The Purpose of the Trust and Respect Inquiry

Jacques Werth has taught that the primary reason for doing the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI) in a sales situation is so that you can find out whether you can trust the other person or not.

My opinion on this is a little different.

Although I believe that the TRI can be effective in discovering most of the people who might try to cheat you, I believe that this is not its most important purpose.  I have never found a dishonest person by this method, and I have only heard Jacques tell of 2 or 3 cases where he actually discovered someone like that.  And in one of those cases, he chose to do business with the prospect anyway (and ended up regretting it).

I believe that the most important purpose of the Trust and Respect Inquiry is to find out about people.

Why is it important to find out about people?

  • High Probability Selling is a personal way of selling.
  • If we are going to work with people, we will do a much better job of it when we understand them well.
  • The time to find out about what it will take to work with someone is before the sale, not after.
  • The TRI is even more valuable when it is used outside of selling.  In my opinion, the TRI is the most valuable thing we teach.

Note:  The Trust and Respect Inquiry is a special process within High Probability Selling where we ask questions about the other person in a particular way.  An early version of this is described in the book, High Probability Selling (in the chapter titled “Establishing a Relationship”).

I’d very much like to hear thoughts and opinions from people who have a lot of experience doing the TRI.  Please use the comments feature, because I’m sure a lot of our other readers would like to hear from you as well.

The Purpose of the Trust and Respect Inquiry