An old saying says, “People buy from people they like.” And it is true to a great extent and research has even proven likewise. When you have a strong relationship with someone, you tend to have more influence on that person. That means, for the customer your experience and advice are very valuable, therefore, they are more likely to value your contribution to the decision process, and there is a great chance of this customer turning out to become a “long-term” customer. One of the best methods to develop a strong relationship with a customer is ‘building rapport’.
Having a great rapport with someone enables you to be at a level above the others as it helps in smooth communication because it allows people to be at ease. Sometimes rapport happens naturally, you might instantly hit it off with someone. Other times, you have to be more deliberate in building rapport with someone. In sales, building a rapport with your prospect is of critical importance, as it inadvertently helps both the prospect and the sales rep to sort everything out.
Here are a few ways to build rapport in sales.
#1. Give your Prospect a Chance
In order to build a good rapport with your prospects, it is important to give them a chance to speak. This is easy to understand. When was the last time you found something really interesting in what your counterpart was saying without them giving you a chance to speak. When you give your prospect a chance to express themselves, they feel that you would understand where the problem lies and what could be the best possible solution for it. Most of the times, sales reps commit the mistake of being overly aggressive and not giving a chance for the prospects to speak, thus, losing out on a potential client. Having equal say during a conversation is a great rapport builder, and something most sales reps must look to work upon.
#2. Use the Prospect’s Name
“Good afternoon, Mr. Alan. These are few of the options available to you. Which one would you like to choose”. This statement looks much more effective and cordial than the following one. “Good afternoon, these are few of the options available to you. Which one would you like to choose”. The major reason being, using the name of the prospect has its own effect as they find you a bit more friendly and approachable. Therefore, as a sales rep if you intend to have a great bond with your prospect, try using their name as it can have a great impact.
#3. Offer ‘Genuine’ Compliments
Genuine compliments are often refreshing and endearing. If you like the office, someone’s website, or is impressed with their book, be vocal about it. If your prospect had a recent accomplishment, relay your authentic congratulations. This can go a long way towards building rapport and they’ll appreciate it. This will also help you to get into their minds, thus, letting you go through the sales process in a successful manner.
#4. Empathize with the Prospect
It is a well-understood fact that, people usually open up more with those, who are good to them and know what they are thinking. This creates a sense of trust which builds a good rapport. It is also said that people usually buy from those who think alike, as they feel that these people would know the exact requirement. In this case, it is also important to know that if you are talking to your prospect over the phone, you reduce your chances of letting them know that you understand their concern. It is often said that being physically present has a much bigger impact than being on the call. Therefore, if you empathize with someone, make it a habit to let them know about the same by being physically present.
#5. Use Social Media wisely
Social media is at the centre of every sales and marketing related work. There is a firm belief that the success of an organization depends a lot on social media activities. Similarly, in order to build a good rapport with your sales prospects, you need to find out, how they go about socially by seeing their public social profiles. This will help you to learn more about them. In sales, since it is necessary to know what your client prefers, more often than not, social media can act as the catalyst for building a great rapport with the prospect.
As said above, building a great rapport with your prospects goes a long way in sales. The closer you are to the prospect, better your chance of turning them into a customer. Therefore, it is imperative for the sales rep to try and build a relationship with the prospects in such a way that, it is based on trust and the one that is a long term. It goes without saying that, an organization needs its customers for growth, not only on the selling aspect but also on the ways of improvement. Thus, sales rep must look at having a long-term plan and not short-term goals alone and building rapport is just a part of the plan.
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