If you are a communicator, a recruiter, a salesperson, or a development director, the more exposure to new people you have, the more effective you are at your job.  

But being known is not enough.

Social platforms have made it easy for us to “know” a lot of people, yet familiarity is no longer enough to get those we engage to take action.

If you are going to be effective at persuading someone to take action, you need to consider this formula:  

Know + Like + Trust = Action

Let’s break it down.


Discovery is the first step of any relationship. Thankfully in our connected world, discovery is easy. There are a lot of channels and places people can discover about you and what you offer.

The problem is that you are now one expert in a sea of experts. Your education, experience, and accomplishments can be dwarfed by many others who have degrees from better schools, experience with larger organizations, and whose achievements are much more significant than yours.

That’s why the next phase of this process is essential.


I know a lot of people. Not all of them I like (shocking, I know). Years ago, I was considering hiring a very well-known expert. I read his books and watched some of his lectures. He was expensive, but we could use his expertise and experience.

After meeting with him, I decided not to hire the man. The bottom line: he was not likable. Frankly, he was a total jerk, but let’s stay with the original concept.

In a LinkedIn post, I wrote about how likable people get ahead; you can read it here.


This is the final and the most crucial part of this formula. Without trust, you cannot persuade someone to take action.

We all know people we like, but we would not trust them much. Maybe they are entertaining or gregarious, but you find it hard to believe their stories and claims.

“I only believe 50% of what he says,” I found myself saying about someone. He did not close the deal. Building trust in the age of social media takes more than claims and endorsements.

The fastest way to earn trust is to show proof of your claims.

My last post was about sending out an email with a 76% open rate. That’s a big claim.

I knew some people would have a hard time believing it. So I took a screenshot of the email campaign results page and made that part of my post.

Instead of a written endorsement, I ask my clients to send me a video of why they choose to work with my team and me. Sometimes I ask them during a Zoom meeting and record it.

Trust is paramount, and presenting proof along with your claims will help you build trust much faster.

If you are in the business of persuasion: communication, sales, recruitment, or donor development, the K.L.T. formula should help you be more effective, close more deals, find more people, and raise more money.

Keep making a difference