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Trust Agents 8b: Trust Agent

Written by ScottWilliams

trustOne of my favorite people that have ever worked for me is a lady by the name of Dana; she was my Office Administrator during my tenure as a Warden. What I loved about Dana is that, no matter the question her answer was always yes.  To this day the tagline on her e-mail simply reads “Starting From Yes!”

Brogan closes out the second half of chapter 8 outlining a similar principle to the one Dana lived by and that’s “Yes, and…”  From the perspective of improv comedy, it’s not just about agreeing with people but rather adding to the story.  Brogan writes “Yes, and is important because it helps contribute to any scene in which improvisers are involved.  So when you’re on stage, it’s always more important to accept what someone else just said (that’s the Yes) and then add to what they’re contributing (that’s the and).”

This “Yes, and” mentality ensures that the Trust Agent is always open to the possibility.  Think, Dream, Build, Leverage, Connect…  How do you successfully do those things?

  • Making Friends– It’s not about just getting out and making friends it’s about adding value to the relationships.  In business it’s about adding value to the customer.  Often times people will ask me what do I do that successfully works on Twitter and my response is being real, being random and adding value.  Value Breeds Value and People Like Value, if you don’t believe me just sit at a McDonald’s Drive-thru and watch 90% of the people order a Value Meal!
  • Start Small– Start small, gain success, allow that success to propel you to your first victory, leverage that success and maintain the momentum.  Those with larger access get more access; those with less continue to get less.  Take the appropriate small steps and over time success will happen.
  • The One Difference– Ask and answer the question: How do I want to be known or talked about?  Act accordingly!
  • Be Wary Of Praise And Awards– Don’t be so focused on the number “Imagine that your web presence is a store and that those pageviews are potential customers.  Does it matter how many people walk around your store if they are not buying anything?” I think you know the answer.  Identify your goal (Personal Brand, Help Non-Profits, Selling Books…) and measure your success based upon that particular goal.

In the closing pages Trust Agents outlines several sections of bullet points that really drives home, in my opinion the key point, How To Become Trustworthy.  Below is one of those lists:

  1. Write a content marketing blog about a passion of yours,
  2. Build a small, powerful network. (Sidebar- Read Seth Godin’s Tribes)
  3. Become a brand name specialty.
  4. Master leverage and use it for good.
  5. Sell by generating human trust.
  6. Make an army to power your change.

These types of strategies will always come with naysayers; however that’s with anything that is new or successful.   The bottom line is that in the online and offline world “Attention is and will continue to be our scarcest resource.”

I’ll close with this brief story.  A couple of months ago I sent out a tweet that read “I’m looking on craigslist for an i-Phone.” I had 20 or more responses from people asking how much I wanted to pay and if I wanted to buy theirs.  I finally connected with a lady from Wisconsin who sold me two new i-Phones for half the price of everyone else.  She had mailed the i-Phone’s to me before I had sent her the money.   Her words to me were “I have been following you online for awhile and I Trust You!

A Trust Agent starts from “Yes, and…” build trust and creates a following that says “I Trust You!”

Share your thoughts/experiences with any of the above thoughts on building, leveraging and creating trust.  Who do you know that does this well?

Scott Williams is… Husband, Father, Leader, Thinker, Campus Pastor, Speaker, Diversity… Al Gore invented the internet and I invented the #FistBump on Twitter! He blogs at

About the author



  • Wow, a great book this was 🙂

    Two things that stand out for me in this last chapter; Building and Creating – things that take time, patience, deliberate effort and intentional strategy.

    With the building and creating continuing even after people can say “I Trust You”.

    a journey


  • “Yes, and…” is a lesson I needed to hear. I have a very active truth detector. When I read a blog post if I agree with 90% of if it and disagree with 10% of it, my gut reaction is to want to “No, but…” the 10% (disagree with and debate it).

  • The still small voice doesn’t just apply to listening to God; it also applies to how we approach people.

    Trust Agents has given me the tools needed to, as Phil mentions, slowly build a tribe. Rather than using a megaphone, as many Internet marketers recommend, we need to just listen to other voices and speak softly in return.

    Listening first is primary. Speaking softly often means bouncing the conversation back, rather than taking it over.

    This is a strategy that needs to be applied to evangelism also. Sometimes we get so caught up in sharing the gospel we forget to listen to the other person’s real need.

    Build the trust before building the tribe.

  • Good insight here man. The tagline “starting from Yes” is a difficult thing for me. I used to say ‘yes’ to everything. I over-worked myself and eventually became burned out. I get what Brogan is saying with the ‘yes’ thing… I just don’t know that it’s practical all the time.

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