A few days ago I had made an appointment seeking to try a new type of service. Filling in the form on his website I asked a few questions about his service. Naturally, some of the information had been on his website, but that hadn’t been enough for me. Just a few seconds later he called, which felt like a prompt and helpful reaction. I did notice that he only answered two out of three questions. But well, now I knew the price and had an appointment. I assumed that the content question would be addressed during the appointment.
Arriving there today, a small cascade of details started to appear. They all confirmed the way the first call had worked out. We addressed the information he found helpful more than the ones I was looking out for.
While we were both talking in French, we still used a very different language.
He used a different trust pattern than I did.
For him, it was a given that he needed to persuade me of his service and that trust would be established by describing his past successes. He focused on the results, that is his success, where I was interested in understanding more of the process. He never described it.
The challenge in this situation is, that he wanted to have the sense that I was trusting him.
Sometimes this need backfires like it did in his case.
When asking someone to describe how he does his work, it can feel like asking him “are you competent?” or “do you know what you do?” This doesn’t sit well, with someone who wants to be measured by his successes. Being attached to the result he had a hard time feeling competent about the work needed to get to the result.
Thus by asking me to trust him based on his results, he basically was asking me to trust him without having the input I needed to trust him.
His business model was based on his customers doing a leap of faith.
This works well, with his personal way to relate to people. Which is to have them validate him before starting to work for them.
My desire to build trust before working with him could only fail.
We didn’t match. He wasn’t the service provider I needed. I wasn’t the customer he wants.