Rapport: Where Ultimate Sales Power Begins

Everyone agrees that rapport is the basis of every great buying/selling relationship. In fact many would even agree that every sale starts with that initial meeting and conversation. And lets face it, rapport is the basis for trust, and trust is one of the #1 reasons that people will buy from you. I have seen people win deals because they had superior rapport, and I have seen people lose deals because they didn’t have strong enough rapport.

Here’s the challenge: Most companies and their salespeople take RAPPORT for granted. They assume that they are great at it, all of them. When I interview salespeople, I always ask them, “are you good at building rapport with your prospects?” – the answer (always) “yes, I am really good at it”. I always ask them this key question: “ok, what is your strategy to build rapport?” (Sales Leaders, I challenge you to do this with YOUR salespeople) – their answer? “um.. I don’t know, I just go do it, I just go with the flow…blah blah blah” –in all cases: NO STRATEGY. And you all know by now, those with strategy, always win over those with NO strategy.

So, here’s 3 strategies that you can employ with your sales people to build great rapport:

  1. Pay close attention to how you dress. Did you know that people start making decisions about you (called “initial impressions”) within the first 10 seconds of meeting you? Pay very close attention to your clothes (neat, pressed), your hair (professional), facial hair (MEN: did you know that in multiple studies, men with facial hair had a 35% lower perceived trustablity rating?)
  2. Pay attention to your mindset: here’s the key: you have to train yourself to look for something that you like about the other person. Tell yourself in advance “I am going to find something I like about this person” – its powerful to set the course of how your brain will think. And every time, you will find what you are looking for.
  3. Look for common interests. Likeability starts with commonality. You can find common interests by doing research prior to the meeting (Linked In and Facebook are my favorites). And the key here, is NOT that you spend most of the time telling them about yourself (big error that many make), but you spend the time in asking THEM questions, and letting them talk.

Know that RAPPORT IS POWER. And the key to being great at it? Get the best tools, get the best strategies, and practice practice practice. That’s what pays off in selling.

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