RELIABILITY has to do with actions. We might say, “If he says he’ll deliver the product tomorrow, I trust him, because he’s dependable.”
INTIMACY refers to the safety or security that we feel when entrusting someone with something. We might say, “I can trust her with that information; she’s never violated my confidentiality before, and she would never embarrass me.”
SELF-ORIENTATION refers to the person’s focus. In particular, whether the person’s focus is primarily on him or herself, or on the other person. We might say, “I can’t trust him on this deal — I don’t think he cares enough about me, he’s focused on what he gets out of it.” Or more commonly, “I don’t trust him — I think he’s too concerned about how he’s appearing, so he’s not really paying attention.”
The Trust Equation has one variable in the denominator and three in the numerator.
Increasing the value of the factors in the numerator increases the value of trust. Increasing the value of the denominator — self-orientation — decreases the value of trust.
Self-orientation, which sits alone in the denominator, is the most important variable in the Trust Equation. We developed the formula this way on purpose. A seller with low self-orientation is free to completely and honestly focus on the customer — not for his own sake, but for the sake of the customer. Such a focus is rare among salespeople (or people in general for that matter).
The truth in selling is that you succeed more at sales when you stop trying to sell. When all you focus on is helping prospects, they trust you more and buy from you more as