Build Rapport Authentically and Watch Your Sales Skyrocket!

In last week’s post, I discussed the importance of confidence in the relationship building and sales process.  That it’s, in fact, the #1 reason people will buy from you!  The bottom line is that people want to do business with people that they can relate to and that they feel understand their needs.

People need to trust that you can help them get the results that that they’re looking for!  This really all boils down to your rapport building skills, which you can improve upon in several ways:

1. Dress to Impress ~ As unfair as it seems to be judged by our appearances, it really is true that you only have one chance to make a first impression!  This does not mean trying to be someone you’re not….but a shower, unwrinkled clothes and matching socks are probably a good idea. 🙂

2. Make Eye Contact ~ It is essential that you are fully present with your prospect.  Do not be planning your response, rather listen with the intention that their words will be the guide for a natural response from you!   If you are not connecting in person, make sure you are free from all distractions (facebook, skype chat, kids, TV, etc.).

3. Pay Attention to Body Language & Energy ~ If you are with your prospect in person, be sure you have open posture by sitting with uncrossed arms and legs.    Mirror your prospect with head nods, facial expressions and subtle gestures.  Obviously this is something you have to careful about ~ you want it to seem natural, not like you are playing a game of simon says!   😉    And whether in person OR on the phone….Smile often!  Also try matching their energy, tone and pacing ~ this psychologically tells the prospect that you are in agreement with them, which leads to increased trust.

4.  Find Common Ground ~ What do you hear them saying they love that you do as well?  Maybe it’s surfing, running, parenthood or nature?  This may seem like trivial chit-chat, but this is actually the fast track to building rapport!   And be sure to jot down some notes for future reference (kids names, pets, favorite activities, etc.)!

5.  Be Authentic & Vulnerable ~ As Oscar Wilde said best, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”  You are most engaging when you are speaking your truth!  If you are uptight or anxious, you will find your conversations simply will not flow.  Let the person see that you are human, and that you’ve struggle too.   When you show empathy, your prospect will begin to open up more and more, because they will feel that you actually get where they’re coming from.   Which is SO important!

6. Tune in to Their Learning Style ~ While we all use all 5 of our senses to process information, most people are pre-disposed to have a dominant learning style.   For a visual learner, you will hear words (and want to say words) like:  see, imagine, let me show you, big picture, it looks like and picture this.  With an auditory learn, try:  tell me more about, I’d love to hear, that’s music to my ears, and that rings a bell.  For a kinesthetic learner, go with words like: grasp, sense, flow, in touch and solid.   This is a more advanced technique, but if you tune to the language your prospect is using and mirror that back to them, you will dramatically increase trust and responsiveness.

7. Repeat What they Say ~ Pay attention to the adjectives they use and the way they phrase things.  By repeating their words back to them, you are showing you are listening, and you are accelerating the rapport building process because they clearly relate to those words!  Oh, and speaking of the words we are saying, do not forget that the sweetest sound on earth is your prospect’s own name! 🙂

8.  Ask open ended questions ~  Be careful that you are not asking questions that can be answered with a yes or a no!  Your goal is to learn as much as possible about your prospect….so you want to ask thought-provoking, conversation-starting questions.  As a general rule, you should listen MUCH more than you talk.  The secret to sales is hearing what your prospect needs, and then if your product or service fills that need, showing them how simply you can help!

Here are a few sample questions you can ask to get a conversation flowing:

What is the most important project you are currently involved in, in case I or someone I know can be a resource to you?

Who is your perfect customer/ partner in case I can refer you business?

How did you get started in _____?

What do you like best/ worst about working as a _________?

What do you do for fun when you are not doing _________?

What is most important to you personally and in business?

Have you had any mentors?  If yes ~ What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

So those are 8 tips that can assist you in building rapport and exploding your sales results.  The last thing I’ll leave you with is this: the very best way to master the art of rapport building is to assume that you have it from the very start!

If you have benefited from this post, feel free to share it with your friends and followers on the various social sites.  And I’d love to hear in the comments, what is your favorite rapport building technique?  Or perhaps, where do you find that you struggle in your rapport building process?

To Your Success!

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46 Responses to “Build Rapport Authentically and Watch Your Sales Skyrocket!”

  1. These are really great tips, Beth! I’ve been reading a book on building skills in order to do well in business and you’ve covered many of the the main points!

