This week we’re going to talk about trust in selling. Some people claim that it’s old fashioned to focus on building trust with prospective clients, because sales cycles have sped up and prospects are too busy. I disagree.

Sure, it’s harder to build trust these days, but the end result is well worth the effort. The good news is that you don’t have to go from not knowing someone to lifelong confidant in one setting. Build trust a little bit at a time.

If you’re looking to build a trusting relationship with your clients, start first by focusing on communication.

Those professionals who go out of their way to communicate, tend to build trust quicker and more deeply with clients and prospects. Detailed and timely communication removes suspicions and reassures clients. Perhaps it’s a flaw of human nature, but the better a person communicates, the more trustworthy he or she is deemed to be.

Tell the truth and don’t procrastinate when you need to tell clients things they don’t want to hear. As General Colin Powell once said, “Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

Another important part of communication is to apologize when appropriate. It’s amazing how much an earnest apology can boost trust.

Also, make it personal. If a prospect or client tells you about an upcoming vacation or life event, make note of that in your CRM, and the next time you talk with them, ask them about it.

At some point in any given relationship, you will encounter a moment of truth, a time in which you will be faced with an important decision. How you decide to act determines if you “pass” the moment of truth. If you do pass it, you build trust. Fail it and the relationship could be irreparably damaged.

What are some moment-of-truth examples? When it’s tempting to lie but you tell the truth. When you have a choice to do something in your interest or your client’s interest and you choose the client’s. When you go the extra mile to help clients achieve their goals. When you screw up but do everything in your power to fix the situation.

Moments of truth are opportunities. Embrace them as a chance to prove your trustworthiness and advance the relationship. Every time you pass a moment of truth, no matter how small, trust becomes at least a little deeper.

Trust. It can be difficult to achieve, but it’s essential for long-term success in today’s fast-paced, ultra-competitive world.

Trust facilitates decision making. Trust makes your work easier and more fulfilling. When trust exists, deal-making is simply more fun, because participants endure far less stress and tension.

Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.