Establishing Rapport: The Key To Sales Success

No trust – no sale. The ability to create trust is one of the most crucial skills in a salesperson’s arsenal. The dictionary defines rapport as a relationship of trust or emotional affinity. The salesperson that is unable to establish trust with be severely handicapped and ineffective in a selling career.

Establishing rapport in selling is critical for several reasons: First, it allows you to get in sync with your audience – to get on the same page with them and establish a common pattern of communication. Second, proper rapport breaks down the defensive walls that exist between buyer and seller. Third, proper bonding promotes open and honest communication between buyer and seller. And last, it allows the seller to gain compliance from the audience or the buyer. Compliance cannot be gained until trust and common ground established.

How do you establish rapport?

There are a number of techniques to establish rapport:

#1 Focus on the buyer or the audience’s interest by paying attention to them, listening intently to them and giving them your full attention.

#2  Look for common interests, experiences or backgrounds that will allow you to appear to be more like them.

#3  Synchronize both verbal and non-verbal communication patterns with the buyer. Doing so will make you appear to be more like them. And people like and trust people who are like them.

#4 Synchronize your breathing patterns with your buyer. This is a very powerful technique and creates trust at the unconscious level.

#5  Synchronize your posture and physiology. Assume similar body positions, gestures and body movements that mirror but do not mimic those of your audience or buyers.

#6  Introduce reciprocity by giving the audience or buyer something of significant value early in the conversation and relationship. Doing so creates an unconscious psychological IOU and creates a more favorable environment for their compliance later on.

#7 Make a damaging admission about yourself, your company, or your product or service. Doing so makes you appear to be more human and creates trust especially if the buyer is aware of the damaging admission. Another important aspect of making a damaging admission is to defuse any concern or objection the buyer may have and neutralizes the objection because you brought it up first.

#8  Use self disclosure in selling by sharing a bit of your personal story with your buyer or your audience. All buyers want to know that there is a human being inside of that salespersons body. Sharing part of yourself creates a very favorable acceptance of you by your buyer.

#9  When two people can agree on a common enemy and focus their attention on that common enemy, the bond between those two people becomes stronger. The common enemy may be the IRS, a political party, the government, competitors or any other common enemy that is shared between buyer and seller.

#10 Use third party stories to give examples of situations that are similar to the one your prospect or buyer is experiencing. When you tell a potential buyer a third-party story they unconsciously project himself into the starring role and emotionally experience the event as if they were there. This allows you to control the experience and get them to experience the emotions you desire in order to sell them.

#11 Give your buyers and your audience genuine respect by looking for something genuine to compliment and psychologically stroke them on. All human beings are stroke deprived and it is impossible for humans to unconsciously reject a sincere or genuine compliment or stroke. Doing this makes emotional deposits in the buyer’s bank account from which you can draw later to gain compliance from them.

One of the benefits of competent professional sales training is the practice, development and implementation of these rapport building skills and techniques. Proper sales training builds upon the seller’s ability to learn, understand and use these powerful techniques.

Learning these powerful techniques will give you a competitive advantage and will allow you to close more sales with less resistance in less time.