Know, like and trust, but the greatest of these is trust

(From February 24, 2009 newsletter)

The 1 Corinthians trinity of faith, hope and charity is slightly better known, but then it has a two millennia head start over the “know, like and trust” mantra of virtually (a pun, sorry) every expert on internet marketing.

The authorities preach that knowing and liking must precede trusting, but that hasn’t been my experience as a freelancer. I’ve found it easy to skip directly to trust. And to me, establishing trust is the essence of telephoning (or what others would call cold calling).

You can have trust without knowing and liking

In fact, in telephoning for assignments, trust is the key. A modicum of chitchat–how’s the weather, how’s the football team (if you are drawn to that sort of thing), and then you get down to business, explaining briefly what you do and asking for assignments.

Even in this preliminary phase of the phone call you can start establishing trust. As you succinctly describe your services, credentials, past employers, industry memberships, etc., feel free to use jargon and acronyms that your listener will readily understand. This creates rapport and assures the person on the other end of the line that you are an industry insider . . . and that it’s the same industry as theirs.

When they hire a freelancer, clients want to feel very much like they are working with an in-house employee who is already up to speed with the specifics of the work.

Know and like develop over time

Despite all the expert advice to the contrary, this kind of trust yields assignments. Then you build “like and trust” over time as you collaborate with the client.

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