The Art of Transferring Trust


Hall of Fame speaker and high performance business coach Dan Clark was recently the keynote speaker at the August IEAHU, OCAHU & SDAHU Medicare Senior Summit in Temecula, Calif.
The event drew nearly 800 agents and brokers for a
3-day event exploring carrier offerings, legislative
updates and much more.

As I hopscotch the globe speaking to most of the Fortune 500 companies, NBA and NFL teams, Million Dollar Round Table members, senior military leaders and coaching thousands of corporations and Associations, two questions always take center stage. CEOs, HR directors, and meeting professionals/event planners want to know: ‘How do you get everybody in the organization to care as much about the organization as you do?’

Answer: Grow more leaders who believe what you believe, instead of generating more followers — and ‘seek to bless, not impress’ based on integrity, respect, duty, honor and service before self. Every culture is created between the strongest belief, highest expectation and best behavior the leader lives by — and the worst behavior the leader tolerates. Getting people to believe in you and your message is predicated on being able to share your personal and organization vision and story in an engaging entertaining way!

Sales professionals want to know: ‘How do I make myself stand out above the competition in every personal and professional category, so people choose me, not just somebody who does what I do?’

Answer: Competitive advantage is not created by doing more than your competition. It’s created by doing what your competition is not willing to do. It’s created by doing more than anyone in your organization is willing to do to become the very best version of yourself — knowing the only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday!

This means the goal is not to do business with everybody who wants what you have. The goal is to do business only with those who believe what you believe — so they choose you. People don’t buy what you have — they buy what you believe. You don’t attract who you want — you attract who you are, by being able to showcase your character, compassion and solutions in a powerful conversation that turns every ‘sales pitch’ into a ‘serve pitch’ — showcasing the benefits of doing business with you.

What is your value?
In our free enterprise, incentive motivated America, we are paid for the value we bring to the marketplace. People choose you based on your perceived value to the marketplace. It takes time to add value to the marketplace, but we are not paid for time. If this was true, we could stay home in bed all day and have someone send us money. For us to make more money we must make ourselves more valuable to the marketplace by spending more time working on ourselves than we do on our job! American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn reminds us: ‘Formal education makes you a living — self education makes you a fortune.’

The definition of leadership and sales is the ‘transference of trust.’ The fastest and most sustainable way to transfer trust and stand out in the marketplace is to position yourself as a charismatic, intelligent, sophisticated, elegant human being — able to articulately present your ideas in an intellectually challenging, emotionally stirring, entertaining story. Prospective buyers don’t remember the facts, graphs and figures in your sales presentation. They remember the interpretation of the information, why and how it relates to them, what they feel and why they feel it. These feelings are created only because you took the time to become a powerful polished storyteller that equipped and empowered you to connect heart-to-heart authentically and deeply, spirit to spirit, soul to soul with them because of the stories you just shared!

Your professional message can’t be about a formula or strategy, until it’s about your personal integrity and why you believe what you believe based on your eye-witness experience.

If you precede or follow a competitor’s sales presentation, what will make you different and sway the prospect’s decision to buy from you, instead of them, is simply your ability to connect their heads with their hearts. So they close themselves on your product/service based on the stories you strategically share.
At the end of every day, every conversation, every personal and organizational branding strategy, every sales and marketing campaign, and every personal relationship, ends up being ‘all about the story!’

Warren Buffet says, ‘We can increase our value in the marketplace by 50% simply by becoming better public speakers and passionate, eloquent storytellers.’ How? Why?

Stories are the ‘social proof’ required to validate your credibility, unique factor, and value in the marketplace.

Are you investing your time and resources into personal development for you and your employees, to become more interesting both at work and at home?

Are you investing in Masterminds, Leadership Development, Public Speaking Bootcamps, and Story Selling Master Classes to develop the skills required to take yourself to the next level?

How do you make yourself more valuable?
Knowledge is power, but it has no heart. We don’t learn to know — we learn to do. All the information in the world is not going to make a person successful or significant. It’s like the guy who has three PhDs: one in philosophy, one in psychology, one in sociology — he doesn’t have a job but at least he can explain why! Ha! Reason leads to conclusions, but it is emotion that leads to action! We sell with emotion and validate with logic and reason. A well told story includes both facts and feelings — connecting both the head and the heart.

