“You like me! You really like me!” Sally Field famously said during her acceptance speech for her second Oscar in 1985 for Places in the Heart. What viewers didn’t see was the work that went into her Oscar-winning campaign. Yes, it takes more than impeccable acting skills to win an Academy Award. You have to know how to build rapport with your audience, and it’s just as important for a sales professional as it is for an actress.
Sales professionals should not only be focused on making a one-time sale, but also on forming a meaningful connection with a potential client. The benefits of building rapport will bring you not one, but hundreds of sales.
So how do you get started? Here are five approaches designed to help you build rapport with your clients:
- Assumed familiarity. “It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?” When used correctly, this can be very effective because it puts us on the same team as the person we’re talking to. But, as in anything you assume, it can backfire. Use this approach with caution!
- Shared observation. “Looks like it’s going to rain.” Something this simple can be the start of a great conversation, as long as you have a plan to keep it going.
- Recognition. This feeds on our need for significance and causes the other person to feel valued. “Hey, I remember meeting you at a conference last year” is a perfect example that can lead to deeper conversation.
- Asking for help. “Excuse me, do you have a moment?” Most of us love to help other people because it feeds our need to contribute, and can start a great dialogue.
- Confirming Understanding. “You seem like the kind of person who...Is that right?” This approach is pretty simple, and it makes the person you’re talking to feel significant, which can be incredibly effective in both a sales situation - and in everyday life.
Try each one of them to see what works best for you, and be sure to let us know which one is your favorite. We think you’ll be feeling more “liked” than Sally Field in no time!
For an in-depth overview, watch Dan Stewart’s webinar, The Magic of Instant Rapport. In this webinar, Dan not only demonstrates using each of these approaches, but also dives into the psychology behind them. For more sales tips, be sure to tune into Dan’s next webinar, or pre-order his Seriously Happy book!