first of the 5 Cs of Trust is Character. Character
is the combination of qualities that distinguish one person
from another. Put another way, your character is who you
are on the inside. It’s the things you do if you
think no one’s ever going to find out. Aristotle
said, “Character may almost be called the most
effective means of persuasion.” People of character
have integrity, honesty, sincerity, and maturity. In
in a Korn/Ferry
and UCLA-conducted study, it was found that 71% of 1,300
surveyed senior executives said that integrity was the
quality most needed to succeed in business.
integrity to be the foundation of character. In the Bible, integrity
to individuals whose actions match the
teachings and word of God. In his best-selling book The Seven Habits
of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about how integrity
is crucial to one’s ultimate success:
If I try to
use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other
do what I want, to work better, to be more
motivated, to like me and each other—while my character is
fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity or insincerity— then,
in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed
distrust, and everything I do—even using so-called good human
relations techniques—will be perceived as manipulative. It
simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how
good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there
is no foundation for permanent success. Only basic goodness gives
life to technique.
is like having a rock solid dam. People know a good, solid dam
hold and provide many benefits, such as
electricity, water, and recreation. If you are perceived as lacking
in integrity, however, it’s like having holes and leaks in
your dam. When the leaks appear, everyone downstream abandons their
trust in the old dam and seeks higher ground. Respect is lost and
they place their trust in someone they believe has greater integrity.
We can all learn from the wisdom of the ancient Israelite, King
Solomon. He is recorded as saying, “A good name is more desirable
than great riches.” If owning a good reputation is like owning
gold, then owning integrity is like owning the mine. Abraham Lincoln
gave another good analogy: “Character is like a tree and
reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it;
the tree is the real thing.”
Notice my choice of the words “perceive” and “believe” in
the preceding paragraph. It is wise to avoid even the appearance
of anything one may consider as immoral or as a breach of integrity.
It is human nature for people to cast sweeping judgments and
even spread their opinions when they don’t have all the
facts. If you never place yourself in a situation where one might
be misled about you or your integrity, your good, hard-earned
reputation will never be compromised. D. L. Moody once stated, “If
I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of
itself.” Don’t ever do the type of things that would
make you or your family cringe to hear or read about. Striving
to maintain integrity is like having a Guardian Angel. If you
pay attention, it will keep you on track. Remember the adage
of Phillips Brooks, a nineteenth century clergyman: “Character
is made in the small moments in our lives.”
stands as a worthy role model for one who wants to develop character.
He once said, “When I lay down the
reins of this administration, I want to have one friend left. And
that friend is inside myself.” This was a particularly poignant
desire given that Lincoln was criticized so viciously when he was
in office. Nevertheless, he always remained true to what he believed
in his heart was right and true.
The Latin root
of the word “sincerity” is sincerus,
which means “without wax.” Pillar sculptors sometimes
used wax to hide their mistakes so they could still pass their
work off as unflawed. Years of weathering eventually revealed their
deception. So, a sincere person was considered to be one without
wax or camouflage. Today, wax or no wax, the average person can
sense falsehood, deception, or insincerity. There is more to being
honest than just not getting caught in a lie. Author Joseph Sugarman
explains, “Every time you are honest and conduct yourself
with honesty, a success force will drive you toward greater success.
Each time you lie, even with a little white lie, there are strong
forces pushing you toward failure.”
ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments
and convenience, but where he stands at times
of challenge and controversy.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
increases when we are big enough to own up to our mistakes and
People can forgive weakness, but they
won’t be as quick to forgive cover-ups. Oftentimes, if a
salesperson is open about a weakness or drawback in a particular
product, he or she still closes the deal. If you can present both
sides of an issue, you will be considered more fair and honest.
Often your honesty will be the characteristic that wins people
over. It is better to risk rejection than to hide something your
prospect will find out later.
marketing sells. Companies that reveal a product’s
weaknesses are perceived as more honest and trustworthy. Many master
marketers can turn that weakness into a positive selling point.
When we reveal the negatives, not only does it increase trust,
but the prospect opens her mind and the negatives are always accepted
as truth. Think of the following examples:
Avis™ – We
are #2 and we try harder
Listerine™ – The taste you hate twice a day
7-UP™ – The Un-cola
L’Oreal™ – Because I’m worth it
Volkswagon™ – VW will stay ugly long
the next Millionaire Diamond Mine, we will review
the Second of
the Five Cs of Trust: Competence.
taken from Magnetic Persuasion by Kurt Mortensen
Mortensen, author of Exponential Success Skills and Weapons
of Influence, is one of American’s leading authorities
on Persuasion, Motivation and Influence. After receiving a
Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Arts,
he began many successful entrepreneurial ventures, through
which he has acquired many years of both experience and success.
In addition to his extensive entrepreneurial and sales experiences,
Kurt is a sales and persuasion coach helping thousands of people
reach higher levels of success, income and persuasion mastery.
Currently, he is a speaker, consultant, and a Trainer for Mark
Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen Protégés.