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Sales Strategy

The Key to Building Rapport


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Today was unusual in that two very talented and successful people reached out to speak with me.  As the time spent moved forward, I recognized the commonality of the one strategy I emphasized for rapport building. 

In the 120 minutes I only spoke approximately for 20 minutes or 1/6 of the time.  I primarily listened.  Most will say that a conversation should be give and take or equally divided between listening and talking.  However, the upside to new introductions is that the listening gives you the time to truly learn about the other person. In both cases I was duly impressed. 

The fact that I listened was met with appreciation and respect in return.  Business opportunities are now being explored on both ends.

Listening in first time meetings with entrepreneurs

5 Areas to Explore:

What are they hoping to achieve and how are they planning to do it?  Does it sound reasonable and if they have a doable plan in place?

Prior achievements
What are they most proud of and are their achievements of interest to you

Values and priorities
Ask question regarding how they got started and their priorities today. 

Get the conversation on a personal note to see what they do outside of work and if you have common interests or experiences.  This serves to build the connection further.

As you hear of the people with whom they have worked in the past, consider whether they are the type you would like to meet.

Listening in Client Meetings

5 Topics to Explore

It is important to understand that “telling selling” never works as well as listening.  But in client meetings a closer balance of speaking versus listening should take place so that you appear as a professional who may lead the client to an improved solution.  The recommendation here is to speak 40% and listen 60% of the time, but do so while leading with questions.

Reason for meeting
Ask what the motivation was to spend time with you in a meeting.  This eliminates the nonsense. 

Focus on the main problem and then drill down on remaining problems and effect they have on the business.

Ask for the prospective client’s perspective of potential solutions.  Then in question form, ask if there will be interest in your ideas.

By building rapport, you are then able to have an honest conversation about monies available to purchase the complete service needed.

Ask the preferred time to implement a solution and an exact timeline for everything needing to be in place to make that happen.

By listening and building rapport throughout your meetings, the end result will be increased sales and referrals known as the Smooth Sale!

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