The guy was smiling, really smiling as if he was attempting to show Jack all his teeth.

I’m Terry. Elite Training And Development.’ Terry’s hand was well manicured and he had a gold chain on his wrist and several rings on his fingers.

Jack grasped the hand with his own sweaty paw. ‘Jack. Ummm…needing a coffee.’

‘Well you’re holding a coffee Jack, there we go – believe and receive!’

Jack nodded, waiting for Terry to let go of his hand, but Terry wanted to chat so Jack took a sip of his Starbucks triple shot latte while still holding hands with a stranger.

‘Why are you here Jack?’

‘They pay me to be here.’

‘Haha, I can see I’m going to have trouble with you,’ said Terry. ‘But why are you in this training, what do you want to get out of it?’

‘Yes,’ said Jack, suddenly lighting up. ‘That would be amazing!’

‘Sorry, what?’

‘I would love to get out of it. How do I do that?’

‘No Jack,’ said Terry, looking slightly less peppy. ‘I asked what you wanted to get out of the training. I wasn’t offering you a way out.’

‘Oh.’

When they both stopped talking, they were no longer two people introducing themselves, but rather two grown men holding hands. Jack would have happily let go, especially as more of his colleagues started filtering into the training room but Terry seemed determined to make this as awkward as possible. Jack took another sip of his coffee.

‘So need help closing Jack?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Do you need help closing the deal? We’re going to be doing a lot of work on getting people to sign on the line today.’

Jack nodded thoughtfully. ‘Sounds great, except that with these new computer things, no human has signed anything in a decade.’

Terry went to speak.

‘But I understand, you’re the upbeat training guy and I’m the downtrodden worker who’s going to be uplifted and motivated by your extensive knowledge gleaned from reading every sales book ever written but truth be told, I’m here because I have to be. Now is it okay if I let go of your hand and sit down and start practicing my best alert-and-totally-not-sleepy face?’

The room had filled and people were watching Jack and Terry’s conversation, but Terry seemed to interpret Jack’s pleading speech to leave him alone as a challenge to whatever tenuous authority he possessed. ‘I know you Jack, heck I used to be you. Don’t worry.’

‘Well I’m worried now that you’ve said that.’

‘Welcome everyone,’ said Terry to the group. ‘Today we’re going to be learning about how to make money. And how do we make money? We get people to trust us. And how do we get people to trust us? Jack.’ Terry pointed at Jack.

‘What?’

‘How do we get people to trust us?’

‘By being true to ourselves, demonstrating integrity in all that we do and delivering on what we promise?’

Terry nodded slowly. ‘That’s one way to go. But today we’re going to learn how to build trust quickly. You’ll have your clients eating out of the palm of your hand.’

‘So we shouldn’t write down Jack’s answer?’ asked Miriam.

‘No, we’ll be doing it my way.’

Miriam scribbled out ‘integrity.’

‘Come up here Jack,’ said Terry. ‘Don’t worry.’

‘Please stop saying that,’ said Jack.

‘Let’s give Jack a round of applause.’ Everyone clapped gently, probably hesitant to show appreciation to Jack for standing up.

‘Now Jack, we’re going to do a trust exercise.’

A nervous chatter made it’s way around the room.

‘Do you trust that I can make you the top salesperson in the company?’ asked Terry, putting his hands on Jack’s shoulders and looking him in the eyes.

‘Yeah, of course I do.’

Terry looked surprised. ‘Really?’

‘Of course Terry, you seem motivated, talented and highly capable. I have no doubt in your ability to make me the top salesperson in the company.’

Terry smiled, impressed at his ability to break down the resistance of even the most difficult person. ‘See that?’ said Terry looking into the small audience. ‘Jack has trust in me and if he follows the Elite Training nine step process he’ll be top salesperson here in no time. In fact, in record time. Jack, who’s the best salesperson here at the moment?’

‘I’ll go get him!’ said Jack, filled with enthusiasm, embracing the nine steps of Terry. He practically ran out the door.

Five minutes passed and Terry was still staring at the door Jack had sprinted through. ‘It’s Jack isn’t it? He’s the top salesperson.’

‘Yeah, that’s why I was writing down that integrity thing.’ said Miriam.

Terry took a deep breath. ‘Okay, Miriam come up the front here and let’s talk about trust.’