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.

So why do people do it?

Because they don’t know how to do it a better way, or if they do, it’s simply easier to stick to selling the traditional way that doesn’t require them to have conversations that might be outside their comfort zone.

But when it comes to sales, that zone is where the magic happens. Where people are buying from you, and you’re not selling.

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 group or 1:1 coaching with Keith and The Academy of Trust team.

What are you looking to learn?

BOFT B2B Professional Services Business Development Sales Trust Relationships

The Meeting Magnet

I need to learn an easier, more effective way to get sales meeting.

The Meeting Magnet is a three module online course where we will show you our proven formula for sending sales emails that get 80-85% response rates from senior decision makers - emails that make buyers actually want to meet with you, because it won’t feel like you’re selling them anything.

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The Client Magnet

I want to learn what the best B2B sellers do to win work quickly by building trusted client relationships.

The Client Magnet is an online course where you’ll learn our proven tools and techniques for finding the right buyers, and then engaging with them in a way that makes them want to buy from you so you can avoid the hard sell. We will share with you the techniques that the most successful professional services and B2B sellers use – no matter what their role title is.

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Your Company

I work for a B2B organisation or professional services firm.

Are you looking to transform your sales culture and help your client-facing staff to be more effective at sales and client relationships? Find out more about how we can help your company.

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What are people saying about The Academy of Trust?

The approach allows one to become more human, more holistic, and more creative in any engagement, not just business. The six-week duration of the course allows one to practice and repeat until a greater degree of comfort is established with this new way.

Jacques van Schoor, Brand and Technology Consultant, Move Brand Consulting

I would highly recommend The Client Magnet. Deep, smart wisdom is translated into a high-impact, practical toolkit that changes the way you engage in every interaction. This approach has become part of our business DNA and has resulted not only in repeat business, but also more in-depth work.

Vanessa Bluen, Managing Director, The Consultant Powerhouse

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 Illesinghe, 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

A really powerful differentiator for any salesperson.

Anshuman Anand, General Manager & Business Head, Apparel Group

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

Keith has a unique ability to take what you previously considered as conventional wisdom, flip it around and show you a completely new way of approaching the Sales profession. Keith teaches you how to target the highest possible levels in every organisation, how to correctly plan and execute sales meetings and what works in the real world.

Robert Coorey, Marketer, Author and TV Pilot Presenter

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

In the space of four years, Keith and his ENGAGE approach to business have given me the tools and the confidence to take my career in a different direction, at a much faster pace. Keith has shaken my frame of reference, and this has delivered so much for me, personally, and for my organisations. Keith has been (and continues to be), a very influential person in my career. I cannot recommend highly enough for anyone to try and get to know the man and his approach to business.

Julien Lepetit, Former Engineer, Business Development Coach at PwC

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