Build Trust and Rapport Quickly
By John Boe
If you're working hard, but aren't
consistently generating enough sales and getting referrals, chances
are it's a matter of trust. One of the most critically important and
yet frequently overlooked aspects of selling is creating a solid
foundation of trust and rapport.
Suppose you could incorporate a few simple,
yet highly effective ideas into your selling process and substantially
increase your bottom line?
Successful salespeople have a knack for making
people feel important. They understand the value of building trust and
rapport early on in the selling process. For you see, it really
doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are about your product line or
how many closing techniques you have mastered, unless you earn your
prospect's trust and confidence you're not going to make the sale
Once you have established trust and rapport
with your prospect, you actually have the hard part behind you and can
anticipate making the sale. While there's no system that will work 100
percent of the time with every prospect, fortunately there are
fundamentals you can use that will help you build trust and rapport
the Competitive Edge: Whether you like it or not, people form
impressions about you based on such factors as appearance and
attitude. When it comes to building trust and rapport, there is
nothing more important than making a favorable first impression.
It's important to remember that in most cases,
your prospect's first impression of you will be made over the phone or
from a voice message you leave.
Here are some suggestions to help you create a
favorable first impression:
Show up on time and be well prepared.
Maintain a well-groomed appearance and
dress appropriately for your market.
Be upbeat and personable without becoming
to Your Prospect's Temperament Style:” Research indicates people
are born into one of four primary temperament styles: Aggressive,
Expressive, Passive or Analytical.
Each of these four primary temperament styles
requires a unique approach and selling strategy. For example, if
you're selling to the impatient, aggressive style, they want a short
warm up and expect a quick, bottom line presentation. While at the
other extreme, the cautious, analytical style requires a longer warm
up period and is interested in every detail.
Each of these four behavioral styles can be
easily identified by observing their body language patterns. Once you
learn how to identify each of the styles, you'll be able to close more
sales in less time by adjusting to your prospect's preferred buying
Body Language: Body language is a mixture of movement, posture and
tone of voice. Research indicates that in a face-to-face conversation,
more than 70 percent of our communication is nonverbal.
Our body language reveals our deepest feelings
and hidden thoughts to total strangers. In addition, nonverbal
communication has a much greater impact and reliability than the
spoken word. Therefore, if your prospect's words are incongruent with
his or her body language gestures, you would be wise to rely on the
body language as a more accurate reflection of their true feelings.
Be mindful of your own body language gestures
and remember to keep them positive by unfolding your arms, uncrossing
your legs and smiling frequently.
Create harmony by "matching and
mirroring" your prospect's body language gestures. Matching and
mirroring is an unconscious body language mimicry by which one person
tells another they are in agreement.
The next time you are at a social event,
notice how many people are subconsciously matching one another.
Likewise, when people disagree, they subconsciously mismatch their
body language gestures.
An effective way to begin matching your
prospect is to subtly nod your head in agreement whenever your
prospect nods his or her head, or cross your legs when they cross
their legs etc. By
understanding the meaning behind your prospect's body language, you
will minimize perceived sales pressure and know when it's appropriate
to close the sale.
Active Listening Skills: Successful salespeople take notes, listen
attentively and avoid the temptation to interrupt, criticize or argue
with their prospects. It's a good idea to occasionally repeat your
prospect's words verbatim. By occasionally restating your prospect's
key words or phrases you not only clarify communication, but also
During the first fifteen minutes or so of the
appointment, you should listen more than you talk. Keep your attention
focused on what your prospect is saying and avoid the temptation to
interrupt or dominate the conversation. The quickest way to destroy
trust and rapport is to interrupt another person. If you do interrupt,
minimize the damage by apologizing and asking them to please continue.
Your Credentials: It's important for you to establish your
credentials as an expert in your industry early on during your initial
appointment. Hand out your business card and or company brochure, then
mention two or three reasons why you like working in your industry and
for your company.
Make sure your marketing materials look
professional and are kept up-to-date. If you conduct appointments in
your office, I recommend you display your awards and certificates of
for Common Ground: Before you begin your sales presentation or
demonstration, you must first "warm up" your prospect and
make them feel comfortable. A great way to establish common ground
during the warm up is to discuss the weather, sports or a local news
If you're meeting your prospect in his or home
or office, look at personal items on display such as pictures or
awards. People enjoy talking about their hobbies and past
accomplishments. For example, if you notice a picture of your prospect
holding a big fish in his or her arms, ask them about it and watch
them beam with pride. In
today's highly competitive marketplace, your prospects have many
options and are looking for a salesperson that they know they can
trust to work in their best interest.
Salespeople who fail to put an emphasis on
developing trust and rapport actually do a disservice to their
customers and in effect, leave the backdoor open to their competition.
In addition to generating new sales, developing strong relationships
will keep competitors at arms length and your business on the books!
Read other articles and learn more
about John Boe.
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