One of the fastest ways to build rapport and trust is to prove, in concrete terms, that you are looking out for the client’s best interest. Zig Ziglar said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them.

One tried and true strategy that I use to prove to a client that I care is something I call ‘Reversing Field’. In football, when a player carrying the football reverses field, he goes the opposite way to avoid getting tackled by the defense.

In sales, when someone thinks you’re going to go one way, you surprised them by going the other way thereby catching them off guard and opening them up to being influenced by demonstrating goodwill. Here are two examples to illustrate my point and how it can help you make more money:

Scenario 1:
You walk into a restaurant and then escorted to your table by the greeter who tells you that your waiter will be by in a just a moment to take your order. After a few minutes go by a nice young man introduces himself politely and asks, “May I start you out with a beverage or a drink?” You order your drink and then the waiter tells you about Today’s Specials. After rambling off the list of specialties and before he quickly darts off he says, “Let me go get your drink and I’ll be back to take your order.”

Minutes later the waiter comes back with your drink. Then he grabs his pen and notepad and asks, “Are you ready for me to take your order?” You decide to order one of the Specials. The waiter pauses for a moment and looks at you and says, “The last two people I had in here before you ordered the same plate and in both cases they weren’t very happy with the way it was prepared. If you’re really hungry for that type of dish, try this other dish. People love it! It’s a bigger serving and $5 cheaper than the Special.” You instinctively agree. As the waiter leaves you think to yourself, ‘Wow, what an honest waiter. Not only did he save me from ordering something I might not like, he saved me $5 in the process. I like this kid.’

Result: The meal was great. You usually tip 15%, but for his honesty and kindness you feel the need to reciprocate and show your appreciation so you decide to leave the kid a 20% tip.

Scenario 2:
You walk into a car dealership to browse around and look for a car. You walk past a few cars on the showroom floor and one of them catches your eye. Out of nowhere a salesman appears and says, “I can see you like this car. My name is Bob. You’re lucky I got to you before one of the other salespeople. They’ve been trying to unload this car for the last month. Let me tell you upfront that it may look good, but you don’t want the headaches that go along with it.”
At this point you have to slap yourself mentally to make sure you’re not dreaming. ‘Did a car salesman just tell me NOT to buy a car?’
The salesman than takes the time to escort you around the car lot telling you the pros and cons of each car you're interested in. After a while, he figures out what you’re looking for (i.e., Your Dominant Buying Motive) and helps you narrow your choices.

Result: You feel comfortable with his recommendation because he seems to understand your needs and you decide to buy a car that is 10% more expensive then the one he told you NOT to buy.

The old adage that honest is the best policy holds true here. With so much information available to buyers today, they need someone they can trust who won’t steer them in the wrong direction when making a purchase. This is the premise of consultative selling. People need help making critical decisions. Position yourself, much like the waiter and car salesman, as trustworthy and you will reap the benefits in the end. Seek to serve, then to sell. Demonstrating goodwill is a powerful influencing technique if done correctly and with integrity.

Exercise: How can you use this ‘Reverse Field’ strategy in your business to create trust and goodwill between you and your client?

Author's Bio: 

Victor Antonio is a sales trainer, speaker and author. He has a BSEE, MBA and 20 years of sales experience which include President of Sales for a $420M company. His program Sales Influence is a designed to help sales people understand what motivates people to buy. For more info go to: