People hate being sold to.

Think about the last time someone tried to ‘sell’ you something. How did it make you feel? Most people say ‘It made me uncomfortable’ or ‘I could see what was coming and I immediately felt like I needed to get on the defence’. And yet, when the shoe is on the other foot and we’re the ones doing the selling, most people will still revert to a ‘hard sell’ approach – going down the path of a traditional sales pitch meeting where they talk all about themselves and their business or offering.

The problem with this approach is that it undermines trust and positions you to build a technical relationship where you usually only win on price.

Win work with successful tools and techniques shared by Keith Dugdale, co-author of Smarter Selling: How to building trusted relationships and win work.

For more than 15 years, Keith Dugdale, co-author of Smarter Selling: How to grow sales by building trusted relationships, has been teaching people the skills they need to be able to do exactly this. Techniques that Keith developed by observing the best-of-the-best professional services sellers over many years working in a Big 4 consulting firm in Europe, Asia and Australia. Techniques he has since taught thousands of people around the world with outstanding results.

The secret is that by switching your focus from the hard sell to building trust and adding value, you will end up not only with better meetings and more satisfied buyers, but more sales as well.

And now you too can access his proven techniques through The Academy of Trust.

The Academy of Trust is the online learning portal developed by Keith Dugdale and Kathryn Koch, the team behind The Business of Trust. The Academy of Trust offers online, self-paced learning, supported by optional email, group or 1:1 coaching with Keith and The Academy of Trust team.

Some of the benefits past participants have experienced from the training include:

Shortened Sales Cycles

By focusing on adding value and building trust work comes in sooner.

Higher Margins

By adding true value to decision makers and senior executives there is less focus and pressure on price.

Increased Confidence

By focusing on embedding their skills in real practice, participant confidence levels are increased and a higher proportion of well-intended relationship plans are actually implemented.

Do you want the confidence to avoid the traditional sales pitch?

Who should join?

The Client Magnet

The Meeting Magnet

  • You work in a B2B or professional services environment where selling is part of your role, but is not something you feel particularly good at or enjoy doing.
  • You find it hard to think of a reason why buyers would want to meet with you for a reason other than hearing all about your product/service.
  • When you finish meetings with prospective buyers they often say things like ‘can you send me a brochure/capability statement?’.
  • Once you leave meetings with prospective buyers you often don’t hear from them again, and you’re not sure how to set up the second meeting.
  • You also experience the items listed for The Meeting Magnet.

The Meeting Magnet

  • You’re finding it harder and harder to get in the door of senior decision makers, or you don’t know why a senior decision maker would want to meet with you.
  • You find yourself putting off writing sales emails or making BD calls because you simply hate doing it, or you rarely get a positive response….if you get a response at all.
  • You feel like writing sales emails is like taking a shot in the dark.
  • You find yourself meeting with ‘peers’ rather than the true decision makers, because it’s less out of your comfort zone.

What you get

The Client Magnet

The Meeting Magnet

  • 6 Modules
  • 50+ videos
  • More than 10 hours of instructional content
  • Self-paced, on-demand learning
  • Online support

The Meeting Magnet

  • 3 Modules
  • 20+ videos
  • More than 3 hours of instructional content
  • Self-paced, on-demand learning
  • Online support

What will I learn?

The Client Magnet

The Meeting Magnet

  • How to quickly build trusted partner relationships with prospects and clients.
  • How to create an environment where people want to buy, so you don’t have to sell.s
  • How to give your meetings better structure.
  • How to read other people’s behaviours and quickly build rapport.
  • How to effectively follow up your meetings with impact.
  • The critical elements of a successful client strategy.
  • All of the learnings from The Meeting Magnet.
  • And more.
Become a Client Magnet

The Meeting Magnet

  • Why most sales emails don’t work and how to write ones that do.
  • A proven formula to get the meetings you want with people you’ve never met.
  • Different types of buyers and how to make sure you’re targeting the right ones.
  • What to do next based on the responses you get to your sales emails.
  • How to get second meetings.
  • How to deal with objections.
  • And more.
Become a Meeting Magnet

Our no risk guarantee

Signing up to The Academy of Trust comes with no risk – either you get loads of value that helps you to get the meetings with the clients you want and win work more quickly, or we will give you your money back for up to 30 days after your registration.

Here are just a few of the companies we’ve worked with over the years to help them transform the way they sell and build client relationships:

How does the Academy of Trust work?

