In our busy world the person who stands out in the crowd usually gets noticed. In selling, it's not about drawing attention to yourself or even your product or service. It's about getting your prospect to discover for himself what it is he wants and then realizing how your product or service is the best fit solution. In the first few minutes of a sales appointment, the salesperson has a chance to get in sync with the prospect. It is the time to build the relationship first. People tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. A key part of that is bonding with the prospect and building rapport.
Here are four ways to build rapport with a prospect:
#1 Active Listening Active listening involves using two techniques: restatement or paraphrasing. In each instance the salesperson is validating a correct understanding of what was said. Prospects don't merely want to be heard, they want to be understood.
#2 Mirror Body Language Non-verbal communication, or body language, makes up 55% of the total communication; tonality is 38% and only 7% is verbal (the words). A good way to build rapport is to mirror what you see, not immediately, but a few seconds later. By doing this for the first couple of minutes, the prospect begins to connect at a subconscious level.
#3 Pacing The salesperson can also establish rapport from pacing, or matching the tonality, pitch, and rhythm of the prospect . If the prospect speaks softly, the salesperson speaks softly. If the prospect speaks pretty fast, the salesperson may have to pick the pace and speak more quickly than normal. The idea is not to draw attention to yourself, but to comfortably mimic in as natural a way as possible so the prospect "sees himself" in your actions.
#4 Match Their Word Style Another way to build rapport is to match the word style that the prospect tends to use most. Most people use one of three primary senses when speaking: words that relate to sight, hearing, or touch. It is called “primary sensory dominance “(visual, auditory, kinesthetic). When the salesperson detects which sense dominates, slip into using the same style to build rapport.
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