Every successful sales professional understands the importance of building rapport with leads and clients.
Rapport is the first critical step in establishing a sincere and lasting relationship. It builds trust, earns you respect and gets the client on your side, making them more likely to listen to what you have to say. It boosts confidence on both sides, opening the door for sales success.
But just how easy is it to build rapport? You can’t click your fingers and magic it out of thin air, and there will always be some occasions when you and your client will never see eye to eye. However, there are a few shortcuts that every salesperson should know going into a meeting.
Sales Meeting Tips For Building Rapport
- Practice active listening
Anyone can give the impression that they’re listening when another person is talking, and many people can do it convincingly. But to be sincere and start the relationship off on the right foot, you need to actively listen. This means turning off the sales patter, and encouraging the client to talk. Take in what they’re saying and engage with it, asking follow-up questions and addressing concerns. Remember – everyone loves being listened to.
- Find commonalities
Building rapport in sales is just like meeting new people in a social setting. Both sides will start off by finding common ground, such as people, interests or ideas. As a sales professional, you need to do your research ahead of the meeting to uncover things you might both have in common. There’s nothing wrong with starting off a meeting or conversation by talking about non-work topics. In fact, it can put the client at ease and help them warm to you.
- Give as well as take
A good salesperson understands the power of reciprocity. This means giving your client something of value, going out of your way to genuinely help your client, even if its unrelated to what you’re trying to sell. This not only builds trust, but it forms a kind of social contract – where the client feels a subtle obligation to give something back in return. In a sales setting, this can mean permission to call back – or perhaps something even more promising.
- Practice mirroring
Subtle mirroring your client’s body language is a psychological tactic that has been proven to make sales success more likely. Making tiny adjustments to your posture, the tone and pace of your speech, and matching the client’s energy and emotional level can all help to create a mutual understanding. But subtlety really is key here – so don’t overdo it.
- Be positive
Don’t underestimate the rapport-building power of starting the conversation off on a positive note. Your body language, tone and whole approach can instantly win a client over, but it’s important to find the sweet spot. Avoid speaking too quickly or nervously, and find a solid, reassuring pace.
Before you can use these sales meeting tips, you need to get some meetings in your calendar. IT Focus can help you find highly qualified leads and set appointments, to make the best use of your sales team’s time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 058 0100 to get started.