When we get to know one another’s stories, we find common ground and shared beliefs where we connect, convey and exchange the deepest level of total trust that bridges the gap from stranger to friend. This transforms our relationship from participant to engaged listener, from trying to sell something to being a trusted advisor on what they decide to buy!

When you only teach and focus on the What and How, you only engage the brain/head — which makes your interaction ‘transactional’ and superficial. However, when you tell a compelling story, you add to the What and How, a passionate Why and meaningful Want. This engages both the head and the heart, causing the blood to pump more rapidly, the brain to fire and our muscles to engage. When we only engage the head, no such extraordinary experience occurs!

Why become a prolific storyteller?
Steven Jobs said, ‘The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.’ Facts tell – stories sell.

When I coach CEO’s, executives, managers and sales teams, I teach my process of developing your ‘Story Telling Skills’ with structure, sequence, timing, impact, using persuasive engaging language, making every story funny, evocative, and emotional. We then practice telling stories until it becomes conversational so you never get ‘word bound’ and can articulately share your story whenever called to do so.

Unless you deliver your value proposition, offering your products and services with the same level of excellence that created them — there is a disconnect, which circumvents the transference of trust, and you are perceived exactly like your competitors are perceived — competing only on price and product features in a business transaction.

This is why the research conducted by University of Notre Dame professor Dr. Herb True shows:

• 44% of sales professionals quit after one follow up sales call
• 24% quit after the second call
• 14% quit after the third call
• 12% quit after the fourth call
• 92% of sales professionals quit by the fifth sales call

Yet research shows 85% of our sales are closed between the fifth and the twelfth sales call!

The ‘Secret Sauce’
The secret to closing more business and breaking sales records is to get prospective buyers to trust you enough to invite you into their inner circle of family and friends five to twelve times, until they close themselves! This is accomplished by connecting at the deepest level, competing on love, trust, respect, duty, honor, service before self — which is priceless and conveyed through the art of story selling.

A critical skill I teach my audiences that help people
‘choose you’ is what I call ‘Presentation Literacy.’ This skill can be taught and is a superpower to pitch your ideas, sell your products, and accomplish your dreams!

Imagine working on one skill and once you improve
it, that skill will raise your value by 50%. Not only in your professional job and in your ability to climb the corporate leadership ladder — but in your personal life, you will realize that before we can ever get anyone to trust us — enough to date, to love, to marry or to purchase a product or service we represent — we first need to showcase our character and values, and present our genuine personality in the form of our experiences and stories.

When we get to know one another’s stories, we find common ground and shared beliefs where we connect, convey and exchange the deepest level of total trust that bridges the gap from stranger to friend. This transforms our relationship from participant to engaged listener, from trying to sell something to being a trusted advisor on what they decide to buy!

Remember the purpose of every meeting — one on one, one on ten in a boardroom, one on 10,000 in an arena — is to rekindle passion, unlock creativity, trigger imagination — to give the listener an experience they can’t get at home or work and to take them to an intellectual and emotional place they cannot take themselves — through the power of storytelling!
Learn to tell your own stories! Be authentically you — you’ll make a lousy somebody else! When you are — its guaranteed people will CHOOSE YOU!

DAN CLARK is the founder and CEO of Dan Clark & Associates, an international leadership development company. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Counsel of Peers Award of Excellence (CPAE), high-performance business coach; New York Times best selling author of 35 books and university professor. Clark is a primary contributing author to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series; international podcaster; gold record songwriter; and an award-winning athlete who fought his way back from a paralyzing injury that cut short his football career.

Clark was inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame and has been named one of the top ten motivational speakers in the world. He has spoken to over 6 million people, in all 50 states, in 71 countries, on 6 continents, to more than 6,000 audiences including most of the Fortune 500 companies, Super Bowl Champions, NASA, and to our Combat Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Asia and Africa.

To learn more about The Art of Story Selling, Clark’s coaching programs, or for speaking engagements, contact: booking@danclark.com, 800-676-1121 ext. 1