7 Psychological Ways to Establish Trust with a Stranger Both Online and In Person

The deceptive salesman is unlikely to have a prosperous sales career. Make a few unsavoury deals and the word will spread like wildfire.

But you don’t have to become a dodgy salesman to sell your products. You must just focus on one thing: Gaining trust from an audience.

People want to buy from businesses or from salespeople they can trust. Ultimately, trust is what drives a person to click the “buy now” or “subscribe now” button. Without trust, you can bank on never closing a deal successfully.

Whether you’re selling your products online or at a store, there are certain psychological tactics that you can use to establish trust with a stranger. We’ve gathered up seven psychological ways to establish trust with a stranger both online and in person.

1.  Provide Social Proof

Why do people adopt the craziest trends and jump on silly bandwagons? Two words: social proof.

Social proof demonstrates the effects of social influence on our behaviour. When we see other people doing something or vouching for something – especially people we trust – we want to do it too.

Harness the power of social proof by soliciting testimonials, recommendations and promotions. The more people you get to talk about you, the more strangers will trust you.

Getting people to talk about you sounds difficult, but it’s the easiest thing you can do to market your brand. Have you heard of influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is when a brand pays an influencer or blogger to talk about their products or service. The brand will usually give the influencer a free product in return for a review or social media post. How easy is that? And you don’t have to spend much on advertising.

Of course, the difficulty comes in selecting the right influencer, but if you partner up with an influencer agency, you can get the right influencer in a snap.

2.  Be Consistent

How many times have you bought a product from a vendor you didn’t trust or didn’t believe in? Probably never. This is because the best brands build their credibility over time.

It takes days, months and even years of proving yourself to ultimately gain trust with people. But what if you don’t have that kind of time? Perhaps you only have a 10-minute phone call?

Here’s what you should do: Be consistent.  If you tell a prospect that you will only take five minutes of their time, don’t exceed five minutes. Speaking for longer than five minutes is not a problem, but what is a problem is that you’ve just gone back on your word which clients pick up on.

Over the long-term, you must deliver on the terms of your agreement. If something goes wrong, tell your clients so that they don’t feel duped.

3.  Build Your Credibility

Human beings naturally fear the unknown so to ease that feeling, let your prospects know why you’re qualified to speak to them about a certain topic.

Today, our chances of being devoured by a lion (fraudster) have increased. Therefore, people tread carefully to make sure that they’re not being screwed over. Provide evidence of your credibility. Examples are:

  • Results you’ve achieved in the past
  • Testimonials (although people don’t really trust these anymore)
  • Qualifications, certificates or degrees

4.  Make Eye Contact

Psychologists often say that you can tell a liar by their non-verbal movements. When people lie or are uncomfortable, their eyes usually wander about.

When speaking to your prospects or clients, you don’t want to come off as a liar. Therefore, look them in the eye.

However, staring at a prospect in the eyes consistently will probably make them uncomfortable. Experts recommend maintaining eye contact for seven to 10 seconds before looking away.

Your nonverbal communication is just as important as what you say during a meeting. If you start to focus on that, you can build trust quicker.

5.  Be Competent

If you can’t do the job properly, prospects won’t trust you. Show your competency by:

If you’re weak in any one of these areas, contact us for help.

6.  Put the ball in their court

The phrase “I trust your judgment” is a powerful one. It immediately builds trust with a stranger because it sends out a signal that you’re not coercing them into anything.

“people treat others in ways that are consistent with their expectations of them and therefore cause the person to behave in a way that confirms those expectations.” – Business Insider

It’s called the Pygmalion effect. So, if you treat someone as trustworthy, they’re likely to reciprocate.

7.  Tell a story

Bringing up experiences can build trust with a stranger. When you talk about how you have been “burned” in the past and what you have done to fix that (through your product), a prospect can trust your word. It does not have to be your own personal experience either, you can bring up an experience or testimonial from one of your current clients too.

Again, trust is a lifelong process – but the foundation for trust is built daily. Apply these seven tips to become a trusted salesperson, business or advisor. Contact us if you need assistance in any of these areas:

  • Coaching
  • Website building
  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Cold calling
  • Blog writing
  • SEO and PPC