


  • Advisors believed that students would view advisors as more trustworthy.
  • Students believed that advisors would view students as more trustworthy.

Both groups were wrong about that.

So what about that prospect? You know, the one who already knows you’re trustworthy. Does she really think that? Maybe not.

We must constantly convince others that we merit their trust. If you want to be trusted, work on it each time you interact with a prospect or a client.

Source: The Trusted Advisor, David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford, The Free Press, New York, 2000, 236 pages.