The ‘Know, Like and Trust’ Factor

Networking and referral expert Bob Burg is famous for his quote (from the excellent book “Endless Referrals”): “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.”

So in order to build relationships, it is important to raise your “know” factor, your “like” factor and your “trust” factor with the people from your network. What does this mean in practice?

  • Know factor. What do people know about you? What is your background? What are your interests on a professional and personal level? Which organizations do you belong to? To raise your “know” factor, it is important to fill in your profile on LinkedIn as much as you can.
  • Like factor. People like other people who are helpful, kind and not pushy. Applying a networking attitude, thinking about what you can share with other people and answering questions in the Group discussions and Answers sections of LinkedIn will help raise your “like” factor.
  • Trust factor. There are two kinds of trust:
  1. When people trust you as an expert. This part of the trust factor can be raised when answering questions in Answers and Group discussions in your field of expertise. By giving good and solid answers you will be perceived as an expert. Also your “trust” factor can increase through recommendations from other people describing your professional expertise.
  2. When people trust that you will behave in a decent way when you get an introduction or referral. This is a consequence of your behavior (see “like” factor above).

Recommendations describing your attitude will also raise your “trust” factor.

LinkedIn helps to raise your “know,” “like” and “trust” factors in many ways. And, as Stephen Covey explains in his book, “The Speed of Trust,” trust can be transferred from one person to another. When you are invited into someone’s trust, ask for introductions. It is one of the best and easiest networking actions to take.

It also works the other way around: Trust (and your reputation) can be damaged very quickly. So don’t just be a good advocate for networking contacts, be a good filter as well.Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers “Let’s Connect!” and "How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/.

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