One of the most important things that a sales person needs to do before selling their product, particularly ones that have high price points, is to build rapport with a customer?
Very often when in a situation where if at an initial sales meeting with a new prospect for the first time, the sales person thinks they have to advance the Sale too far and actually even get a sale too quickly.
Building rapport is critical before we even approach the idea of closing the Sale!
This is particularly true when it is a long sales cycle style product or an expensive product.
Building rapport is something that happens one on one with a buyer.
It takes longer to build rapport with some people than it does with others. It is important therefore that we judge each situation differently. We should know if have built a level of rapport to a level where we would like and where the client is more open, so that we can advance the Sales conversation, at that time.
Some buyers do seem more open to rapport activity and dynamics that others. It can be very quickly that Rapport building happens with some people, others may be more closed or seemingly cold to our efforts and not really more open to rapport.
Is a crucial part in trust building within our sales relationships.
The speed at which you get to a trusted level in the eyes of a buyer, and have good rapport will vary from one person to the next.
Just being yourself however, is crucial in rapport building. Buyers will pick up on whether you are authentic or not. While you may need to flex, don’t compromise who you are at meetings. People like to meet and develop relationships with real people.
Some of the skills of good rapport billing as follows:
- Do your research before meeting them.
- Be open, accepting and approachable.
- Know how the customer is thinking by asking good information gathering questions.
- Value feedback and problem solving type questions.
- Be persuasive, but only if you honestly feel you are persuading about something that will build lasting value for the client
- Use good relationship techniques, good eye contact, deeper listening skills and reframing and clarifying what has been said.
- Don't try to be their friend, unless they want things to go that way.
- Be professional at all times, show up on time, say please and thank you and always do your best for the client.
This blog by Peter O’Connor, Managing Director and Facilitator, Performance Partners Ltd. For Leadership, Management, Sales, Service & Teams Training.