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3 Rapport Building Tips to of Top Producers – #3

Rapport occurs when two or more people feel that they are in sync or on the same wavelength because they feel similar or relate well to each other. Rapport is theorized to include three behavioral components: mutual attention, mutual positivity, and coordination.

rapport3

Here is the 3rd of 3 tips for improving the first few moments together with your prospect.

#3 No pressure

Create a no pressure environment. Within the first five minutes of the sales meeting, make your prospect feel at ease. Present yourself in a way that relaxes your prospect and is void of pressure.

In chapter six I revealed the no-pressure phone script that works when a prospect returns your call. Here is a variation of that script, which you can use to put people at ease when you first meet with them:

“Today I am going to show you what we do at XYZ Company. I am going to share ideas with you that I believe you and I will both feel will benefit you. If at the end you like what you hear, then we can set something up to work together. If you don’t think what we discuss together today works for you, then that is okay too. It may not work for you now. But I want to keep the door open for a future working relationship together. Although most people who I show our program to end up doing business with us at some point, it is not for everybody. If you decide not to get involved, that is okay. I have several other people I am seeing this week. (If you can, show your calendar.) One extra client will not make or break our organization. The most important thing to me is that you are happy and that I am in some way helping you move closer to your desired goals. Does that make sense?”

I know this is lengthy. You can remove or add various sentences based on the type of person you are meeting with and the type of sale you are trying to make. No matter what you do to the paragraph, however, whether you keep it as is or modify it, your prospect must feel as if it is ok to say “no.”

Without some type of connection with your prospect, you’ll find selling to that person very difficult. So really work hard at this part of the sales process. Any old sales person can walk in and say, “Here’s what we offer. How many do you want?” But you’re a sales professional—and a top producing one at that! So showcase your professionalism by putting your prospect at ease and finding that common ground.

Now realize that some prospects may want to skip the whole rapport building step. And that’s okay. If you sense you’re dealing with a very strong Fighter, for example, who hate chit chat, then you may want to say, “Sounds to me, Joe, that you really want to get down to business. So let’s jump in…” When you do that with the appropriate people, you’re ahead of the game and, in a sense, you are building rapport with this person because you’re proving that you understand his or her needs. And that’s what rapport is really all about.

Hope you put these 3 tips into practice and have amazing success with it.

Gary Michels
Co-Founder Southwestern Consulting
Professional Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Author

 

 

 

3 Rapport Building Tips of Top Producers – #2

Rapport occurs when two or more people feel that they are in sync or on the same wavelength because they feel similar or relate well to each other. Rapport is theorized to include three behavioral components: mutual attention, mutual positivity, and coordination.

rapport2

Here is the 2nd of 3 tips for improving the first few moments together with your prospect.

 

#2 Finding common ground

Have a comfortable discussion before the meeting actually begins. Don’t rush things. You have to build a little bit of a relationship before you begin selling.

Here’s a great story about two brothers that illustrates this point. One brother was in his mid twenties and the other was nineteen. The older brother had quite a reputation with the ladies and the younger brother had a real difficult time getting a date.

After getting turned down one too many times, the younger brother asked his older brother for some advice. The older brother told him that he needed to build a relationship first by talking to women, getting to know them a little bit, and building the relationship from there. “It is not rocket science,” he said. “First, if you hit it off at a bar or on the phone, ask her to coffee. If that works well, you can ask her out to a nice dinner. And if that goes nicely, you can take a drive up to the lake. I put a moon sticker on my dashboard, and when the woman asks about it, I tell her it’s there because it reminds me of her—how when I see the moon I think about how beautiful she is with her flowing hair, romantic eyes, etc. That usually gets a big smile and sometimes even a hug from the woman. I then tell her how I’d like to be romantic with her up by the lake under the moon and stars. With that, one thing leads to another, and the game is on!”

So the younger brother decides to try it out. He meets a young lady, takes her to coffee, and then dinner. Then he asks her if she would like to go up to the lake. She agrees. Once they are there, he says to her: “See that sticker? That’s the moon. Now let’s get busy.” 

So as I said earlier, rushing things is not always the best thing!

All joking aside, before selling to anyone, look for common ground by asking questions. Finding common ground gives you something to talk about. Remember, people like to do business with those they like, trust, and respect. When you can talk about things that are of interest to your prospect, he or she will naturally tend to take a liking to you.

So what kinds of questions are appropriate?

Well, you can ask questions about their business, their successes, their families, the weather, etc. I like to say something like this: “Before we get started, I would like to get to know you a little bit. If we are going to end up working together, it would be great to know a little bit about what you like to do and what motivates you. Of course we will get a chance to talk about your business philosophy as we proceed through the process.”

One question that works especially well for me is: “Are you originally from this area, or did you move here from another area?” People naturally love talking about their hometown, so it’s a great question to get people to open up and relax.

Another way to find common ground is to simply look around the person’s office. Let’s say, for example, that you see a picture of the prospect at a golf course with his buddies. If you golf, you can say, “I love golf. I wish I had more of a chance to play. I’m so busy in this job, any time left over I spend with the family. But when I do get out, I like to play the best courses. Which golf course is that one in the picture?” This simple question can spur a conversation in many different directions. The prospect might say that he doesn’t get to golf much either, or he might say that his family is also very important. Or he might go into all the great golf courses he has played at.

If you don’t golf, you can still use the subject of golf as a springboard for building rapport. You might say: “My father (or best friend, brother, cousin, etc.) also loves golf. You know, I need to get him a nice birthday gift. Where do you recommend I get him a gift certificate for a free round?” Or you can say, “I am thinking about taking up golf. Do you have any good recommendations of instructors in the area?”

Common ground can also be business related. You can take time before the meeting to do some research about the prospect and his or her company. Do this by looking on their website if they have one, or talking to other people you know in the company or industry. You can then ask questions about things you found of relevance from your research. By you showing some knowledge of the prospect’s situation you show that you care about him or her (or even his or her company). People naturally are fond of being cared about.

Common ground is not only about the same interests; it is also about the same styles. You have likely heard of a technique called “Mirror – Match.” People who employ this technique want to be on the same page as their prospect when it comes to visual and vocal mannerisms. For example, if the prospect smiles a lot, the salesperson smiles a lot too. If the prospect leans back in his or her chair, the salesperson leans back in her chair too. If the prospect talks fast, the salesperson talks fast too. I think you get the idea. Mirror (or match) whatever the prospect does so you have common mannerisms. The key here is not to make it too obvious that you’re using this technique. You need to practice this so you appear natural and sincere.

By looking for common ground and mirror matching your prospect, you portray a distinct image about yourself—one that allows the prospect to relax and open up.

Watch for #3 tomorrow.

Gary Michels
Co-Founder Southwestern Consulting
Professional Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Author