Sales isn’t an easy game – it can be very hit and miss, and many prospects are finely tuned to be able to identify a cold call. If they suspect they’re being contacted for telemarketing, there’s a good chance they might immediately hang up, especially if you open with a cliché sales line that doesn’t engage the prospect.
This can mean you miss targets and potentially sacrifice a healthy income, but there is a way around it: build rapport. It’s something not many salespeople focus on when it comes to telemarketing because they assume it’s more of an in-person tactic, but it’s entirely possible to build rapport on the phone, and if you want to meet targets, it’s essential.
Unfairly, many people view salespeople as distrustful, but if you build a good rapport with someone, you’ll be able to elevate yourself past this stereotype and show your worth. So, what exactly is rapport and how do you establish it?
In a nutshell, building rapport means developing a connection with a potential customer that extends deeper than the solution you’re trying to sell them. For example, you might be an insurance salesperson and are selling a product people have a legitimate use for, but there’s no reason why the relationship between you and your customer can’t go further than the insurance.
If you ask the prospect relevant questions, not only will you get to know them more and potentially find them a better solution to their problem, but you can also provide excellent customer service which may serve you well in the future when it comes to lead acquisition and word of mouth recommendations.
Questions to Build Rapport
To build good rapport, you need to avoid only sticking to a sales script. It might be tempting because it’s the easy option, but customers will know right away if you’re reading from a script and it will only make the whole experience feel more impersonal. To avoid this, ask open-ended questions and do your research, especially if you’re cold calling.
Some examples of questions you can ask to build rapport are:
Do you have any plans for this summer?
This is far better than asking what someone did at the weekend because they can talk openly about any future plans, and you can bounce off each other organically.
What made you want to get into [client’s industry]?
This is a good question for B2B telemarketing because you’re giving the prospect a chance to open up to you and give you more industry insight which may be useful in the future.
I saw on social media that your company recently did [charity event/collection/activity], how did you find that? Was it fun?
This is another way to show that you’ve done your research and gives a personal feel to the call that the customer will notice and appreciate.
I see that you used to work at [previous company], I know a few people who have worked there, what made you make the move to [current company]?
If you want to connect with a customer, add in anecdotes. Don’t lie, but if you can relate to them on something like previous workplaces, drop it in – they’re far more likely to remember the conversation and your name, which can lead to more sales in the future.
These are just a few examples of open-ended questions that will aid you in building a positive rapport with your prospect. The key is to be confident, approachable, and personal – these are all things people remember and attributes that can close a sale.