Six Personal Interactions to Help Build Client Trust
I find the neuroscience of building trust fascinating. Does this mean you can manipulate people into trusting you? No. Your actions will ultimately determine whether or not you’re a trustworthy individual. However, as a trustworthy advisor, you will derive direct benefit by helping activate oxytocin in others.
1. Proactive Listening
When you give someone your complete attention, they connect with you. Not only will this elevate your oxytocin, it will stimulate conversation. The other person will listen to you, and in turn, elevate their oxytocin levels.
2. Share a Meal
According to Zak, eating moderately is calming and helps us bond with others. He adds that including a glass of wine is okay as well. Interesting how our research identified a "non-business" lunch as having the highest correlation to acquiring new business.
3. Become a Hugger
I’m not sure why Zak suggests eight hugs a day, but the idea that a positive touch activates oxytocin means that hugging promotes trust. Here’s a thought: when fitting and appropriate, tell people you’re a hugger, rather than shaking hands.
4. Give Gifts
Surprise and delight intersects with neuroscience. The first human studies of oxytocin showed that receiving gifts raised oxytocin. So, lets make surprise and delight (small personal gifts) an agenda item for your weekly team meetings.
5. Warm Office Environment
Turning your office into a warm place, like a den, makes people comfortable. Activating our five senses raises our oxytocin levels and builds trust.
I’m not suggesting you have to bring your dog or cat into the office, although if you can this is a great idea. But the fact is that positive interactions with a pet (petting a friendly dog), activates oxytocin. I know a number of advisors whose dog is a fixture in their office.