Wellbeing / Business psychology

Want someone to trust you? Do these 3 simple things right away

Want to make that sale and keep that client? Forget the fancy bells and whistles, establishing trust is the vital ingredient, according to positive psychology coach, Catherine Bell.


Amy Cuddy is a pretty famous person. 

The American social psychologist  is most known for her 2012 TED Talk, “Your body language may shape who you are” that’s been watched 53,531,314 times.

(Actually, male that 54, 531, 314 times as i have just watched it!)

Now a Harvard Business School professor, Amy has been researching first impressions and says it takes approximately 3 seconds for someone to work out if they can trust you. 

As a business owner trust is imperative, especially if you’re offering a service. 

Positive psychology coach and founder of Bell Training Group,  Catherine Bell told Flying Solo that once our fear response is triggered  and we decide not to trust, it’s virtually impossible to change our mind. 

“There is a primitive part of our human brain that is constantly scanning for what is threatening and what is safe,” says Catherine. 

“Simply put, if someone doesn’t trust then their fear reaction is triggered and it won’t matter how competent we seem, the message will be lost!”

In short: You have 3 seconds to establish trust with your client. 

Even shorter: Stuff it up and you’ve just lost that client forever. 

But now for the good news! Avoiding this exact scenario can be simple. 

Obviously it goes without saying that we should always aim to be the most truthful version of ourselves, but if you can’t quite manage that Catherine says being trustworthy is something we can learn. 

In fact, she reckons we can learn them in 3 steps.

The first time you meet someone make sure you: 

  1. Look into the person’s eyes when you meet them
  2. Shake hands firmly and with confidence 
  3. Ask the other person something about them.

You’ll get much further with the conversion and have a chance to display your competence as the conversation progresses, naturally,” says Catherine. 

And if you close the sale, then you know you’ve had success. 

Worth a shot, right? 

Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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