Building Rapport in Sales

One of the most critical skills needed for an effective sales process is the ability to build rapport. 

Rapport is sometimes the most challenging part of the sales process, yet it is the first thing you must establish. Everyone seems to have a different way of doing this, but some “golden rules” should be adhered to, ensuring you can move on to the next step.

There are 6 Golden Rules of Rapport, according to Philip M. Jones (March 27, 2020).

  1. Put on a Smile – “The first decision anyone makes when they meet you for the first time is whether they find you attractive. I’m not talking about a romantic attraction — I mean that they’re deciding whether you give off a warm, magnetic glow.”
  2. Show Genuine Interest – “The way to show real interest isn’t to turn the conversation into an interview by asking one question and moving on to the next. You want to uncover this person’s layers by absorbing their answers and using them to ask another related question about their life. Instead of asking, “How was your day?” and moving on, follow up by asking something like, “What made it so great?”
  3. Listen Actively – “When you’re talking with a client or someone in your network, you should never be thinking obsessively about the next witty thing you’ll say while they’re speaking. If you want to encourage them to talk about themselves, all you need is to provide a silence for them to fill. If you’re trying to convince your client of something, you’ll often be highly successful if you just let them talk freely and come to your conclusion on their own.”
  4. Use People’s Names When Possible – “What I mean is that you should use your client’s name sparingly and meaningfully to create significance. Saying, “Steve, it was great to meet you today,” instead of just, “It was great to meet you,” makes Steve feel a lot more special. This strategy doesn’t just apply to the client’s name. You should remember any name they bring up in conversation and take note of it to personalize their experience later on.”
  5. Keep Their Interests at the Forefront – “Instead of saying, “We offer an extended warranty,” you can say, “When you choose us, you’ll benefit from an extended warranty.” This phrasing helps your client visualize what it’ll be like to choose your services and makes them feel like you actually care about delivering the benefits you promise them.”
  6. Sincerely Make Them Feel Important – “It’s the thought that counts in these scenarios. When you’re looking to make someone feel important, put some serious thought into the best way to do it. You’ll find a way to lift them that’s individualized and makes them feel amazing.”

As a salesperson for almost 20 years, I’ve been asked numerous times how I have continued success in such a competitive field? The simple and most honest answer I can offer anyone is the ability for my customers to “like me.” It is common knowledge that people buy from people they like! Nothing could be more accurate. If your customers like you, they also trust you. These two key ingredients equal success and ultimately how you start to build rapport.

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