    One thing that I liked from the book is that when you engage in these types of behaviors you take social pressure off the other person. As a result they will have better feelings toward you and will be more likely to want to associate with you and buy from you.
    Stacy´s last blog post ..Becoming an Advanced Early Riser

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Stacy, maybe I should write a book! 😉 Yes, you are absolutely right. These behaviors definitely take the pressure off the other person, opening up the channels of trust even more.

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Beth, this is a really valuable post. I think smiling is very important, even if your on the phone to someone. It automatically put’s you in a “happy” and “relaxed” mindset during a conversation if your not completely comfortable with speaking to people. These thing’s all get easier with experience. Building a good rapport with people is essential, some people you will be able to help and others you won’t, you’ll find that out by building a rapport with them first though.
    James Cordes´s last blog post ..How to quickly build your brand- business and income!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Oh yes, I smile and even gesture while I”m on the phone ~ it has the meanings of my words come to life on the receivers end! And I agree, rapport building gets easier with experience. And, the point of authentic rapport building is so you can help the people you’re meant to help and let the others move on. Thanks for stopping by, James!

    [Reply]

  3. Great stuff Beth! I especially like 4. Find Common Ground. Conversations go so much better if you can find something in common with the other person. And I have to laugh at 1.Dress to Impress. The reason why was I was networking with a guy and we scheduled a meeting at a Starbucks. Now remember, it’s 100 degrees here in Scottsdale, but he came in a too casual of shirt, that was too small for him, and untucked. Cargo shorts that had been worn too much (LOL), and FLIP FLOPS!

    He proceeded to tell me how long he’d been out of a job, etc…Go figure eh?

    Regards,
    Mike
    Mike Pedersen´s last blog post ..Pay It Forward If You Want Success

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    That’s funny, Mike. I’ve been there. I’m all for casual for meetings when it fits, but there is a big difference between put-together casual and sloppy casual! So I”m curious though, did he end up being a worthy business partner or not?

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Beth…great list of tips to really stay on top of interacting and finding out where your possible business associate is coming from. The truth is…it is as much an interview process as a sales process. You really don’t just want anyone in your business as a partner…you want someone who can really compliment and go after as well.

    These tips cover both sides very well.

    Thanks!
    Bruce Backman´s last blog post ..Keep Working at Your Game-an example from Dimitar Berbatov

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I absolutely agree that you need to interview prospects ~ my business philosophy is to match energy with energy ~ you certainly don’t want to be pulling any dead weight. Authentic rapport building sets the stage for complimentary styles, and therefore increased likelihood of a successful partnership. Thanks Bruce!

    [Reply]

  5. Wow! powerful teachings Beth. i learned a lot of this in my first outside sales job, but some is new too. Its ALL GREAT and truly amazing when applied, of course. Thanks for sharing!
    Curt Bizelli´s last blog post ..Are you ready for the New &amp Improved Manifest Your Dreams ™

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Curt, thanks! Yes, applied learning is always the name of the game!

    [Reply]

  6. Network Marketing 101! I LOVED this Beth Allen! Thank you so much for sharing this helpful and totally USEFUL information!

    These are great tips for beginners, and excellent reminders for those of us who may have been at it a while!

    Really appreciate it!!
    Lorri Ratzlaff´s last blog post ..A Balancing Act

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    You’re welcome, Lorri Ratzlaff! 😉 Glad you found this post useful.

    [Reply]

  7. hi Beth,
    Loved this post. It is amazing to me how many people don’t make great eye contact. Our eyes are the windows to the soul. So if you are really interested in moving a relationship forward, it is very important to look a person in the eye. This is also important when they give you a compliment – look them in the eye and receive their kind words. I am blown away by network marketers I meet who are shabbily dressed, don’t make great eye contact and talk all the time. Then, they blame the industry and their company for their failure – LOL!!!
    BTW, Happy Birthday and congrats on Your engagement!
    Kind regards
    Clare
    Clare Kelway´s last blog post ..Circle of Influence – The Five People who will determine your Future

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Ah yes, our eyes are the windows to our soul, thank you for adding that Clare! Eye contact is a big one for me. When people are easily distracted or can’t hold the contact, it always makes me feel either nervous or just disconnected.

    Oh, thanks for the sweet message, but it’s Beth Hewitt that had a birthday and got engaged. 🙂 We’re easy to confuse, no worries at all!

