Building Rapport in Business
“We convince much more by deed than by word”
WHAT RAPPORT IS AND ISN’T
Rapport simply means mutual trust. Building rapport means building trust with another person or business. The more trust we build, the warmer the relationship. The warmer the relationship, the more likely it is that the other person will buy from us.
People are invariably attracted to and like people whom they trust. People buy from people they like.
Rapport happens in business, when you are seen by the customer to be acting in their best interest.
Rapport is not charisma. People commonly confuse charisma with the ability to build rapport. Having charisma does help, but it’s not important in business. In business, personality has very little to do with building rapport.
GENERAL LIFE RAPPORT AND BUSINESS RAPPORT
I divide Rapport into ‘general rapport building’ and ‘building rapport in business’ because:
- Building rapport in business is not the same as building rapport in everyday life. When we build rapport in business, we are satisfying different criteria to building rapport in general life.
- A business environment affords opportunities to build rapport that are not available in everyday life. This is very important.
- A common mistake is to presume that people in business want to have rapport with you, the salesperson. That’s not true. They want rapport with the brand represented by you.
The following are things we can all do to build rapport in general life and in business. These are things that have nothing to do with personality or attributes and they can be done by anyone.
GENERAL LIFE RAPPORT BUILDING SKILLS
– Inflect your voice (don’t speak in monotone)
– Give a good professional handshake
– Give good eye contact without staring
– Dress impeccably
– Smile, even on the telephone
– Pay sincere compliments
– Subtly mirror the other person’s mood and posture
– Ask Relevant, intelligent questions
– Listen attentively
BUSINESS RAPPORT BUILDING SKILLS
- Tell relevant and pertinent business stories
- Plan your questions and question intelligently
- Demonstrate that you have been listening and that you understand what has been said
- Send and agree a meeting agenda
- Send and agree minutes of meetings
- Present a relevant proposal that address needs and wants
- Make follow up (customer service) calls after the sale
- Have integrity (do what you say you will do and do it promptly)
- Speak fairly and positively about the competition
- Be Punctual
- Defend your customer’s interests within your company
- Learn and use the customer’s jargon and do not use your own
- Don’t be a pushover
- Never interrupt or over-talk your prospect
- Build and send your prospect a customer charter
- Under-promise and over-deliver
- Demonstrate knowledge of the prospect’s business and industry.
For more detailed information on building rapport, please contact us using the ‘Contact Us’ option on the home page.