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  • Diana Schneidman

I’m a-thinkin’ that Know Like Trust is a load of crap

Here’s why I think it is a load of crap.

KLT portrays all three elements as equal in importance.

First they Know you, then they Like you, and then they Trust you.

Sounds good. But in practice, I simply don’t need all three to purchase a service or product from someone.

The most important of the three—by far!!—is Trust.

The classic example for analyzing the sales process is the surgeon. How do you choose your brain surgeon?

While the decision for purchasing most other services and products is not life-or-death, the same judgments come into play.

When I buy, all I care about is Trust. I must Trust that the provider or product I go with is really expert advice or implementation.

Yes, a case can be made that Know is most important. You can’t buy from someone you’ve never heard of. There’s a certain incontrovertible logic there.

But in practice, you can come pretty dang close with little more than the name. If your surgeon is head of brain surgery at the Mayo, you may schedule the appointment and buy the plane ticket, at least for a diagnostic appointment if not actual surgery, with but the sketchiest data on the individual who will operate.

That’s because the Trust is so strong that it can overcome a weak Know.

Now about that Like thing.

Way overrated!

When it comes to spending real folding money, Like isn’t so important.

All I care about is that I can trust the product or service to deliver on the promise.

I don’t care what they are watching on TV and how great their kids are and if it is raining in their city and exactly which Starbucks they are tweeting from.

Yes, some of this stuff in newsletters is interesting. I actually scroll down sometimes.

But it in no way builds Trust. I follow some individuals who I am certain I will never buy from. Nor would I recommend them to others. Because I don’t think they are all that smart in terms of the information they offer.

Originally posted 1-23-11

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