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Blog - Trust in the Market of One - Part 3

Trust in the Market of One - Part 3

Posted by Graham Elder - Associate Learning and Development Consultant 11/05/18

One of the themes which underpins our work is that it is not just about getting results …. it is also about how those results are achieved. Developing the most effective behaviours is key.

In this final blog in our series, our facilitator Graham Elder looks at the behaviours which lead to successful relationship building in a sales and marketing context.

Trust in the Market of One - Part 3

In my last two postings, Working in the market of one and Influencing and the Market of One I’ve been focussing on the market of one, and the vital importance you need to attach to appealing to individuals directly and personally, if you want to sell and influence effectively now and in the future.

When you’re talking, with a client, colleague or contact, you need to make a personal connection to influence them for results, and that means working to build trust. With a recent client, I’ve been looking at the trust equation, developed by Charles H Green. It’s aimed at leadership, but contains insights you can draw on in a broader influential context. Green identifies 4 key trust characteristics. 

Credibility requires you to be honest, keep confidences, show expertise and current knowledge. It reflects James Scouller’s focus on technical know-how in “The Three Levels of Leadership”. Green also indicates the importance of assertiveness, and being fearless about offering your point of view. Assertiveness is a field in itself that I may tackle in future, but using clean language that clearly makes your point is particularly effective with those who prefer a logical approach in discussions.

Reliability is factor two, and includes doing what you say you will, making small promises and following them through, being punctual, organised, timely, responsive and consistent. Green makes the point that no one can be perfect, but what others look for is thoroughness. This also reflects Scouller’s insight into what he calls “genuineness”.

Factor 3 is Intimacy. Listen, acknowledge what you’ve heard, use people’s names and ask questions. It links to factor 4, Self-Orientation, where you take time to find the best solutions, and focus on what others have to say, not what you want to tell them. The point is that taking an interest in people doesn’t just inform you about their business, their lives and their circumstances and what will appeal to them individually, it also helps them to see you as trustworthy and supportive.

In today’s marketplace, business and government environments, if you want to achieve the results that work for you, you have to build trust with people on an individual level. You need to know what drives them, what they like and don’t like, how they speak and interact and what appeals to their personality and values. Do that, and you can demonstrate credibility through your use of the right kind of language, reliability through thoroughness in the areas that matter to them most, and intimacy by showing you’ve listened, picked up on personal cues, and understand what makes them tick. 

If you think of your trust building in terms of a market of one, you can present individuals with ideas and concepts that immediately resonate, and make them feel like you’re someone to work with and do business. Everyone responds well when presented with offers and ideas that are personalised, and therefore better thought out and constructed as a result.

References: Charles H Green and Andrea P Howe: “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust”

James Scouller: “The Three Levels of Leadership”

If you would like more information about how we help organisations build effective relationships across all disciplines and sectors creating the culture please call us on 01903 732 782 or email

Graham Elder - Associate Learning and Development Consultant
Graham Elder - Associate Learning and Development Consultant

Graham has been a professional facilitator, learning designer and coach for more than 25 years. He has worked nationally and internationally, with clients as diverse as Fujitsu, HP Enterprise, the John Lewis Partnership, UK Ministry of Defence, National Health Service and the Government of Ghana as well as law firms, media organisations, rail engineering and social services.

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