How to dump the trust bucket, fast!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 | Trust Marketing with
Posted by: Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Dumped BucketI was at a networking event talking about trust-building (of course).  One of my favorite questions to ask is “Do you think a marketer has to earn trust?”  Usually, I get a “Yes, because….” kind of answer.   The woman I was talking to at this particular event, had a story to tell instead.

You may or may not have heard me talk about the trust bucket.  I’m always talking about how you are either filling it or dumping it.  Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.  It just depends on the situation.

This woman had a fast trust-bucket-dumping story for me and I loved it!!  I’ll share it with you.  Pay attention to the personal boundaries in this one.  Crossing personal boundaries is the fastest way to dump the trust bucket.

This woman has a sign on the side of her car that advertises her business.  It has her phone number which is her cell phone.  One day, she pulls up to a stop light and her phone rings.  She answers.  The guy on the other end says he’s in the car next to her (and waves at her).  He continues by saying he can make an advertisement that would wrap her car.

First of all this woman isn’t big on the car wraps.  So, she says no thank you.  Then he pushes and starts going into all the benefits of having a car wrap.  She still says no.  It took a couple more times of saying “no” for the light to change green.  Then the woman hung up the phone to drive.

What’s the moral of the story?

1) Don’t cross personal boundaries. - Take down the number and call it later.  Don’t sit in the car and wave at the potential client.  That’s just creepy!!  Pay attention to when and how you contact people.  Contact them in normal situations.  Don’t make a new situation up that the other person won’t appreciate.

2) DO take “no” for an answer. - When you first meet someone  and they flat out answer you with a “no” or “I don’t need that” or “I’m not interested” then accept that for answer.  For NOW.  You can always check in with them later and see.  Which brings me to the next one…

3) DO ask if it’s okay if you talk about your business when in a non-networking situation. This guy didn’t even ask if now was a good time, or try to arrange a meeting.  He just assumed she wanted to hear about it and went into the pitch!  Ugh!  Ask permission to market before you do.

This woman felt railroaded by the guy and felt like she had been stalked.  So, of course, she’s never going to call the guy.  He just lost a potential client and/or referral.  Trust bucket…Dumped!

What would your thoughts be if someone tried to market to you this way?


  1. 1
    Sharon // November 1st, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Ewwwww! Creepy!! I’d feel the same way she did. Definitely not a way to earn trust.

  2. 2
    Melanie Yost // November 1st, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Great article! Boundaries are so important to consider when building trust and often people over look them. It’s all about reading social cues and paying attention to your prospect’s boundaries because what is okay for you, may not be okay for them.

  3. 3
    Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert // November 1st, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Melanie, Yes, knowing the people in your target market is the key to being able to build trust. If you don’t know their boundaries, their likes, their dislikes, their struggles etc… they will ignore your marketing. Thanks for jumping in!

  4. 4
    Kim // November 1st, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Kristen

    I’m viewing this story from another perspective, from the question: “To Advertise On My Car with Cell # or Not?” Perhaps my post would be titled: “2 Pitfalls to Using your Car as Advertising Space”. One - Expect that someone, most likely a stranger, at sometime will ring you up while sitting next to you at a stop light. If it is going to creep you out - best not to invite it by having your cell number on your car. Personally, it would probably creep me out so I wouldn’t participate by inviting it. Second - If you don’t always want to be “on” professionally they don’t be a traveling billboard for your business. It is natural for people to expect you to be “on” professionally when they see YOU and YOUR BUSINESS together. It invites networking.
    So if someone tried to market me like this, I would be taking the signage off my car, or getting a removable magnetic one and the event would have served as a reminder to take it down! And - not to answer the cell phone when driving :)
    I wholely agree with your #2 point - no means no.

  5. 5
    Jenn Givler // November 1st, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I have a trust bucket story for ya! Now, this takes a little explaining, but I would actually love your feedback.

    A couple of weeks ago, I get this voice mail. The woman on the other end tells me her name is Alicia and that she was just talking to my “friend” Michelle last night. Michelle told Alicia that I was a very nice person and that I would be able to help her with a school project she was working on…

    Something about this didn’t sit quite right with me… perhaps because Michelle is actually my Sister-in-Law (also my friend, but you get the idea ;)). My instincts told me that this person - if she really knew Michelle would refer to her as my sister-in-law.

    So I dug back through our caller id. I see this same phone number tried to call us several times through the week. Now, didn’t this chick just tell me she only talked to Michelle LAST night?? If that was true, why would all of these previous phone calls be on the caller id?

    I contact my Sister-in-law. Lo and behold… she has NO IDEA who this person is. Trust bucket officially dumped.

    The woman continues to leave two more voicemails… one in which she refers to herself as a friend of Michelle’s (now, wait - remember - my sis in law has NO CLUE who this woman is…).

    Curiosity gets the best of me, I call back. I get her voicemail. I am straight up honest with her and tell her that the reason I didn’t call her back is that Michelle actually has no idea who she is, and she’s leaving really vague voicemails. If she actually wants to speak with me, she’s going to have to tell me what the call is about.

    Took her TWO DAYS to return my call. She finally explained in this latest voicemail that she is a Cutco knife sales person. Michelle had given my name as a referral to another rep TWO YEARS ago - and Alicia is just now following up on those leads.

    Trust bucket officially kicked. Needless to say, I won’t be calling her back.

    I’d love to hear your feedback on this situation - specifically, if this woman came to you as a client - what would you tell her?

  6. 6
    Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert // November 1st, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Hey Kim,

    Yes, I do think we need to be very conscious about what kind of connection we are creating when we make a marketing decision. That is definitely the other side of the coin. So, thanks for pointing that out.

    Create a great day!

  7. 7
    Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert // November 1st, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Hey Jenn,

    Great trust bucket dumper story!!! I’m always in favor of honesty up front. Even if it loses you the client. Better NOT to burn bridges as this woman has done with you.

    I would’ve suggested that Alicia be totally transparent about why she was calling on the voice mail. “Hi, I’m Alicia. A couple years ago Michelle mentioned you might be interested in some Cutco knives. I’m a representative in the area and would like to touch base with you. You can reach me at…” I might’ve also suggested that she reach out via snail mail or e-mail (or both) before making the call, just to get the client a bit warmer.

    Alicia out and out lied to you. Lies get you nowhere. You didn’t even have proof and you sensed there was something fishy. That’s why you have to build trust from the VERY beginning. Because there are little nagging voices in our heads (that are actually GOOD for us) that will clue us in when something’s not right. Honesty and transparency win out every time. Trust Pillar #4 = Transparency. There’s a reason it’s a PILLAR of trust-building.

    Create a great day!

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