Sunday, April 27, 2014
Building Rapports with your Prospects
What is Rapport?
Rapport is a close and ambiance relationship between 2 or more parties, in which the group of people feel similar with each other and can communicate well with one another. It is displayed in mutual attention, mutual understanding and coordinated behaviors. Building rapport with prospects is deemed as one of the most powerful and fundamental sales techniques, which is used by experienced salespersons to build strong relationships with their prospects, and allow them to gain trust and influence quickly and effectively.
How to Build Rapport?
Mirroring is one of the common tactics used to build rapport with your prospect, by matching your body language, emotions, tone of speech and behaviors to that of your prospect. Notice his sitting posture, relaxed and cross-legged or sitting up straight, leaning forward or backward? Did he do any gesturing while speaking? If he leaned forward and indicate interest while conversing, you might want to follow suit too to show your interset. Match the tone and volume of his voice. Should he cracked a joke and started to laugh out loud, you might want to laugh out loud too.
However, take cautious care not to overdo this excessively, as you do not want to give your prospect an idea that you are parroting or mocking him.
(2) Maintain Eye Contact
It is important to keep an eye contact with your prospect when you are conversing with him, as it a basic social etiquette to do so and it is considered rude not to maintain eye contact to who you are talking to. Also, wondering eyes sometimes indicate a lack of interest with your client and topic, or might convey a sense of untruthfulness in your words.
(3) Share a Common Interest
This is the technique of deliberately finding something in common with your prospect, such as a shared interest, common likes or dislikes, with the aim of building a sense of camaraderie and trust. If you find that your prospect likes fishing which is also one of your hobby, talk to him about it or suggest a fishing trip together. If you find that he has 2 kids, probably you can share with him your experiences, both good or bad, that you had with your own children. Conservation of a common interest allow you to go deeper into the topics with your prospects, providing more value-added contents and depth into the conservation.
Giving gifts or doing someone a favor will sometimes trigger a feeling or obligation to return the favors, though you do not directly ask for something in return.
5 Levels of Rapports
In theory the intensity of rapport built with your clients can be distinguished into 5 separate levels, increasing gradually in intensity down each level depending on how deeply connected you are with your clients:
(1) Superficial - Greetings, simple introductory sentences (eg. How are you?)
(2) Details - Conveying of more information and details
(3) Thoughts and opinions - Exchanging of respective opinions
(4) Emotions - where feelings and emotions are involved
(5) Peak Experiences - Opening up and sharing of interests and topics which one is passionate and excited to talk about
HubPage - Building Rapport with your Prospects