By Jeff Mowatt
Have you ever wondered how likely people are to recommend you? Are other brokerages hearing about you from your customers and considering offering you a job? The likelihood of these kinds of recommendations is based on what I call your Trust Equity Score. The higher your trust equity, the more inclined people will be to recommend you to others, and be willing to pay a premium – literally – to do business with you. Take this quiz to discover your score out of 45 possible points.
1. Do you keep your promises?
Subtract five points if you occasionally use these phrases: I’ll try, I’ll do my best, I won’t be able to do it until tomorrow. Add 10 points if instead you often say: You’ll have it within 24 hours (and consistently deliver on that promise). It’s specific and positive, and when conveyed in precise hours, rather than in a day, it sounds shorter and more intentional.
Tip: When you do deliver within 24 hours, start your communication with, “As promised…” That way, it registers with others that you keep your word.
2. Do coworkers and customers see you as their friend or trusted advisor?
Give yourself a zero if most people at work see you as a friend. Add five points if they would describe you as a trusted advisor. Keep my little rhyme in mind: Friends compare and overshare. Advisors ask and stay on task. It’s a reminder to talk less and listen more. Focus the conversation on the other person and what their overall objectives are and why. People value the input of a strong listener over that of a smooth talker.
3. Do you look like a professional?
If you are often dressed and groomed more casually than your peers and are in worse physical shape, subtract five points. If you are dressed and groomed slightly sharper than your peers and are in better shape, add five points. In the real world, whether it’s fair or not, people judge you by outward appearances. It’s a reflection of your self-esteem, self-discipline and attention to detail. It should look like you put some effort (including exercising) into your appearance.
4. Are you involved in your profession?
Subtract five points if you never go to your board’s general meetings or attend industry conferences. If you attend meetings add five points. If you also volunteer and serve in some capacity in your association, add five more points. Professional/trade associations give you the opportunity to network with peers in your industry. You learn from competitors who are willing to share. And you can give back while raising your profile. Do your personal brand a favour – get involved.
5. Do you ask for permission or forgiveness?
If you tend to check with others before taking action, subtract five points. If you’re more inclined to adhere to the adage that, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, add five points. Whatever your job title may be, people have more respect for those who are inclined to act than those who wait to be told or given permission. If your organization penalizes people who take initiative, find someplace else to work.
6. Where are you when the chips are down?
When it comes to visiting people in hospitals, attending funerals, or dealing with upset customers, you tend to either: a) find an excuse to be somewhere else (subtract five points). Or b) show up even though you don’t want to be there (add 10 points). No one likes hospitals, funerals, or dealing with upset customers. That’s why when times are tough, people do notice who shows up. And yes, they also notice those who don’t. There’s always an excuse for avoiding unpleasant situations, which is why showing up like a grown-up does so much for your reputation.
What’s your score out of 45?
Chances are if you took this quiz you probably scored pretty high. The fact that you’re reading this article indicates you are interested in learning and development: a strong trait. Increasing your trust equity and enhancing the value of your personal brand is simple – just take the steps outlined. Simple doesn’t mean easy. Trust-worthiness is, after all, something we all must earn.