Article: Trust & Intimacy - Walk With Your Client

3rd July 2013 | By Frances Pratt

Intimacy & Trust.JPG

This is the third article on a series of sales tips on Building Trust.  The first two articles were on building trust through Credibility & Reliability.

Intimacy is the most important element on the top of the Trust Equation. 

Intimacy is when your client is happy to talk to you about sensitive issues or personal ideas.  This can be the problem or an emotional connection that they have with the problem they are trying to solve. 

Building intimacy helps you to increase what you know about the person, which is risky both for them and you. 

Be careful when approaching people with intimate questions.  They will give you answers when they are ready to trust you.  You will only know this by testing the waters. 

Intimacy is done by asking probing questions that gives the other person room to comfortably answer or avoid.

Here are some examples of phrasings that might be used to build intimacy:

“Bob, it looks to me like you aren’t happy with your existing provider.  I want to be able to show you that we are different.  Would you mind sharing with me the reasons you are thinking about leaving your existing provider?”

“Some clients that we work with have a similar problem to you.  They tell me that it makes them feel frustrated that they can’t control that part of their business.  Do you feel the same way?”

Intimacy is mutual and developed through sharing your rational and emotional hand first.  The adage “you have to give to get” applies!  If you are willing to take the risk of divulging something intimate, then the other person is more likely to normally feel comfortable to reciprocate.

Tips for Building Intimacy:

  1. Be first to give … then wait for your client to respond
  2. Ask questions that aren’t ‘normal’ for your industry
  3. Ask questions that use ‘feeling’ words
  4. Give them an easy way to avoid the question


Intimacy is built over time … so be patient!

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