Complete the modules in your own time

When you sign up to the Academy of Trust you will get access to our member only website and your course modules for either The Client Magnet or The Meeting Magnet. Each module includes a series of videos and a workbook to help you put everything you’re learning into practice.

It's up to you to choose when you will watch the modules and complete the activities, so you can move at your own pace. However, you should expect to spend (roughly) 2-3 hours per module watching the videos, absorbing the materials and completing the nominated activities.

Sign up as a team

Want to do it with your team? No problem! If there are 5 or more of you, contact us for a special team rate and to discuss group coaching options including supporting your training with group zoom coaching calls.

Optional coaching

To help support your learning, we offer optional coaching packages that participants can access to get either email, group (minimum of 2 people) or 1:1 coaching from Keith or another member of The Academy of Trust team. In your coaching sessions you can ask questions, get feedback, discuss your own unique BD & client challenges, and most importantly, practice what you are learning in the modules. Pricing for coaching starts from AUD$120 + GST and can be purchased directly from the 'coaching' tab in the online portal.

What are people saying about The Academy of Trust?

The skills you learn during the course are highly practical and easy to adopt in day-to-day scenarios. Despite this being an online course, Keith presents the materials in a highly interactive way and the group calls are awesome. This course allows you to learn from others all around the world, which is priceless.

Elizabeth De Silva, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant, Urbis

Keith has co-developed the only relationship building and selling skills program that has helped me sell.

Jean Eagar, Principal, Personal Brand Management

I attribute the skills I learnt at Keith’s course to making my targets in my first year. I did the course in October and did 50% of my annual target in the 2 months leading up to the following June. I feel the skills I learned allowed me to build the relationships that saw me hit my numbers last year.

Joe Feredoes, Senior Account Manager, AUS IT

For those of you who want to impress your clients, Keith can coach you on how to do so with integrity, honesty, creative lateral thinking, pragmatic support and humility. One of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with.


Sean Neely, Manager, Bid Management, ASB Bank

We have been working with Keith for close to three years now as part of our drive as a business to become closer and more valuable to our clients. In order to do this, it is critical that our team build the skills and confidence to have broad business conversations at all levels of the organisation. Our thinking has evolved from working with Keith – our approach to people, both internally and externally, as well as how we position our value proposition.

Cameron Douglas, Executive Director, VideoPro

In my first year with one consulting engineering firm I brought in $100,000. In my second year I brought in $150,000. I then attended Keith’s program and in my next nine months I brought in $500,000.

Rhys Davies, Executive Director, ACT, ontoit

The work that Keith did was a key element of the change (in) building the ability of our team to have more commercial conversations with our clients outside their normal technical areas of expertise. The ultimate measure of success for us, as well as the significant growth we experienced, was the feedback from the business community: “We are not quite sure what Aurecon are doing – but it is different and we like it”.

Nick Gordge, Director Built Environment, Aurecon

I have attended dozens of sales training courses and read almost every business book about sales and building relationships over my 20 year sales career. Out of all of them, I am only willing to recommend one. Keith Dugdale has literally written the book on building relationships as a deliberate sales strategy. He walks the talk and is a genuine expert in the field second to none. The great thing about Keith’s philosophy is that it stands the tests of time and application in the real world. There is no hint of ‘slick tricks’ with Keith, just proven methodology and right mindsets that get results.

Alan Blair, Business Consultant, ArcTree Consulting

I use the example of my experience as an outsider coming into Australia and in less than 6 months developing strong client relations and eventually growing our work in the areas of the business where I was focused. The use of the (Meeting Magnet) approach really helped improve my chances of getting in the door. The combination of a more focused approach from your training, and something of value to offer our clients, made a very powerful combination.

Joe Chapman, Vice President Water (USA), AECOM

Working with Keith has given me a new outlook on building relationships with prospective clients that are ‘real’, and by that I mean relationships focused on understanding and delivering what clients actually want, while working from a position of mutual respect and trust.

John Guida, Partner, GMB Architects

The (Meeting Magnet) approach has been very beneficial to our team when engaging with both clients and prospective clients. It is a terrific tool that drives the client focus we seek at all times. This has been important in building our lawyers’ skills to become our clients’ best partner, which is fundamental to our overall strategy. We have found it resonates with lawyers at all stages of development. There are many examples where the approach has led to excellent outcomes for our team.

John Steven, Partner + Head of M&A Division, Minter Ellison