Understanding the fundamentals for better rapport building is a MUST for anyone in traditional sales or network marketing. Being purposeful in how you create a connection can be a “make or break” deal for many people.
What IS rapport?
Here's the definition of rapport from one dictionary: a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well.
So, what is rapport again? Rapport is harmony, trust, alignment. It's a mutual understanding. I feel good about being around you because “we're on the same page” or we're similar. We're like one another, so we're more likely to like one another.
And…based on those premises, if you're in any kind of sales and you know that the #1 reason people buy is because they like you and trust you, it makes sense then to do whatever you can do develop rapport with those you're communicating with for your business.
Three Fundamentals for Better Rapport Building
#1: Be Ready to Match and Mirror. One of the fundamentals of rapport building is matching and mirroring. This is done by literally mirroring someone and being more like them. When they speak, you need to pay close attention to HOW they sound. Are they loud? Soft spoken? Do they speak fast or slow? Your objective is to be more LIKE them by mirroring their language, their language patters and their body language and gestures when meeting in person.
One very important note. Don't be a copy cat. Subtlety is key when it comes to rapport building and connecting. If you're not careful, they'll see you as mimicking them…and that's NOT something you want to have happen.
#2: Do your Homework. If you can, before going into a meeting or conversation…do a bit of homework on your prospect.
What are their interests? What do they LOVE to do?
What's their life passion?
What's their personal or business background?
What's their favorite subject or interest?
Where are they from?
Do they have kids? Married? Similar background to you?
Anything that you can discover ahead of time will help you do a better job of rapport building and connecting. Your objective is to reduce the tension and create a greater degree of relaxation and comfort in the conversation. Do whatever you can to remove the tension in the conversation, and you'll end up building stronger relationships.
Notice how easy it is to talk to someone you have tons of things in common with, versus it being like pulling teeth when you are chatting with someone you have literally nothing in common with.
#3: Listen to understand, not to respond. Pay attention and really be present. Wherever you are, be there. Your presence is necessary. Turn off your distractions. Be totally present. That person in front of you is the most important person at that moment in time. Being a good listener requires a little extra effort. It's not really that natural for most people. Everyone has their own agenda and often they get caught up in their own head about themselves, their life, their challenges, and so on. So…taking the time to slow down and really understand someone is going to serve you well in developing immediate trust, and keeping it long term.
Rapport building isn't hard, but it does take a little extra effort do do some of these things until they become automatic for you. The more you practice doing this…the more likely it will become a natural part of what you do.