Trust is what makes society work. When we drive, we trust that other drivers will respect the rules of the road, staying on the left side of the road, and travelling at a safe speed. So many other parts of our life depend on trust to work.
Personal and professional services also work on trust. When my mechanic tells me my car needs repair, I have to trust him: first, that there’s something wrong that needs fixing, and second, that he can fix it. The same is true of doctors, dentists, engineers and real estate agents. We trust them to correctly diagnose the situation, and then advise the best solution.
So, why do we trust some people more than others? Why are doctors, nurses and firemen (for example) highly trusted, whereas real estate agents, politicians and lawyers are not?
Author, David Maister in his book “The Trusted Advisor” offers a formula which explains trust and helps distinguish trustworthy people from others. For Maister, Trust is comprised of the sum of competency, reliability and intimacy. But these values are discounted by the client’s perception of the professional self interest.
For example, a real estate agent may appear to be competent (having the necessary knowledge), reliable (doing what they say they’ll do), and engages well (understands the client and their situation). However, if you believe the agent is only interested in earning their commission, your level of trust plummets.
Maister’s formula looks like this:
Trust = (Competency + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self Orientation
Understanding this, helps explain why Cox Partners avoids paying sales people a commission-only based remuneration. Commission-only salespeople tend to work with an extraordinarily high level of self-interest, because they only get paid when they can persuade you to do something – which may actually be primarily for the salespersons benefit, rather than in your best interests.
At Cox Partners our people receive a generous base income (which is for maintaining our service quality and standards) plus performance-based bonuses. This configuration is more appropriate for trusted professionals because they get remunerated for delivering the best possible outcome for our clients.
We expect our people to be distinguished in three ways: their positive attitude; their knowledge & skill; and their competence & results.
As a potential seller or buyer my hope is that you’ll put our standards to the test, by giving us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you.