    [Reply]

  8. This is really good information Beth. I sometimes get the mirroring and matching right….just need to keep practicing and like you said, you don’t want it to look like you’ve all of a sudden decided to have a game of Simon says! 😀

    As for a smile, well, that definitely makes all the difference…

    Denise
    Denise´s last blog post ..5 Important Points to Consider When Using Facebook For Marketing

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    That’s why they say practice makes perfect! And even when you do mess it up ~ it is through our mistakes that we grow the most. Thanks for always bringing a smile, Denise! 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Beth, I love you the way you makes lists in your posts and get straight to the point.

    Dress to impress. As annoying as it might be, it makes a big difference. I reckon this is worth pointing out for making videos too, not just for meeting people in person – you have look the part, as well as speak from your heart and passion. Consider how you look, what you’re wearing, make-up, and don’t forget the background (a tree sticking out of your head is not a good look!)

    Same goes for that old chestnut of being yourself. No-one else can do it!

    Thanks again for this. I enjoy your posts very much 🙂
    Tricia.
    Tricia Karp´s last blog post ..What Price a Voice

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Tricia ~ yes, I have been making a lot of lists lately! lol Easy to digest I suppose! I fully agree with you that people should look put together in their videos, although I know of a very successful social media trainer who suggests people don’t wear make-up or even need to get out of there sweats because it shows authenticity. I do NOT agree! When I see people making videos like that, I think they don’t care about themselves or others!

    As for the background, I once had butterfly wings on either side of my head! woops! 😉

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Beth,

    I really like tip 6 about the learning styles. I know that when I am approached, I feel more connection when this is used with me. I think that when you’re actively listening to the other person – if you’re asking the open ended questions, you can pick up on this relatively quickly. Even on e-mail communications you can do that – I think sometimes it explains why you say something and the person doesn’t get it and somebody else says it in a slightly different way but it has those learning style words/phrases in it and it “clicks” with the person and they suddenly get it. – Rob
    Rob Wilson´s last blog post ..Really Bad Customer Service or Time to Celebrate

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, connecting with learning styles is incredibly powerful, but definitely a learned skill. Active listening definitely is a huge key! I think all of these tips lend to why we “click” with certain people and not others ~ it’s all about resonance. Thanks Rob!

    [Reply]

  11. Beth, I think these points are important in every day life as well. Whether you are dealing with the teacher at school, a brother that you don’t get along with, or an stressful in-law relationship, these tips will be very useful. Thanks for the great post.
    Gary Young China Sourcing´s last blog post ..Links for 2010-10-16 delicious

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely! These tips definitely apply in life situations and business situations alike! Thanks for adding this, Gary.

    [Reply]

  12. Hi Beth,
    I loved this post. It reminded me of all the training I have had in gaining rapport with those we come in contact with. I remember an exercise we undertook on a Tony Robbins course when we just mirrored someone – matching their every move and facial expression. The shared emotion was amazing! That is why it is so important to be conscious of how we approach people. Ensuring the right message is transmitted so we can gain rapport and give value to one another.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Best wishes

    Peter
    peter chapman – online network marketing coach´s last blog post ..Global NPN Compensation Plan

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Peter, I’ve done a similar exercise and the shared emotion is indeed amazing. I think you nailed it when you said that we have to be CONSCIOUS when we engage with people. That why my blog is named what it is…..the difference we can make in the world is tenfold when we consistently make conscious choices in our lives! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    [Reply]

  13. Nice list Beth, I always put a strong emphasis on listening and caring. I think these are the most important. People want to be understood for sure. I try to do 10 to 20% of the talking and 80% of the listening.
    Rob Franta´s last blog post ..How to Choose a Network Marketing Company – How to Succeed in Network Marketing – Module 4

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I agree, Rob. People want to be understood and also want to feel important and acknowledged! Listening and caring definitely show both. Thanks for visiting!

    [Reply]

  14. Beth, these are exceptional tips on building rapport! Making eye contact, asking good questions…listening! Great content!!
    Eddie Espiritu´s last blog post ..Facebook Marketing – How I Generated 327 Leads in 14 Days

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Eddie, I’m glad you found these tips valuable! 🙂

    [Reply]

  15. Great post Beth! It really is amazing no matter how many events you go to you still encounter people who continue to think it is all about them all the time.

