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Earning trust is critical to establishing a robust business relationship. But it gets complicated when you drill into the research to determine how to do this.

Think about your own relationships. Who do you trust? I mean really trust. Who would you rely on to look after your spouse after your death? Or to be the executor of your will or the guardian of your children in the event you both die?

Now ask yourself this question: Why do you trust that person? What is there about them that gives you that special feeling?

Three magic words

An article in Forbes noted the dictionary definition of trust is, “feeling safe when vulnerable.” In those moments of need, we turn to someone we trust for comfort and guidance.

Elements of building trust include reliability, transparency, competency, sincerity, fairness and “openness and vulnerability.”

Most advisors meet those standards, except the last one.