Building rapport is something each and everyone of us must do to build relationships and establish new ones. For salespeople it is crucial. Buyers buy from people they like and you have only one chance to make a first impression. This means first contact needs to go well, it has to show you’re competent, that you did your research, and that you’re a like-able person they intend on dealing in the future. Here are some rules to help build rapport and bring chivalry back to sales.
LinkedIn is a gold mine. Use it!
Taking some time to view your potential business partner, customer, friend, or foe is necessary. LinkedIn is by far and away the best business social network for giving you a glimpse into someone’s professional life. Did they work anywhere you did? Do you have any similar connections you can bring up in conversation or get referred by? Are they in any LinkedIn Groups you’re in? Do you believe in any of the same charitable causes or attend the same schools? All these things can help you align yourself with the person and build off of a common bond you both may share.
Apply the social selling rule of 3 and be nimble.
Before meeting someone in person or ever getting on a phone call with them - search 3 different social networks for their name and find 3 compelling talking points. A google search usually accomplishes this, but I use a platform called Nimble to help me get a 360 degree view of people. When I enter them into the system, Nimble finds they’re social networks and displays pertinent information about them along with aggregating their recent activity. Did they attend or talk at a recent conference? Do they like the Los Angeles Dodgers? Did they recently make a comment about a blog post?
Successful relationship builders will tell you people like to deal with people that they like and that they trust. Rapport involves showing that you can deliver on both of these. Using social media will allow you to align yourself with your audience, give you a common interest, and allow you to demonstrate value based on your assessment before meeting. Use the above tips to help you build rapport the next time you have a call, meeting, or presentation.