The Core Foundation of Persuasion - Building Trust with Your Clients

articles marketing sales and business development Aug 22, 2023

I have said several times that business is all about trust and relationships. That must surely be your starting point. So, assuming these are the foundations of your business, how do you persuade people?

Blair Warren comes to the rescue in ‘The One Sentence Persuasion Course’. And he does it in one sentence. Let him give it to you in one sentence (and I’ll spread it out over a couple of lines).


“People will do anything for those who 

encourage their dreams,
justify their failures,
allay their fears,
confirm their suspicions, and
help them throw rocks at their enemies.”


Most people rarely make these kinds of commitments explicit and so they make life hard for themselves as they attempt to serve and work with potential clients. You can do this. And so can I. 

[ABC Agency will encourage your dreams]

Whatever your clients aspire to achieve, you can help them on the way. If they are attempting to scale-up dramatically, you will support and encourage them and be part of that exciting journey.

[ABC Agency will justify your failures]

Previous agency experiences have probably not worked out; that’s why they have come to you. You need to help them understand that this wasn’t a bad decision on their part and it is not something they should feel bad or guilty about. Take this guilt off their shoulders so they don’t feel all digital agencies are con artists or that they were foolish to be sucked into buying from the wrong agency in the past…. your offer needs to be dramatically different.

[ABC Agency will allay your fears]

Of course, your client is nervous and wonders if you are making empty promises or are just like the rest. You can use stories, case studies and testimonials to make them feel confident that they have made the right choice.

[ABC Agency will confirm your suspicions]

Yes, they are aware that some things aren’t quite right. People love to say, ‘I thought as much’. So, help them confirm their suspicions (some campaigns will fail… there are no guarantees…. No-one can promise 100% success).

[ABC Agency will help you throw rocks at your enemies]

Most clients have an enemy. How often do you hear how they ‘want to beat XYZ’ or ‘hate the way RST does business’.People can unite in a struggle… It is about Us vs Them.


Let me show you how this has worked for us:

[GYDA will encourage your dreams]

We help agency leaders run the agency they want to run so that they can live the lives they want to live… if they want to sell the agency we can help them do it…. If they want to work a four-day week we can help them do it…. If they want to row across the English Channel, we can help them do it.

[GYDA will justify your failures]

Many clients come to us having experienced other coaches, consultants and mastermind set-ups. For some reason they have moved on. That’s OK. There is no shame in having selected the option that hasn’t worked out in the long-run. The job in hand is to take the learning from the whole adventure, figure out what did and didn’t work and move on. On to something not just better but dramatically different. 

[GYDA will allay your fears]

Investing in the future of your agency feels risky. Have you chosen the right partner? Do you believe the marketing promise? The use of personal testimonials, word-of-mouth recommendations (talk to any of our clients or Google HQ), case studies, white papers and benchmark materials should set your mind at rest - you are with the right people.

[GYDA will confirm your suspicions]

Yes, you are not mad and you are not alone. It is not unusual for agency leaders to be panicking in the middle of the night or working ridiculous hours or feeling like an outsider or wondering how close they are to burn out. Yes, others are freaked out by the rubbish labour market and are spooked by the post-covid economy. You are right. You are not alone, And yes, there is help available to guide you through the confusion. 

[GYDA will help you throw rocks at your enemies]

We’re right behind you as you fight your ‘enemies’, be they a toxic fraction in your team, an unreliable director, the controlling and manipulative behaviour of a competitor or an accountant or lawyer who just isn’t giving you what you want. We are on your side.

I hope that by giving you an agency version and our version, you can start to see how these five statements become rather persuasive and seductive, especially when combined.

So, food for thought. Are you just an agency flogging your stuff or do you stand for something. Do you reach out and try to offer your clients a safe harbour where they can share their worries as well as their dreams and ambitions. Which would you prefer from say, an accountant, one that is only interested in the facts and numbers and tax implications or one that is on your side? I know which I would prefer.