The five steps to building rapport in a minute or less.

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Hi, my name is Adam McClary, I am a High Ticket Closer and I love meeting new people. In this article I am going to cover Rapport, what is it? How I build it, and why it is important.

Introduction

Rapport in one word is connection. Like the connection you have with a good friend. In rapport just like with friends, it is not necessarily the words said but how they are said that matters. Rapport is a critical and often overlooked component of the successful sale call. Human interaction is complex so for our safety we only do business with people we trust. So how do we develop an understanding with a prospect that will lead to a trusting relationship? More importantly how do we become effective at building this connection in the first 60 seconds?

 To be effective at building rapport, we must have the thought process or intent to understand the prospect. We must shelf our desire for a sale, set aside our script and listen with intent. Our goal must be to understand who we are on the phone with.

First step: The greeting

How we greet someone has a profound impact on how we are received. For example, when we get on the phone with a friend do we ask, hello, is this Mr. Smith? No, we would say hello John, this is Alex. Addressing prospects by their first name lowers the formality and gives a sense of commonality and friendship.

Second step: Sidestepping the well wishes

The second thing that commonly happens on phone calls is the caller will ask, how are you? What does that get you? It does not help you move the call forward or help you learn more about the prospect. What is even worse is that the prospect will then fill obliged to ask how we are, and this can lead to an uncomfortable pause as either party tries to figure out what will happen next. To skip this awkward trap simply wish them well. For example, you could say, Hello John, I hope you are well. Wishing them wellness shows you are a caring human and yet allows you to move to discovery. I use discovery questions with clients to build commonality and sense of community. Remember the theory of six degrees of separation. This is the theory that no matter what country your prospect lives in or how little you have in common with this person you are only separated by at most five intermediaries. To build connection it is our job to find what these commonalities are.

Third Step: Painting a picture

The easiest way to connect with someone is to ask them where they live. We are often defined by the places that we chose to reside. Whether we grew up there or choose to move and surround ourselves with new cultures. Telling others about where we live allows others to understand us, to see a little piece of who we are. It could be that you will hear the person describe with pride the place that they live. Or you might detect an indifferent response to where they are located. These subtle tones help us begin to understand this person.

Fourth Step: Planning the bridge

The easiest follow up to this information is to encourage the prospect. This is as easy as stating Wow, neat, or cool. Giving a sense of approval puts the prospect at ease and starts to build a sense of friendship. The next step in the process is to then connect on a personal level with that persons and their place. You can use so many different connecters in this step. If you are a sports person use that! If you are a world traveler, then you can use that. The most important part here is to be yourself. In this example we will use sports as an example, it matters not if they live in your area or not. You can ask them, John, do you watch college football? The best part is that no matter if they say yes or no you can still use this simple question to build connection.

Fifth Step: Building the bridge

The next step in this rapport process is to humanize yourself by telling the prospect where you are calling from. For example, you can respond to John by saying Nice, I am calling you from Knoxville TN today. Then you can address the reason for your inquiry. You can say, when you said you were from Atlanta I remembered the game last week between Tennessee and Georgia. You all smashed us! Even if the person is not a football fan you are likely to get a reaction, either an affirmative answer or a nervous laugh. You can then say, congratulations on your win by the way. If you can get them to laugh or giggle this is the signaling you have broken the ice. You are starting to connect.

Final thoughts

Never forget that Rapport is not a one-time event but a continual process. Continue to relate, agree and connect with the prospect through the call as you can. Also, it is fine for the closer or salesman to be not ok. We don’t have to ask the perfect connecter question. Relation is far more important that perfection. Telling them a little about myself and then relating it to them is an important part of the rapport steps. By connecting my world with theirs we are far more likely to do business in the future.

These five steps allow us to meet on common ground with the prospect. They will allow you to see who they are. Are they impatient with your questions and pushing you for product details? Or are they a lively person who wants to talk to us and connect with us? Picking up on these subtle nuances allows us to better understand people and to listen to them better. Remember, rapport is not a segue to another topic but a connection with another human being. Now go out there and build some rapport!

I hope that you have enjoyed this article and it has added some value to what you do.

If you ever have any questions about closing inbound high ticket calls, email me at

adam@clientasset.com

Till next time, Keep crushing it.

Be awesome my friends,

Adam McClary