2 min read

Beyond the Pitch: Master Rapport Instead

Even if you think you're rubbish at sales, if you master rapport your confidence and results will improve.
Beyond the Pitch: Master Rapport Instead
Photo by Campaign Creators / Unsplash

I've spent a lifetime in sales and marketing (over 50 years to be exact). I've seen how naturally rapport comes to some while others struggle, often due to fear of rejection or seeming insincere. Understanding how to genuinely connect with prospects can transform your sales approach and the relationships you build.

True story: When I got my first job in sales I used to think I had to be someone who sounded like a salesman. Oh, the naivety of youth. It took me a long time to be myself although. Even now I'm drawn to 'fitting in'.

"Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world". Jim Carey

Eventually, with practice and confidence, I learned to relax and leave any agenda outside the room I was in. You see, until you develop rapport (trust) people are going to hold you at 'arm's length'. The first thing you must do is find rapport.

Here are some thoughts on how.

Be Genuine and Authentic:

Authenticity is key to building trust. Avoid scripted techniques and be yourself. When you’re genuine, buyers are more likely to reciprocate with honesty and openness."Authenticity is magnetic; people can sense when you're being real."

Practice Active Listening:

Show true interest in your clients by listening actively. This means not just hearing but understanding their needs. "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." – Stephen Covey. Make them feel heard and valued.

Find Common Ground:

Identifying shared interests can create a strong bond. Whether it's a hobby or a professional challenge, common ground fosters a sense of camaraderie. "Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow." – Swedish Proverb. This connection can ease the sales conversation.

Give Genuine Compliments:

Sincere compliments can open doors. Highlight something specific you admire about them or their work. "A compliment is verbal sunshine." – Robert Orben. This positive reinforcement builds goodwill and a positive atmosphere.

Match Communication Styles:

Adapting to the buyer’s communication style can make interactions smoother. Whether they prefer detailed information or big-picture ideas, tailor your approach. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." – Peter Drucker. This adjustment shows respect and understanding.

Respect Cultural Differences:

Acknowledge and respect cultural norms and differences to build rapport effectively. "Understanding cultures, one can find the commonality and be able to bridge any gap." Showing respect for their background fosters trust and respect in return.

By mastering these principles, you can transform your sales interactions and build lasting, meaningful relationships with your clients. Don't get hung up on trying to fit all of these suggestions in the next meeting you have. Start with the ones you feel confident with and when this becomes natural, add another.

Article inspired by this article: you can read it here.