    Awesome tips, and a valuable educational lesson. Thanks for sharing!

    Joe
    Joe Malinowski´s last blog post ..Stop Masturbating with Social Networking in your Business

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Joe! Oh yes, it is amazing, isn’t it? And….sadly so true. Perhaps they’ll read this post. 🙂

    [Reply]

  16. Beth – thanks for this. I’ve had some people asking me advice on this subject – and it was great to see someone else providing another view. I’ll definitely share it with my team.

    I can remember the very first rapport-building technique I ever learned was FORM
    Family
    Occupation
    Recreation
    Money

    And that talking about those four things can be a great way to have your prospect open up to you…

    But as always – ensure you’re ALWAYS listening carefully to them – be present, as you said. Never aimlessly ask questions. You can literally guide people into their decision with the right questions.

    Blessings!
    Paul Klaszus´s last blog post ..It’s The CEO’s Fault

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, I learned FORM in my early network marketing days as well. A simple but powerful way to ensure that you are connecting with people about things that matter to them! You are right on, Paul, it is their answers that allow you to guide them to a yes or a no….which is what the goal is. A maybe is an uncomfortable place to be, and leaves both people hanging. Thanks Paul!

    [Reply]

  17. Great tips for sales, I’ll be sharing this around…it’s good that my team hears it from someone else for a change and you’ve got it bang on!
    Joel Broughton´s last blog post ..Network Marketing is Easy…so why is there so much failure

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I appreciate that, Joel. Yes, it is always good to pass along a message someone else wrote that you want your team to hear! Glad I could help!

    [Reply]

  18. Hi Beth

    I just love your post and thanks for
    thjis great tip
    you give to us .

    Regards
    theuns

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Theuns, glad you enjoyed these tips. 🙂

    [Reply]

  19. Beth,
    This is such a wonderful post with so much great information abut connecting with a person. Love the quote about being yourself cause everyone else is already taken! How true. LOL

    Your theme is to be with the person in every way. If we all took the time to do this with everyone, think of all the great energy that would be created! Definitely a win-win situation.

    Have an awesome one,
    Val 😉
    Val Wilcox´s last blog post ..QTIP

    [Reply]

  20. Great tips Beth.I like it when someone looks me in the eye when we are talking.It makes me trust them more.The open ended questions are really good. It keeps the conversation going.Thanks Beth.
    Beverly Monical´s last blog post ..Are You Focusing Correctly

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Beverly. Yes, eye contact is definitely tops on my list. Without it, I either feel sorry for the person because their confidence is clearly so low, or on the flipside, I question their intentions. Eye contact definitely equals trust and confidence!

    [Reply]

  21. Beth, you are spot on! I love your style. You must be a posh woman and that speaks confidence and poise and a successful stance! Thanks for being my friend! Enomfon
    Enomfon´s last blog post ..HELP! I NEED TO SLOW DOWN!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Enomfon. I’m not sure I’d call myself posh, but confident, poised and successful yes. 🙂 When I think of posh I think of extravagant and pretentious. I certainly hope I don’t come across as that! Thanks for what I believe was a great compliment. 🙂

    [Reply]

  22. Hi Beth,

    I work the phones quite often and I must say that I am pretty good.

    However,every once in a while a call doesn’t go so well… and when I think back the call I realized that I didn’t do 2 things.

    1. I never took the time to build rapport
    2. I dominated the conversation and didn’t ask any questions.

    Great article.

    Guy
    Guy Santeramo´s last blog post ..Why Don’t You Just Quit Your MLM Business Now… And Save Yourself All The Heartaches

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Guy ~ well that’s awesome that you’re good on the phone, I think a lot of people struggle there. I do a pretty fine job myself! 😉 We’ll have to chat sometime! And I’m glad you enjoyed this article ~ it is so important to know what went wrong on a call so you can take ownership where needed and make the necessary shifts in future calls. I am always good at the rapport building, but have definitely fallen in the conversation domination category. Things to work on! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, I’m off to check out your blog now.

    [Reply]

  23. These are excellent tips for people in every area of business. The first time someone sees you he or she judges you by your appearance so to make a good impression always try to be smart and decent. I also like your point in confidence and it is true that if you do not have trust in yourself then who will trust in you?

    [Reply]

  24. I am really amazed with your post. This will be a great help to success in business. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts and ideas. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

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