An Easy Tip for Building Rapport in a Sales Conversation
This post touches on some rapport building techniques which if applied correctly will transform the way that you build relationships.
I learnt this from reading some of the great authors whom are authorities on the subject. So let me start by bringing to light their techniques.
First of all Dale Carnegie, in his book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ he identifies some truly profound concepts which I believe would aid any sales icon in their rapport building. I highly recommend you read this book at some point, but to help you in your rapport building I have highlighted those which I believe to be integral in this area:
- Become genuinely interested in other people
- Remember that a mans name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language
- Be a good listener
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
Just reflect on those points again and ask yourself how you can apply them? I personally had those exact points fixed to my notepad, therefore every moment of the day when I used this (such as in meetings with a customer) it would be there in front of me as a constant reminder. With every single interaction these points would be filtering through my mind one after another, as I knew if I could apply them I would build a strong rapport.
Dale Carnegie isn’t the only person to have this view, Steven covey muses in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ how one of the sweetest words to anyone is their own name. This couldn’t be closer to the truth. Deep down everyone you meet is self-involved to some extent, everyone’s favourite subject will always be themselves.
But why is this? Well the psychology around this is that it’s defined as Implicit egotism, which is the concept that we all possess, at least at some level, a certain self-centredness. As human beings we have an unconscious preference for things associated with ourselves.
Take a group photo, chances are you look for yourself first, then maybe family and then people you know. It’s ingrained into our psyche, yes some people will be more self-centred than others, but to some extent we all are.
So we should use this knowledge of Implicit egotism to our advantage. Every meeting shouldn’t be solely business and only business. Spend some time to try and find out more about the person you are speaking with, be personable, I promise it will pay off tenfold. Ask them about their hobbies, their family, their career history and note it all down. Then for any further interaction you have they’ll be some resource in your locker to get their guards down straight away. If they like football you can ask them if they saw the game on the weekend? Or if they have a young daughter you can enquire how they are? What they enjoy?
The takeaway is to focus on the person. Use the techniques that Dale Carnegie and Steven Covey brought to light, be conscious of implicit egotism and benefits from it!