Attitude, Responsibility, and Trust
the A.R.T. of Credibility
By Tom Donoghue
buy from people they trust.
"How long have you been married?"
"Do you have kids? How many? What are their ages?"
"What kinds of things do you like to do outside the office?"
"Why should I buy from you??"
I stood there, stunned. Here I am, hosting a night out at an NHL hockey
game for a prospective client, and my prospect is busy asking me these
questions! My questions! I thought I was the sales guy here, not him!
What in the world was going on here? This was a first for me, and I told
My inquisitive prospect then explained to me something I had learned,
and apparently forgotten, long ago. His message was about credibility.
His message was this:
People buy from people they trust.
Since he and I had found each other through a trusted mutual business
contact, we were both naturally curious about each other. However, the
foundations of our curiosity were so evidently different, so incongruent,
that it has quite literally changed the way I have begun to view human
interaction in my life. I was interested in his business, his budget.
He was interested in me. I can see now how utterly selfish I was.
After the hockey game, I spent several painfully introspective days examining
my approach to business, and life. I had become hardened, a little cynical,
and presumptuous. I blindly believed that prospective clients were so
busy, so inundated, and so equally cynical in their thinking that they
were comfortable foregoing the development of personal relationships to
get on with the business at hand. "Whadyasellin?" Get in, get
out. I couldnt believe I had devolved to this level of professional
business etiquette. I vowed to change.
The more I peeled the onion of my life, searching for core truths, the
more I cried. I was not serving myself, or aspiring to serve others, at
all. It wasnt always like this. At one time I was a thoughtful,
service driven sales pro. But these days, I was more focused on my own
goals, my own agendas. It wasn't the "me" I wanted me to be.
Thats when I stumbled on a simple solution, one I could relate to
immediately, and one which was easy to remember and act on.
Although this piece is called The A.R.T. of Credibility, I have already
begun to substitute other words in place of Credibility. The A.R.T. of
Parenting, Husbandry, Selling, Growing, Living. So far, it seems to be
working. If it can work for you, its yours to have.
A.R.T. stands for Attitude, Responsibility, and Trust. Its so simple,
and for me, so redolent with truth, I cant believe it took this
long to boil my life down to these three simple points of conduct. I am
forever indebted to my prospect for jarring me awake.
A.R.T. is simple, but it is not easy. Im struggling to continually
apply the following principles, each of which functions as its own check
and balance system.
Attitude: Be ready
and willing to serve, with no thought whatsoever to what is in it for
you. I believe that this is my single weakest link, and I have to continually
remind myself to work in the service of others every minute of every day.
Responsibility: Take total responsibility for yourself, always. No blame,
no regret. It is incumbent on you not to act irresponsibly, or allow anyone
elses behavior to reflect irresponsibly on you, your efforts, or
Trust: This is the biggie. Trust is everything in human relationships.
Without trust, there is no foundation for growth, partnership, or mutual
value. Without trust, everything becomes one sided and deceptive. Trust
is everything. Be willing to place your trust in another person, and never,
ever take advantage of someones trust in you.
So, thats my story. If practicing the A.R.T. of Credibility makes
you rich, or happy, or enlightened, just imagine how the people around
you will feel as a result! Give it a try.
© Tom Donoghue
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