Building a Foundation of Trust – Zachary Ross

When Collette and I were on our 10-Star Diamond run, I knew we needed to pull out all the stops. I compiled lots of contact lists…friends and family of our team members who had yet to get involved, people who had once been uninterested but whose life circumstances had changed, people who had been involved with us years ago but who, for one reason or another, had gone inactive, Preferred Customers who we believed might now be open to becoming distributors and finally some completely cold leads we had purchased.

There happened to be a sweet, elderly woman on one of those lists who had some health concerns. She had done a little research on USANA and was clearly interested in trying our products. I explained the benefits of becoming a USANA distributor and outlined the different options available to her. Everything was going great until I told her I’d need just a few bits of information in order to sign her up.

1 – I’ll need your full name, your address, phone number and e-mail address.

2 – I’ll need all your credit card information including the number, expiration date and name on the card and I’d like a back-up card just in case the first card doesn’t go through.

3 – Oh, by the way…did I mention I’ll need your social security number?

Suddenly, this woman wasn’t quite as sweet as I’d presumed. In fact, she became quite cold and distant. She informed me she’d changed her mind and would contact me if she wanted any further information. I gave her my phone numbers and wondered if I’d ever hear from her again.

Nearly a week later I was at the Chicago regional when my cell phone rang. It was my prospect. The conversation went like this:

“Hello, is this Zachary Ross?”


“You might remember me from a week or so ago.”

“I certainly do. It’s nice to hear from you again.”

“Well, Zachary, I don’t want to offend you but a friend of mind recently had her identity stolen and I just didn’t feel comfortable giving you all my personal information.”

“Actually, I do understand. How can I convince you I’m the real deal?”

“You don’t have to. I found the phone number to the USANA offices in Salt Lake City and as it turns out they gave you very high marks! You seemed so nice but in this day and age a person can’t be too careful. I just needed to know I could trust you.”

Trust. It is central to all of life. Trust – or the lack of it – makes or breaks governments, companies and relationships. Trust is the cornerstone of our industry and the critical foundation for every long-term, successful USANA business.

Let’s look for a moment at the possible reasons this potential business partner was hesitant to trust me. First of all, she didn’t know me. If she had known me…well, who couldn’t trust this face! I’m a dad, a scout leader, Collette Larsen’s son, for heaven’s sake! But she didn’t know any of that. It’s the main reason we’re encouraged to look for business partners among people who know us, like us and trust us.

Second…think about this. How many of you were programmed from the time you were toddlers…don’t talk to strangers…never trust someone you don’t know? When we’re talking with people who don’t know us we need to remember they’ve been programmed from childhood to put up a wall. It’s going to take some extreme relationship building to break down that wall.

We’re surrounded today by ample evidence of increasing suspicion and distrust. For example, just to get to USANA’s International Convention this year I had to line up at a metal detector, empty my pockets, carry all my liquids in three-ounce containers and take off my shoes to prove I wasn’t a threat to anyone! It’s almost impossible to listen to the news without hearing stories of corporations, business people and outright con artists taking advantage of unsuspecting victims. The data bears this out. In the United States only 34% of Americans believe other people can be trusted. It’s even lower in countries where there’s been a history of rampant governmental corruption. No wonder my prospect was hesitant. In today’s business environment, trust must generally be earned before we have the opportunity to do business with someone.

In a future blog I’ll share with you three of the primary ways I believe we, as USANA associates, can earn the trust of our potential business partners and create a culture of trust within our teams.

For now, let me share a powerful quote from Booker T. Washington:

“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

Zachary Ross, COO
Larsen Global Alliance, Inc.
10-Star Diamond Director

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