How to Build Initial Rapport With Prospects

How to Build Initial Rapport With Prospects

Building rapport with a prospect as quickly as you can is critical if you want them to be receptive to what you have to say.

Experienced professionals know that this early part of the pitch is an art rather than a science. This makes building initial rapport is an ideal topic for your next sales training as it helps both new and experienced sales professionals find areas of connection that open up prospects for a productive conversation.

Why do you need to build rapport after the sales call?

According to many sales coaches, people tend to buy – and buy more – from sales reps they know and trust. Skilled rapport building after the sales call will increase your chances of success if you can effectively build a connection with your prospect.

By building an initial rapport, you will also gain more influence over your prospect and it will also make them more comfortable sharing their plans and goals for the future with you.

Five Ways to Build a Rapport

To build rapport, certified sales trainers suggest you try these tricks:

Be yourself and be friendly

The chances of making a successful sale are always increased if you can remember to be you. Do not try and act like you are somebody else. Acting and pretending will only make you look uncomfortable and lose the trust of your prospect. Conversely, if you are confident and relaxed you will be able to make your client feel comfortable being in your company.

Ask the right questions

To understand your prospect and build a relationship, it is important you ask the right questions. Try starting with some of these:

  • How was your day/week/weekend?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • How did you end up working for these guys?
  • Ask something that demonstrates you have done your homework on the company. Try to be a little more specific with each subsequent question about the company

Adjust to the situation

Yes, you should be yourself and act naturally. But, many leading digital sales coaches believe you should also respect the culture of your client, especially if they are from another country or speak a different language. Simple gestures that show you respect their culture will go a long way to building rapport even if you are far from being an expert.

Another example would be respecting the dress code of the company you are pitching to. Or, if they have a specific way of communicating, adjust yourself to that even if it is not the best option for you.

Give compliments

Giving a compliment to your prospect is a good way to make them feel appreciated and it will help build a good foundation for making a sale, say many certified digital sales coaches.

Listen and understand their needs

All salespeople are good talkers. After all, that is why they do what they do. But, to sell something and – perhaps more importantly – build a relationship with a customer, talking is not always enough. You also need to listen to your client carefully.

Listening to them is very important because you will learn more about their wants and needs and how you or your company might be able to help them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Natasa Tomic is a journalist and content producer who specializes in writing about business and sales.