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How to Connect and Build Trust with Enterprise CXOs

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Trust is the bedrock of business relationships.


Zig Ziglar (author of the bestseller, “Secrets of Closing the Sale”) identified trust as an essential condition to make a sale (in addition to need, want, money and urgency). Even if all else is good, without trust, you will lose the sale.


How can you foster trust with your video?


How can you go beyond basic levels to create awesome trusted relationships?

3 Levels of Trust


There are 3 levels of building trust.


The first two are well understood. We routinely use these in our pitches. Name Dropping, anyone?


Level 1 -- Good: Credentials

Level 2 -- Great: Reputation


A note of caution: there is a fine line between building trust (which is good) and trying to impress (which actually hurts your video effectiveness). I see this mistake very often.

After you establish credentials, reputation, and success stories, elevate trust to:


Level 3 -- Awesome

Build Awesome Levels of Trust


Would you like to make a deep impression on CXOs? Have them to want to work with you? Boost your value (and therefore your pricing power) in the customers’ eyes?


Deep trust goes beyond credibility.


Win trust across their mind, heart, and gut level (see “How to make your video memorable and persuasive”).


How? You have to build Empathy, Shared Values, and Understanding.

Start with “Why”?


The first part to building awesome trust is Empathy.


You need to align with their goals and desires.


The alignment starts with “Why?”. Why do this? Why now? Align on the vision, purpose, and core.


I find the following framework very effective in connecting with CXOs at a strategic level.

  • Why? Why now? What is the driving Trend, Change or Purpose?

  • How does it impact their goal, deepest desire, deepest fear? What hurdles does it create?

  • How do you enable them to overcome the hurdle to achieve their goal?

  • Your USP, value proposition, differentiator

  • What does the new world look like after they adopt your product?

In fact, this is an excellent framework for your sales story. Shared Values and Passion


The second pillar of awesome trust is aligned Passion.

Let your passion show. Your values and passion shows your commitment to the cause, gives them confidence that you will persist and invest, helps them trust you to deliver over & above.

However, the passion must be aligned. There is a right way and a wrong way.

Passion is a double-edged sword


We have all met that passionate person who mesmerized and inspired us, gave us goosebumps, who we remember for a long time after.


You have also met that passionate guy – who had you looking for the exit, would not shut up, maybe even held your arm so you could not get away!


Both were passionate. How to be like the first and not the second?


The secret: be passionate about the right thing. Align your passion with their goals. Fall in love with the problem, not the solution or the reward.


Wrong: passionate about winning, being #1

Misplaced: passionate about technology, product

Right: passionate about the impact, outcome, changing lives

 The right kind of passion is infectious. 

Understanding. Empowerment. Meaning


The third part to building awesome trust is: Understanding.


Help them understand the Relevance. Simplify. Share Insights, not just Information.

We have explored multiple techniques through this course on how to add life to abstract points, features, technology.


The most powerful technique was in the post, “How to make your video Memorable and Persuasive”. In addition to logic for their Brain, add emotion for the Heart, visualization for their Imagination, and simplify for their Gut.


To make a product or feature more intuitive, develop the Implications, show how it relates to their priorities or values, and develop the Impact, what it means for stakeholder.

Example: Simplify Complex Concepts


Let me illustrate with a concept taken verbatim from a white paper on big data:


“Females are underrepresented in the Microsoft and Facebook cosponsored image dataset COCO as well as University of Washington’s ImSitu, leading to stereotyping in image algorithms trained with this data.”


Makes a powerful statement, but… I had to read this three times to even understand it. And it creates no emotional impact. No wonder the statement is easily forgotten and fails to inspire action.


Consider the following version instead:


“An algorithm trained on the ImSitu dataset mislabeled a man standing in a kitchen as a ‘woman’. Our data is Gender biased.”


It is saying the same thing (less, in fact). Yet, it packs a powerful punch.


It systematically adds emotion for the Heart, visualization for their Imagination, and simplifies for their Gut.


Not easily forgotten or ignored.

So tell a Story 


When I was in school, we used to be taught “Moral Stories” – stories that illustrated moral values. They helped us understand, appreciate, and remember the underlying lesson -- the moral of the story.


Stories are powerful. A lesson just told is ignored or rejected. But when you convey it with a story, it is ingrained.


Stories provide Understanding. Empowerment. Meaning.


They help us understand and connect to the “Why?”.


A good story demonstrates that you understand their world, their priorities, and can help them achieve their goals.


Stories elevate you from just another vendor to a partner in success.

Looking to build a great story video? Something that makes people not just learn about, but feel your product benefits? Leverage StoryProcess to tell great stories, engage & inspire your audience, and transform your business.


Your Product has a story to tell. Tell it well.

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