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Trust is the Real Sales Accelerator, with Stephen M. R. Covey [Episode 587]

Stephen M. R. Covey, Co-Founder and CEO of Coveylink Worldwide, and author of the worldwide bestseller, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything, joins me on this episode.


  • Stephen says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is building a relationship of trust with the customer or prospect. It’s a whole new way of competing and it’s a huge differentiator for selling. You have to move a lot faster.
  • Character and competence, combined in equal share, make a person or a company credible. Credibility leads to prospects having confidence. Credibility establishes your reputation. Credibility and behavior lead to trust quickly.
  • The quickest way to build trust with someone is to make them a value-added commitment and keep it. Repeat the process. The first job of sales is to create trust. The second job is to create value. Keep these in order.
  • Andy gives a case study of a client committing to respond to every lead within 30 minutes, which doubled their sales. Stephen ties this to keeping commitments and the reps’ building self-trust as they did so. Make, keep, repeat.
  • Companies view the ability to make good decisions quickly as a competitive advantage. Reps then can help them do that will build trust. It becomes an upward virtuous cycle. Don’t think that trust takes a long time.
  • Sales is being driven by metrics. Trust is a hard asset that is quantifiable. It is an economic accelerator. It affects the speed at which we move and the cost of everything. There is a formula for creating trust.
  • Sales is trust monetized. It is a natural extension of the relationship established. Then come referrals, where trust is transferred from your customer to your prospect, who buys faster, and at less cost for marketing.
  • Technology and AI tend to disintermediate the rep from the relationship. The opposite should be true. With more technology, the trusted advisor relationship becomes even more important.
  • We can’t outsource trust through the content we produce. It starts with the people. Your first contact will determine whether you win the deal. Stephen talks about the eBay exception, which builds trust through the system.
  • Stephen gives a case study on a company using a Speed of Trust workshop to build trust in their team as well as in a prospect. At the end, the prospect did go with the company that invited them to the trust workshop.
  • Andy compares medical care to sales. People want to talk to a trusted doctor, not to a website.  The same is true in sales. We research our purchase online, then we talk to a trusted sales rep. That last step is the most vital.
  • We have the ability to be better at creating trust. Read Stephen’s book. Reinvent yourself. Self-trust precedes relationship trust. Disruption is the mother of reinvention. It helps us stay credible. Trust is learnable.