How to Build TRUST in a “Fake News” World


If you are a salesperson, you’re going to have to build the trust of your prospects and clients. If you are a leader, you must have the trust of your team. If you are an entrepreneur, building a virtual or brick and mortar business, you must build trust with anyone that comes in contact with your brand.

Sadly the term ”Fake News” has now become part of our everyday vernacular. You can’t turn on the TV or open up a web news page without seeing a clever meme that pokes fun of the yellow journalism that has now permeated our society. When you see and hear a news story, we now (almost automatically) have to filter it through our own BS meter. Fake news has become a dangerous weapon for those in the mainstream media with a definite agenda.

But it’s not only the media that spreads Fake News. Career politicians (from both parties) are almost universally untrustworthy (and untrusted) because we know that they will say anything (or do anything) to win enough votes to get elected, or stay in office. Then, there are the business leaders of some of the largest corporations in the nation that have bold-faced lied about issues that affect our safety, the environment and our finances.

When I was a kid we used to trust people in positions of power when they told us something, right? A trusted journalist, a world leader, a CEO…when I was a young man their word seemed to be golden, you could trust what they were saying. (At least to a much greater degree)  

Trust is the pool in which we are all swimming, and because of what’s occurring societally, trust from the people you sell to or want to hire is way down!

So given this, what changes could we—in the business of selling our products and services and building our brand—make to build (or rebuild) trust?

What can we as salespeople, entrepreneurs and leaders do differently? Allow me to throw out a few key thoughts and phrases I want you to think about and do some work on:


If you have the same goals and objectives as your prospect or the person you are coaching or working with, then trust comes easier. However, if you are out to get the better of them, take advantage of them in some way, then I assure you, they will figure you out and they simply won’t trust you.

So you first need to make sure that you are in alignment with the person that you want to have a business dealing with. If you are not, then you need to do a check up from the neck up…and you probably don’t belong doing what you are doing because you are not making the world a better place.


Simply said, don’t lie. Don’t say anything that isn’t 100% true and accurate. Don’t repeat something that you were told to say (such as a product claim) if you don’t know it to be true. If you want to build trust (and a big, sustainable business) then you must trade only in the truth. You must have ZERO tolerance for anything but the transparent truth of things.

Guard your greatest ASSET

In business you have many assets to protect, and it’s my opinion that none are more important to your success than trust. Building a business is much like growing wealth. The great Warren Buffett says, “The #1 rule of investing is don’t lose money. The #2 rule is see rule #1.” If Mr. Buffett is right then you must make sure you don’t squander whatever trust you already have in place. It seems simple, but it is key. Trust is a real asset, and should be treated as such. As communicators, we have to make sure we’re totally honest, and if we make a mistake, we admit it. Everyone involved in your total business process has to think about building and maintaining trust. It starts with the way products are built to how they are marketed and the experience a customer has when they purchase them.

Tell your STORY

In his 2005 publication, The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman explains that the world has become a more level playing field. Because of the WWW we can all develop a platform and have a voice. We can all become an evangelist for what we believe in and we can (and should) tell our story. You are able to communicate who you are and what you are passionate about. So go on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. Tell the world about why you do what you do and why we should care.

Figure out how to best tell your story. If people know who you REALLY are, then trust will come easier.

STAND for something

I often make the mistake of mouthing off about what I’m AGAINST. (That’s because there’s so much ignorance and hate in the world today) I’m trying to stay more positive, and you should too. It’s not enough to talk about what we’re against. We have to communicate what we STAND for. The more clearly we articulate what we stand for (and why) the easier it is to be clear on why we take the actions we do. Most importantly, when people understand who we are as an individual or a company, it’s easier to tell a story about our products and our services, and it’s easier to recover from any mistake we might make.

Okay…I know you get it.

If you’re reading this article it means that you care enough about how you are being perceived by people around you to want to make sure that you are doing everything right.

If you make sure that you are aligned with the people you want to transact business with and you trade only in the truth, you’ll have a heads up on about 80% of the other business people out there. If you are willing to take a stand and passionately articulate who you are and why you do what you do, you’ll break away from the pack and rise to become one of the top income earners in your chosen industry.

One last word about trust from Under Armour, CEO, Kevin Plank:

“Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets.”

Make sure that you are earning trust in everything you say and do!

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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, and The CAP Equation©.


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