Sales – How to Build Better Quality Rapport with Clients

Sales – How to Build Better Quality Rapport with Clients

Anthony Robbins said “Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make them feel that you understand them, that you have a strong common bond.

No doubt you have heard that people buy people a million times right?

We know it’s true and we also know that people buy people who they trust, like and believe in.  For years we have been training this into sales teams and it is as important today as it has ever been.

But is it enough? What if the person you are selling to, doesn’t want to build personal rapport? what if they don’t connect with you?

There are sales people who really pride themselves on their ability to get on well with almost anyone. Highly personable, charming and engaging who wouldn’t want to listen to these lovely people. Well surprisingly quite a few.

In today’s business world, there are those client’s who just don’t want to be a friend.  Imagine. They are not interested in you, they do not want to talk about their weekend, or the football or what a specific celebrity might be wearing.  They are only interested in how you can make them money.  So you better snap to it.

Client’s are more switched on today to sales people than ever before, they know the tricks and techniques and some can be so switched on that they even use them against the sales person. So what’s the solution? Can we actually build business rapport?

New sales people are often trained in the relationship sale and yet they need more, they need to have specific information and insight that they can bring o the conversation that can be more meaningful than the usual rapport building nicey nicey stuff.  In their book The Insight Sale, Schultz and Doerr talk about this as ‘resonation’ and their are two types.  Resonation is about connecting, clicking and really making a leap in the conversation with the client. In the first, you can resonate either emotionally, which is traditional rapport building where the client ‘likes’ you. They might even end up being friends with you if the situation were different. The difference is the second, and this is technical resonation, this happens when the client realises that you really know your stuff, and that you can demonstrate that what you offer really can make a difference to their business and that you have researched them and can bring something special and relevant to the table, regardless as to whether they like you or not.

How does this manifest itself in the sales conversation?

Traditionally when we meet clients we create smalltalk, (that link will take you to a blog to help you with creating smalltalk) powerful rapport building, and as I mentioned some clients do not do this. If the sales person senses the client is not the personally engaging type, the angle of the opening conversation needs to turn to business and quickly. Engage the client by asking about something that could stimulate their curiosity and get them to ask you questions,  as an example, what they are currently looking at on LinkedIn, or talking to them about something you have seen going on in their market that they might have seen too, or even bring straight to the conversation a piece of insight, research or intelligence  You could even have this as a printed item if you are meeting face to face.  I often have something I have seen in the press, or online that relates to their business and ask “did you see this?”.  When the client at this early stage starts to ask you questions you are engaging in ‘technical resonation’.  They respond with questions such as “how did you find that out?”, “what did you think of that?” “do you see a lot of this type of thing when you talk to other clients?”.

I know it sound obvious, and you might think that rapport building is about blending the emotional with the technical,  however, creating a distinction in the conversation, stops us as sales people not seeing what is right in front of us. Talking to people this way works better when we observe the clients responses to our personality. When you are next with a client, start by engaging as a friend, if that works great, have a chat, connect emotionally, laugh a bit then steer the conversation to business.  If the client shows no interest, then make the decision to move the opening conversation to business, not the specific questioning, but the market, insight related that will connect with the client in a technical way.

Of course you could be really brilliant and do both, emotional and technical which is brilliant.

Enjoy building better rapport and resonating with your clients and thank you for reading.

This blog forms part of sales training, if your business needs relevant sales training that can really make a difference, for no other reason that it is delivered by someone who actually sells, then get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

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