How-to-Build-Rapport

Business Relationship building in every transaction is a skill that can be developed into a natural personality attribute. Whether it is communicating with your prospects or customers, suppliers or alliances, staff members or shareholders, your ability to establish these relationships (rapport) and build mutually beneficial relationships, can directly impact your businesses evolution and profitability.

We all know that people do business with those they identify with and trust, but how do you establish that in a matter of minutes? Here are ten tips to help you build rapport to ensure a successful relationship eventuates.

  1. Find common ground
    • Finding common ground. When you talk to people try to find out what you have in common with them. Like attracts like and conversations are always more positive when the person you are talking to views you as being similar to them.
    • Best practice could be asking different questions and listen closely for commonalities. For best results try to find professional and personal commonalities, like sports, similar business interests and even recent international or domestic events. Just make sure it doesn’t feel like an interrogation!
  2. Good eye contact
    • When you’re speaking to someone your eye contact will let them know you are interested and listening. If you’re looking around the room or at others, they won’t feel like you are paying attention to them and potentially feel that you are not interested in the conversation.
    • It’s fine to look away every now and again to not seem as though you are “staring” them down, though for the most part maintain good eye contact. Deep down we all just want to be heard and this is a silent way of letting them know you’re listening.
  3. Open body language
    • Another way to let the person you’re speaking to know you’re interested is to have open body language. Face your body toward them and at times even lean in when they are talking, this will show them you’re engaged. Try to avoid leaning back, facing away from them or crossing your arms, as this can indicate you don’t agree or that you’re uninterested.
  4. Facial expressions
    • Be conscious of your facial expressions when people are talking to you. If you’re yawning they may think you’re bored or disengaged (even if you are just tired), if you’re frowning they may think that you disagree with them and if you’re smiling and nodding they will think you agree or are telling them to go on.
    • Obviously there are exceptions to these rules, depending on what is being talked about. If they’re recalling an upsetting event or telling you about a frustrating situation, then of course frowning and shaking your head in disbelief is a perfectly appropriate expression.
  5. Confidence and approachable
    • People are naturally attracted to sincere individuals, welcoming people so make sure you are happy and friendly. Not only will it make you more likeable, you will also help those who are nervous to feel more relaxed around you.
  6. Be genuine
    • Before the first day of school, first jobs, camp, and any family get-together, Dad always said, “Just be yourself and everything will be fine.” This lesson applies to generating rapport with prospects and customers.
    • Be genuine. Don’t invent an alter ego, create a new persona, or change your voice to a “sales-like” or “professional-ike” tone, they are not expecting John Laws. Relax, smile, and go in with a positive attitude. Good things will follow. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
  7. Be warm and friendly
    • Cold people get cold responses from other people. Approach rapport building with the intent to be warm and friendly. Smile, give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and engage.
  8. Show interest
    • Make it about the client not about your company, people love talking about themselves so ask questions about the business and not only about what you can do for their business
    • This is quite helpful to those of us in selling because we need to learn about our prospects before we can provide the best solutions.
    • People want to feel like they have an opening to share what they’re thinking, including their desires, fears, and problems. The more genuine interest you show the more relaxed and willing to share they’re likely to be.
  9. Give genuine compliments
    • Being overly complimentary with get you nowhere, but genuine compliments are well received. If you like the office, someone’s web site, or are impressed with their book, say so.
    • If your prospect had a recent accomplishment, relay your authentic congratulations. This can go a long way towards building rapport and they’ll appreciate it
  10. Read the culture
    • Be responsive to the client, their business and read the culture of the business and client by the way they are dressed, hope the office functions and the language that is used
    • You can also get a pre-understanding by reading the website and looking at the imagery to get a feel for the business culture. Be cautious as sometimes the website may only portray the culture and not be the actual culture of the business

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, your prospects have many options and are looking for a salesperson they know they can trust to work in their best interest. Salespeople who fail to put an emphasis on developing trust and rapport actually do a disservice to their customers and in effect, leave the backdoor open to their competition. In addition to generating new sales, developing strong relationships will keep competitors at arm’s length and your business on the books! Check out To Sell Or Not to Sell?, for the next step and sales guidance.

 

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How to Build Rapport
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How to Build Rapport
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Rapport is essential to building key business relationships. Read our 10 easy steps to build rapport, using body language, facial expressions and more.
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DigiGround
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